Business Analytics Software Market in India to Touch $583 Million: IDC

Business analytics software market in India is forecast to grow at 9.6 percent year-on-year through 2019, reaching $583 million (roughly Rs. 3,442 crores), as compared to 6.8 percent across Asia-Pacific region, a report said today.According to the report by IT firm Tableau and research company IDC, organisations are addressing pain points in areas like processes, risk management, optimisation of resources and customer management using next generation analytics software.

“This helps them in outperforming their peers while simultaneous reducing the data review time significantly,” IDC Asia Pacific Associate Vice President (Big Data, Analytics and Software) Craig Stires told reporters here.

Spend on end-user tools (part of the business analytics software market), including visualisation is forecast to grow in India at 10 percent y-o-y through 2019, reaching $121 million (roughly Rs. 774 crores), compared to 7.2 percent across Asia-Pacific.

In India, the business processes that have the highest utilisation of business intelligence (BI)/analytics are IT, risk management, customer service, and inventory, the report said.

“Of the countries studied in Asia-Pacific, Indian users are the most likely to feel their analytics needs are met. Users here indicated higher frequency of usage of analytics tools, with 60 percent increase in daily and weekly usage over other countries studied,” he said.

This is very important as daily use of BI/analytics results more frequently in over 50 percent improvement of business outcomes, Stires said. “Instead of confining access to critical data to an exclusive group of data scientists, we’re seeing that self-service data analytics is now on the rise with more organisations embracing a culture of data-driven decision making,” Tableau Software Country Manager India Deepak Ghodke said

Food Tech Startups Raking in Cash


Farm and food tech startups were red-hot in the first half of 2015, pulling in $2.06 billion (roughly Rs. 13,181 crores) from investors, a new survey showed Friday.

The figure for the first six months was up 132 percent from the same period in 2014 and nearly matched the full-year 2014 total of $2.36 billion (roughly Rs. 15,100 crores), according to research from the funding platform AgFunder, which helps connect investors to emerging firms.

The amount of money pouring in – amid an overall boom in tech investments – could be revised since some of the investments are not publicly disclosed, AgFunder said.

The second quarter saw 99 deals totalling $971 million (roughly Rs. 6,213 crores) “which we expect to revise upward as additional funding data trickles in,” AgFunder chief executive Rob Leclerc said.

The segments attracting dollars include “precision agriculture,” which allows farms to analyse and maximise crop yields, which accounts for some $400 million (roughly Rs.2,559 crores) so far in 2015. Some of the startups include satellite imagery company Planet Labs ($118 million or roughly Rs. 755 crores) and drone makers DJI ($75 million or roughly Rs. 479 crores), 3D Robotics ($64 million or roughly Rs. 409 crores) and Pulse AeroSpace ($23 million or 147 crores), the report said.

Water tech was another big segment, with interest growing due to the historic drought in California. This attracted some $525 million (roughly Rs. 3,359 crores) over the six months, led by $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,199 crores) raised by Israeli drip irrigation provider Netafim.

Food e-commerce is another big segment, led by $135 million (roughly Rs. 863 crores) to Blue Apron, a startup which delivers ingredients and recipes, and food delivery services like Munchery ($85 million or roughly Rs. 543 crores), Sprig ($45 million or roughly Rs. 287 crores) and NatureBox ($30 million or roughly Rs 191 crores).

Other segments included bio-energy, crop and soil tech, food storage, cannabis and sustainable protein, the report said.

“There’s no question that technology will be the future of agriculture,” Leclerc said.

“The real question is just how quickly we will get there. In the past, agriculture revolutions have moved more slowly, but these fundings, together with technology adoption rates, are helping to propel the current agtech revolution forward to meet the goals of more food, better food, and sustainable food systems.”

A separate report by the consulting firm Rosenheim found food tech and media investment hit $460 million (roughly Rs. 2,943 crores) in the month of June. The report includes companies in areas such as food delivery but also restaurant recommendation and review websites.

“As we have been seeing for a while now, delivery and online ordering were represented in spades, but we also saw an influx of digital content deals – ranging from recipes to restaurants,” founder Brita Rosenheim said.

Don’t Trust the ‘Windows 10 Free Update’ Email, Warns Cisco

Microsoft released Windows 10 in 190 countries earlier this week. The latest desktop operating system from the company has attracted millions of users already, including unfortunately, some fraudsters as well. A new ransomware has started to circulate in the wild which attempts to fool users into downloading and installing malware instead.

Cisco, best known for designing and manufacturing network equipment, is warningusers about a new phishing attack that tricks users into installing malware that then asks for ransom. The email comes disguised as an official release from Microsoft with subject ‘Windows 10 Free Update’.

