Personal data of smartphone users at risk via huge stalkerware leak

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New Delhi, Oct 20 | A smartphone spyware has put personal data of hundreds of thousands of users at risk, like call records/recordings, text messages, photos, browsing history and precise geolocations, the media reported.

The personal data can be pulled from a person’s phone because of a security issue in widely used consumer-grade stalkerware or spyware, reports TechCrunch.

“We can’t name the spyware or its developer since it would make it easier for bad actors to access the insecure data,” the report said on Tuesday.

It said that efforts were on to contact the spyware developer because the security and privacy of thousands of people are at risk until the issue is fixed.

Stalkerware apps are generally disguised under a fake app name with suspicious access to messages, call logs, location and other personal activity.

Once downloaded, these apps were repurposed by people to spy on the smartphones of their spouses.

The spyware security issue was discovered as part of a wider investigation into consumer-grade spyware.

Codero, the web firm that provides hosting for the developer’s spyware infrastructure, was contacted but it did not respond, the report mentioned.

Earlier this month, Google said that it has purged several “stalkerware” ads from its Play Store, promoting apps that violated its policies.

“We do not allow ads promoting spyware for partner surveillance. We immediately removed the ads that violated our policy and will continue to track emerging behaviours to prevent bad actors from trying to evade our detection systems,” a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Several stalkerware apps used a variety of techniques to successfully evade Google’s ban on such apps.

Google in October last year updated its Play Store policies to impose a ban on stalkerware apps.

“In short, it’s spyware beloved by creeps, jealous ex-partners, and those who have no qualms about invading someone’s privacy in the hope of tracking what they’re up to and with whom,” security writer Graham Cluley had said in a blog post.

A recent report by cyber security firm Kaspersky claimed that as some people try to digitally control the lives of their intimate partners, nearly 4,627 mobile users in India were found to be the victim of stalkerware.

In 2020, a total of 53,870 mobile users were affected globally by stalkerware. In 2019, Kaspersky discovered 67,500 affected mobile users.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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