Seeing market recovery in India during Unlock phase: Honor

(IANS) Tier 2 and semi-urban markets are at the forefront of driving the growth of digital and smart technologies in India, leading to a significant market recovery in the unlock phase, said a senior Honor India executive.

The comment comes after the company recently entered the Indian laptop market and expanded its portfolio of wearable devices in the country.

“The pandemic has seriously affected all sectors of the economy. Since the ease of the shutdown, companies in all industries have slowly started to recover, ”Charles Peng, President of Honor India, told IANS in an interview.

“With consumers rapidly adapting to a new lifestyle, we have seen an increase in demand for products that complement their lives and keep them connected and safe. We believe this trend will continue to drive growth for the rest of the year, ”he said.

In particular, the company said that it has seen an increase in demand for low and mid-range devices.

Huawei’s subsidiary last week expanded its portfolio of wearable devices in India with two new smartwatches: Watch ES and Watch GS Pro.

The Honor Watch ES will be available on Amazon from midnight October 17 onwards during the Great Indian Festival for Rs 7,499.

The Honor Watch GS Pro will be available on Flipkart as the Big Billion Days special offers. The rugged smartwatch will be sold from October 16 at midnight for Rs 17,999.

“Previously, we launched the Watch Magic, MagicWatch2, Band 5 and Band 5i with features and innovations unprecedented in the segment. Since then, we have witnessed great success in the wearable market and emerged as a consumer favorite with impressive 4+ ratings for all products on India’s two largest e-commerce channels, Amazon and Flipkart, ”said Peng.

“After receiving an overwhelming response from the Indian market, we are now focused on expanding our product offering in the portable device segment.

“In India, we are among the top 4 brands of smart wearable devices,” he said.

According to the President of Honor India, the company’s entry into the Indian notebook market in August also turned out to be a success.

Launched at Rs 42,990, the company’s launch laptop, Honor MagicBook 15, comes with 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, a hidden pop-up webcam, 2-in-1 fingerprint power button, and a 65W compact fast charger.

“It sold out in seconds as soon as it went online. In addition, we have received encouraging and positive feedback from our consumers who want to have a PC that meets their requirements and suits their personality with a premium product at a competitive price, ”said Peng.

“On future prospects, we are confident in our performance in India. Our goal is to create a new smart world for people by developing a smart life ecosystem with a diverse product portfolio including smart band, smart watch, smart audio, laptops and smartphones, ”he said.


Rare spy malware hits diplomats of NGOs from Asia, Europe

(IANS) Rare spy malware has targeted diplomats and NGO members from Asia, Africa and Europe in a number of targeted cyberattacks, including Russian-language spear-phishing documents, while some were North Korean-related and used as a decoy to download malware.

Based on the affiliation of the discovered victims, researchers at the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky were able to determine that the malware campaign known as “MosaicRegressor” was used in a series of targeted attacks.

So far, the campaign has not been linked to “any known Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actor.”

Researchers uncovered APT’s spy campaign using a very little-seen type of malware known as firmware bootkit.

The UEFI boot kit used with the malware is a custom version of the Hacking Team boot kit that was leaked in 2015.

“Although UEFI attacks present broad opportunities for threat actors, MosaicRegressor is the first publicly known case in which a threat actor used malicious and custom UEFI firmware in the wild,” said Mark Lechtik, Senior Security Researcher for the Team Global Research and Analysis (GReAT) at Kaspersky.

“This attack shows that, although on rare occasions, in exceptional cases, actors are willing to do everything possible to obtain the highest level of persistence on the victim’s machine.

UEFI firmware is an essential part of a computer, which starts running before the operating system and all the programs installed on it.

If the UEFI firmware is modified in any way to contain malicious code, that code will be released before the operating system, making its activity potentially invisible to security solutions.

Kaspersky researchers found a sample of such malware used in a campaign that implemented variants of a complex multi-stage modular framework called MosaicRegressor.

“The framework was used for espionage and data collection, with UEFI malware being one of the persistence methods for this previously unknown new malware,” the researchers explained.

The malware initially installed on the infected device is a Trojan downloader, a program capable of downloading additional payloads and other malware.

“Depending on the downloaded payload, the malware could download or upload arbitrary files to / from arbitrary URLs and collect information from the target machine,” the findings showed.

“The use of leaked third-party source code and its customization in new advanced malware once again raises another reminder of the importance of data security,” said Igor Kuznetsov, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky’s GReAT.

“Once software is leaked, be it a bootkit, malware or something else, threat actors gain a significant advantage,” he added.


Australia’s media code will set a dangerous precedent: Google

(IANS) Google on Sunday criticized Australia’s draft News Media Negotiation Code again, saying it is not feasible and that the company has raised concerns about its unfair payment terms and unclear definitions and obligations.

Emphasizing that the draft code would set a dangerous precedent as a similar regime of forced and unilateral negotiation could be imposed on other industries, impacting other companies, Google said the code is not viable for the company in its current form.

Google recently announced a $ 1 billion global investment to license content for a new product, News Showcase, which will launch first in Germany and Brazil.

“We signed several deals with Australian publishers for this product in June and we were hoping to launch it here soon. We have had to put these plans on hiatus for now as we don’t yet know if a product like News Showcase would be viable with code, “said Mel Silva, vice president of Google Australia and New Zealand.

“The agreements we have signed in Australia and around the world show that we are not only willing to pay to license news content for a new product, but that we can reach agreements with publishers without the onerous and prescriptive framework of code negotiation. preliminary and unilateral arbitration model ”.

According to the Australian government, the draft code would allow media companies to negotiate individually or collectively with Google and Facebook over payment for the inclusion of news on their services.

However, Google said the highly unusual, largely untested, unilateral arbitration system in the proposed law will not allow for fair negotiations and no company can operate with that level of uncertainty.

The draft code proposes, in effect, a “must include, must pay” system, something that is extreme and unprecedented.

Basically, it forces Google to provide a benefit to Australian news companies and to pay them to receive that benefit.

A “mandatory” regimen is rare, the company said.

“And when this type of system is used, the parties have the right to be included, but not to be included for free, much less to be able to demand that payments be included,” argued Google.

“What is particularly worrying is that it is not just about uneven bargaining. We would be forced to participate in these one-sided negotiations with all Australian registered news companies making more than $ 150,000 a year. “

Google said it could face extreme, non-commercial payment claims, which is not financially sustainable for any company.

“The code is extremely broad and lacks vital definitions. This makes it difficult to know how to comply with its multiple provisions and carries potentially huge financial penalties. “

Google could be fined up to 10 percent of its Australian revenue for a single violation.

“No company in Australia should have to manage the enormous risk that comes with such severe penalties for such uncertain provisions,” the tech giant said.

In fact, Google said, no other code in Australia carries such large penalties. Penalties for violations of other codes that carry penalties (and many of them do not) have a maximum of $ 66,000.

On April 20, the Australian government announced that it had directed the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) to develop a mandatory code of conduct to address imbalances in bargaining power between Australian media companies and Google and Facebook.

Google said it has proposed changes to the ACCC and the government, and that it “continues to engage with them in a constructive way so that we can come up with a fair code for all.”