The sophistication of the attack is worrisome too. The email states to be coming from update [at] and uses the same colour and font scheme as used by the company. This could trick many into believing that the email is legitimate.

But as Cisco points out, the origination of email as well as some minor inconsistencies in the wording and formatting of the text should make users suspicious.

The malware in question is CTB-Locker which is a ransomware. Once installed, the malware locks down all the files — including of all the devices connected to a computer, and demands for a payment in 96 hours if the victim wishes to have access to them again.

CTB_Locker_microsoft_cisco.jpgCisco warns that this ransomware is spreading and affecting computers at a rapid pace. The firm also notes that the vicious minds behind it are using tools like Tor to stay anonymous as well as change their IP addresses, making it harder for security firms to detect their origination and take any concrete recourse.

The best one can do right now is make sure to halt any downloads from any unofficial channels. One should also try updating their computer from the built-in Windows Update file. Here’s a list of ways one can download the new operating system from company’s official channels.

New York Village Makes Ransom Payments to Keep Computers Running


A village in central New York made ransom payments of $300 (roughly Rs. 19,200) and $500 (roughly Rs. 31,993) last year to keep its computers running after two official-looking emails released malware throughout its system, state auditors said.

The comptroller’s office, which has audited 100 municipal computer systems the past three years, said Ilion’s experience should warn others of the growing threat, which can infiltrate computers and make them inaccessible. The big problem for the village of 8,000 was its financial software.

“The payroll, village accounting systems, they were all locked up,” Mayor Terry Leonard said.

Other agencies across the country have also dealt with the malicious software known as ransomware.

In Maine this year, Lincoln County sheriff’s office computers were infected and held hostage. Sheriff Todd Brackett said after several attempts to retrieve the records, his agency paid a ransom of about $300 and the FBI helped track the payment to a Swiss bank account but failed to identify the hackers.

In suburban Chicago, the Midlothian village police paid a $500 ransom in Bitcoin, a digital currency that’s virtually untraceable, to get its files unencrypted.

Ilion officials have endorsed new security steps and trained staff last year specifically on looking out for suspicious emails. They have been working with the auditors who identified various security gaps. They haven’t had another attack since, Leonard said.

According to state auditors who investigated last summer, the first email attachment converted all data stored in the system into an unreadable encrypted format. A $300 ransom payment in January 2014 was made as directed, electronically transmitting the number of a prepaid credit card to a designated portal. Ilion’s technology consultant entered the card number to get the decryption keys.

The second email, which also appeared to be for village business, led to more encryption and a $500 ransom payment in May 2014.

“These incidents should be a wake-up call to local government officials around the state,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. “While the dollar amounts were small and no vital information was disclosed, this attack shows how the lack of basic IT safeguards can potentially cost taxpayers and cripple the day-to-day operations of municipalities or school districts.”

The auditors cited user accounts for ex-employees that hadn’t been closed, generic accounts used by more than one individual, lack of a recovery plan for security incidents with backup data, and staying current about ongoing threats

University of Connecticut Says Hit by Hackers From China


The social security numbers and credit card details of up to 6,000 University of Connecticut students, faculty and others may have been stolen by cyber-hackersfrom China, the university said on Friday.

Officials detected a potential breach of the School of Engineering’s network in March and an investigation uncovered that hackers may have gained access to it as early as September, 2013, spokesman Tom Breen said.

He said 6,000 students, faculty, alumni and research partners of the school were notified that their personal information may have been compromised.

“The breach is far more extensive, could impact many more accounts and started much earlier than we originally believed,” said Breen. “There is no way at the present time to determine the exact number of accounts hacked,” he added.

Breen said the hack has been traced to China “based on the type of cyber-attack that was launched, and the software used.” He added the FBI and several state agencies have been notified. The university said it was also taking steps to secure its systems.

Pennsylvania State University back in May said two cyber-attacks at its College of Engineering, including one in 2012 that originated in China, compromised servers containing information on about 18,000 people.

Penn State, a major developer of technology for the US Navy, said there was no evidence that research or personal data such as social security or credit card numbers had been stolen.

Cyber-security firm Mandiant has confirmed that at least one of the two attacks was carried out by a “threat actor” based in China, Penn State said.

Mt. Gox CEO Arrested by Japan Police Over Loss of Bitcoins

Japanese police on Saturday arrested Mark Karpeles, head of the collapsed Mt. GoxBitcoin exchange, over the disappearance of about $390 million worth of the virtual currency, local media said.

