Phishing fraud in India on Increase !??!!.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

There has been spate of phishing email received in my inbox, in the recent past.

With high rate of internet proliferation and online bank usage, these phishing email are also on increase, Gartner had reported about 3.6 billion USD lost in a year due to phishing. Considering this, I am wondering how knowledgeable is the Indian public is dealing with phishing email and how efficient are our cyber laws dealing with such frauds.

In the last two months, I had received phishing emails appearing to have been sent from ICICI Bank, UTI Bank, Punjab National Bank, asking me to validate my bank account for some reasons or the other, which might look very genuine. Interestingly, even the From: address of the email is almost similar to Bank address and any one can get easily deceived by mistaking it to be an authenticated address.

Take a look at phishing email for ICICI:

The from address is stated to have been sent from domain. I still do not understand how easy it is to affix a particular registered domain address in the outgoing emails.

Take a look at the UTI phishing email:

There is a link asking you to click for your account verfication, the visible email link will be a some bank address to deceive you, but the page take you to different page which fraudster has programmed to 'phish' his victim. If you look at the webaddress of these link (indicated by Red circle-just above the tool bar), its not the actual bank link, its fraudster own link, it take one to the bank look like log in page. If a users enters his actual user id and password, fraudster would have the actual user id and password (Phished). Once fraudster has the user id and password he can use it for transacting out the victim money to a different bank account.

Though Bank have been educating the user about Phishing, stating that they never ask for users access details, but not sure how much it reached the public. Further, if user access has been phished and money siphoned off, I do not have much clue on the course of action to be taken by the victim?. Also, how strong are the cyber laws in India and for any investigation to happen the investigation agencies has to tech savvy to understand the technicalities behind the fraud.

Lastly, if you feel that, this article has some value in preventing the phishing, I would suggest forwarding the article link to your friends.

I welcome reader's thoughts on this.

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Illusions of life

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I happen to read a short article, which briefly describes the materialistic world we are living in,

A group of educated people, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor.

Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to hot coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
""If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and were eyeing each other's cups.

Now if life is coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn't change. Some times, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it.""

Don't let the cups drive you... Enjoy the coffee ..... ......... .. I mean Life.

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Game called 'Globalization' - Part 1

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The other day, I watching a Business TV program with group of elite people and one of the comments was that, "though people feared about globalization right from start in 90's it has done more good to India and we continue to grow in the GDP". I am trying to find answer for this, Is it true that globalization brought more benefit to India ? was it true the transition to globalization smooth with any pain ?.

My thoughts went back to 80's & 90's, hmm... brings back the nostalgic memories of those days...

As a school going kid I still remember slogan in back of the city buses or in public transport vehicles, which were normally, "BE INDIAN, BUY INDIAN" , well it looks like this slogan was the first victim of globalization in late 80' or early 90's. I don't remember seeing this slogan in from early 90's onward.

I tried to recollect the consumer brand in the Indian house hold in 80's and 90's, I could remember following brands .

Car - Ambassador, Primier Padmini.
Two wheelers - Bajaj, Lambretta, Jawa, Enfield.
Fridge - Allwyn, Kelvinator.
TV - Solidaire, BPL, Dynora, Onida, Videocon(still present).
Soft drinks - Gold spot, Limca (still present).
Phone - ITI.

It looked like, we were truly standing by the slogan of those days "BE INDIAN, BUY INDIAN", as they were mainly Indian promoted companies, so what happened to those companies which manufactured these products in the last one or two decade?

I do understand those days Indian economy was a closed economy the import tariff was very huge and hence the Indian consumer had to contend with what was offered by the manufacturers. Since my father was into business, I still remember the difficulties he used to face if he had to start an industry/business or if he had to import any component from abroad.

Globalization were unheard till early 90's, India was more contended with what it produced. So when did the game of globalization start?.

Well, will continue it in my next edition :-)...

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We are not Greece OR US.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

There seems to be no respite from Economic woes the world is facing these days.

US economic downturn was followed by Bankruptcy filling by quite a few corporates then came Dubai international corporate crisis and now Greece seems to have got into the economic mess. Its pointed out huge Budget deficit and maturity payment of Government bonds seems to be the main issue.

Can a similar situation happen to Indian Economy?. As there are lot of similarities between India and Greece has higher budget deficit (approx 7% of GDP), external debt, large scale tax evasion so the common question will be whether India would got into a similar situation. Most likely not,

Greece is part of European union and hence it does not have its currency and has only Euro, so naturally, it will not be in position to devalue its currency on its own will. The European Union and IMF and in the process of bailing out Greece with funding arrangement, but not without imposing certain conditions.

As Greece situation is similar to other European countries like Spain, France, Ireland or Portugal can the European Union depreciate the Euro? It may be a solution to depreciate Euro, but Euro is considered as reserve currency and however far behind USD as reserve currency and so if it tries to depreciate it might even lead to a collapse, if the Government holding Euro tries to en cash it to a different currency.