France-born Karpeles, 30, is suspected of having accessed the exchange’s computer system and falsifying data on its outstanding balance, Kyodo News and public broadcaster NHK said.

The global virtual currency community was shaken by the shuttering of Mt. Gox, which froze withdrawals in February 2014 because of what the firm said was a bug in the software underpinning Bitcoin that allowed hackers to pilfer them.

Police did not immediately confirm Karpeles’ arrest but local television footage showed authorities taking him into custody.

The exchange – which once boasted of handling around 80 percent of global Bitcoin transactions – filed for bankruptcy protection soon after the cyber-money went missing, admitting it had lost 850,000 coins worth JPY 48 billion ($387 million at today’s exchange rate, roughly Rs. 2,481 crores).

Karpeles later said he had found some 200,000 of the lost Bitcoins in a “cold wallet” – a storage device such as a memory stick that is not connected to other computers.

(Also see:For Ransom, Bitcoin Replaces The Bag Of Bills)

Bitcoins are generated by complex chains of interactions among a huge network of computers around the planet and are not backed by any government or central bank.

A cloud has been hanging over the Tokyo-based exchange and Karpeles as investors have demanded answers, and called on the firm to publicise its data so that hackers around the world can help analyse what happened at Mt. Gox.

“They say it’s under investigation. That’s all they say,” a French investor told AFP last year at a creditors’ meeting in Tokyo.

“They seem to refuse to make public more precise information about Mt. Gox’s own (information) and how and when it was stolen, if it was really stolen.”

Karpeles had reportedly refused to travel to the United States, where he was being asked to appear for questioning in connection with Mt. Gox’s collapse.

Regulators have scrambled to respond to the use of Bitcoins, with the European Banking Authority last year calling on the region’s banks not to deal in virtual currencies until rules are developed to stop them being abused.

Launched in 2009 by a mysterious computer guru, Bitcoin offers a largely anonymous payment system and can be stored either virtually or on a user’s hard drive.

Backers say virtual currencies allow for an efficient and anonymous way to store and transfer funds online.

But regulators argue the lack of legal framework governing the currency, the opaque way it is traded and its volatility make it dangerous.

After Mt. Gox, Bitcoin’s reputation was also damaged when US authorities seized funds as part of an investigation into the online criminal enterprise Silk Road that made millions of dollars from drug sales and other criminal enterprises.

During the trial of the man accused of masterminding the network, a witness said investigators once suspected Karpeles of running the online black market – a claim he firmly denied.

Car Hacking Risk May Be Broader Than Fiat Chrysler, Says US Regulator



The cyber-security issues that led Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to recall 1.4 million vehicles this month could pose a problem for cars and trucks from other automakers, the top US auto safety regulator said on Friday.

Mark Rosekind, who heads the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said his watchdog agency is trying to determine how many car makers have received radios from the company that supplied Fiat Chrysler.

“The supplier didn’t just supply radios to Chrysler but to a lot of other manufacturers,” Rosekind told reporters. “A lot of our work now is trying to find out how broad the vulnerability could be.”

Rosekind did not identify the radio supplier. Charlie Miller, one of two hacking experts who uncovered the problem, told Reuters the radio was a Uconnect system from Harman International Industries Inc . Harman officials were not immediately available for comment.

The potential raises the possibility of more automaker recalls over hacking vulnerabilities, an issue that has grabbed the attention of regulators, lawmakers and the public. On Thursday, a researcher warned that hackers could exploit a security flaw in a mobile app for General Motors Co’s OnStar vehicle communications system.

In the first action of its kind for the auto industry, Fiat Chrysler last week announced the recall of 1.4 million US vehicles to install software to prevent hackers from gaining remote control of the engine, steering and other systems.

The announcement by FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, followed reports that cyber-security researchers had used a wireless connection to turn off a Jeep Cherokee’s engine as it drove, increasing concerns about the safety of Internet-enabled vehicles.

The researchers used Fiat Chrysler’s telematics system to break into a volunteer’s Cherokee being driven on the highway and issue commands to the engine, steering and brakes.

“This is the shot across the bow. Everybody’s been saying ‘cyber-security’. Now you’ve got to step up,” Rosekind said. “You’ve got to see the entire industry proactively dealing with these things.”

NHTSA has already been in contact with the Jeep Cherokee researchers and hopes to learn more not only about their work but how serious a reaction they have seen from the auto industry.

“It’s not just about the hack. It’s what the response from the industry has been to see whether or not their issues have been acknowledged and what they’re planning. And that’s the part we have to see going forward,” Rosekind said.

Rosekind said NHTSA is also collecting information about potential issues involving GM’s OnStar, but has not begun a formal investigation


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