Similarly, for US though it has its own currency, it difficult for it to think about depreciating its value in cause of a crisis, this is due to the fact 70% of the reserve currency is in form of USD. Hence, a slightest indication might result in problem for USD exchange rate.

Considering all, the options looks to be limited, Greece and European countries has work towards not only bringing down its Fiscal deficit but also look at the ways to improve its balance of trade in the future. This mean Greece has to cut government expenditure including imposing additional taxation.

The same situation may not arise for India , as India has it own currency, it can devalue as needed, on top of it INR is never considered as Reserve currently. Hence, India can print money and devalue on its own. More importantly more than just export, India remittance by expatriate is a quite significant amount compared to any other country with only China being better. Hmmm.... benefit of brain drain !!!?!....

Having a stronger currency has its own peril...these days weaker currency seems to suit the world better this has been the case of India, China and other developing countries.

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Project Management tool - A Review

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I came across an opportunity to review a project management tool from
Project management has evolved over the years, these days a good project management tool would play a vital role in success of the project. I particularly feel, these tool should be easy to use and further project management tool should not be make the project manager to unlearn what he has learnt and re-learn a new tool. Most of the project managers are comfortable with Microsoft products like project & office, hence to be successful, PM tools should offer easy integration to MS products.

Now coming to this product, this software is offered as SaaS( Software as a service), Gartner has predicted 9% of total software sales would be SaaS by 2012, hence the product should be scalable in terms of nil installation requirement and effective global support.

Any software tool, require some kind of hand holding or a training and hence when I wanted to try it out, I was looking for a manual to assist me. However, I went ahead with registration process (free for 30 days!). Finally when I logged in, my experience was different.

The most impressive part was the task scheduling and more importantly its compatible with MS projects. If you are having your plan in MS projects then you can very easily import into the website and same is the case of export.

Project managers always faces challenges in showing the MS project plan to team member for any discussion, particularly when team members are distributed across multiple locations and normally the project members would not have MS projects license. With you can effective overcome the same and more interestingly the looks and feel of task scheduling is almost similar to MS project, so as a project manager one would not miss out MS projects comfort. Project team member can log on into the site and look out for task scheduling and the task assigned to them.

The project related parameters are placed in a easily understandable GUI form as menu on the top. If a Project manager has the choice and if effectively used, this tool can be used as single source of truth for all Project manager needs. On top of it, project dashboard feature adds value to the product.

I felt some improvement on the product would make it top class and I understand from their product support team, that they are on their way towards adding some of the features.

Altogether the product looked promising to me!

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One page proposal

I came across this clipping today in the web, looks interesting might be applicable in day to day business.

I feel, its particular important when you are making the first short meeting with your customer so sell your thoughts (whether its product, project, job prospects)

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Is India inching towards hyperinflation.??*!!?....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I was just browsing the web today, got across an article which was mentioning about inflation of 14 to 15% in Jan 2010.

Couple of years before, there use to be regular report in the newspaper of inflation week on week basis and inflation were in range of 5~8%. Somehow, this is not being reported these days.

Last two years, inflation has been on the raise again, commodities and real estate have been on raise again, but clearly getting away from the reach of normal decent earning of a person.

The main cause of these inflation is a massive and rapid increase in the amount of money that is not supported by a corresponding growth in the output of goods and services. This could result in an imbalance between the supply and demand for the money (including currency and bank deposits), accompanied by a complete loss of confidence in the money. The inflation can be considered as a hyperinflation once the inflation gets beyond 20%.

I believe such inflation could also cause, hoarding of commodities as people hoarding commodities get higher return in a shorter time without any additional effort, disparity in distribution of wealth across the general public, with rich becoming more rich and poor becoming more poor.

India has claimed to have been least affected by recession, however the side effects pumping more money into the system to overcome the recession seems to have triggered inflation, so unless Indian government brings in better control mechanism, we might be having challenges in the near future.

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The future of mobile computing....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Without any doubt India have been the leaders in IT services segment, but there has always been a dearth of IT product development. Though there may be some on OEM or high end technology product, there have not been much from India in FMCITP sector- Fast moving consumer IT product.... just like FMCG :-).

Notion Ink's Tablet Adam device seems to be the answer. The company is founded by group of young IIT-ian ( Bravo !!! no brain drain) and based out in Hyberabad, India. To me this seems to be a device for future mobile computing, Will it compete with iPads?.

The feature of using the device in a normal outside environment light looks good. This device seems to be endorsing my view on my earlier post on "the future of publishing" posted few weeks before.

Found this posting on youtube about Adam tablet

Is iPads or Adam's tablet device set to become innovation of this decade?!!.. just like mobile & internet of the last decade?

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