What cyber criminals are up to this World Cup

As cricket crazy fans wait for their favourite sporting event – the cricket World Cup 2011 – cybercriminals are preparing their wicket to make money off innocent Indians. Cyber criminals are customizing their tricks with cricket-related offers to lure victims into parting with their money and personal information, a report from Symantec states.
With cricket stadiums around the subcontinent running full and tickets for most matches selling like hot cakes, many fans are looking for other alternatives to experience the matches live and this fact is being taken advantage of by the cyber criminals.

One scam detected involves a message inviting users to attend the final game of the World Cup 2011 in Mumbai. The invite offers multiple executive club facilities like a private table, a gourmet champagne brunch, and many more, for 10 guests. This may sound like an attractive deal; however, it is simply bait for cricket fans keen experience the thrill of the World Cup Final.

Below are some examples of the spam messages:

Subject: 2011 Cricket World Cup Final

Subject: Experience Cricket World Cup Final

In the past, it has been observed that spam and phishing attacks targeting cricket events such as the Indian Premier League and T20 World Cup. The countdown to the biggest cricketing spectacle has begun and it is expected that more sophisticated spam and phishing attacks related to the World Cup will be witnessed. It’s possible that during the course of the tournament, spam attacks will contain attachments that intend to distribute malware using fake video files purportedly showing highlights of the games.

Although World Cup tickets are in high demand, the supply should always be from a legitimate source. Users are advised to refrain from clicking on such mails and opening attachments unless they are from authorized or official sources. The offers like these entice users to join the 2011 World Cup games where Spammer is the only winner.

It has been further observed that phishing attacks offering tickets to the World Cup as early as July 2010. One phishing site spoofed a legitimate social networking site, claiming that entering login details would give users a chance to obtain free tickets. In the run-up to the actual event, expect cybercriminals to employ sneakier and more deceitful methods to steal your money, your identity and reputation – from phony emails and fraudulent websites to malicious email attachments and online ads.

Guidelines against cyber crime

Don’t respond to emails that offers you attractive and free deals, unless you are confident that the offer is from an authentic source and well-known brand

Never respond to emails that announce prizes you supposedly won in sweepstakes and other competitions you never participated in

Never give out your personal information and bank account credentials in response to any mail

Don’t open suspicious emails or attachments

Use an up-to-date security solution, legitimate and paid security solution such as Norton Internet Security 2011, which contains the latest reputation technology

Do not click on suspicious links in email messages.

Type the domain name of your brand’s website directly into your browser’s address bar rather than following any link.


Yeddi survives another day

In a major relief to the B S Yeddyurappa government, a three judge Bench of the Karnataka High Court on Monday upheld the order of the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly who had suspended five independent MLAs.
Justices Abdul Nasir, Mohan Shanthan Goudar and A S Bopanna in a unanimous verdict held that the order of the Speaker is right and not malafide. Further the Bench also held that the speaker was within his right to suspend the MLAs and added that his actions are nopt violative of the constitution.
Five independent MLAs who were part of the BJP government had broken away from the government. The speaker suspended these MLAs and barred from voting during the trust vote.
The independents stated that they were part of the government and not the party and hence suspending them for anti party actiovities does not arise.
The speaker however said that they had plledged support to the party obeyed the whips issued in the past and also took part in legislature party meetings. Hence he had the right to suspend them.
The matter pertaining to the 5 independent MLAs went before a three judge bench of the Karnataka High Court and the bench had reserved orders on the matter when it came up for final hearing last week.
There is another petition pertaining to the rebel BJP MLAs numbering 11 which has been reserved for orders by the Supreme Court of India.
In the matter of the 11 BJP MLAs a division bench of the High Court gave divergent views.Chief Justice, Kehar Singh upheld the order of the speaker, but Justice N Kumar gave a divergent view of the same. The matter then went up to a third judge who also upheld the order of the Speaker which meant that they remained suspended from the House.

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Jail and no bail for Madani

The Karnataka High Court on Friday rejected the bail petition of PDP leader Abdul Nasar Madani, an accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts case. Justice Jaganath whilw rejecting the plea observed that granting him bail would put the security of the state and the nation at risk.
The court however said that the jail authorities should ensure that his health should be well taken care of and all medical facilities provided.
Justice V Jagannathan also observed that granting bail to Madani would be putting the security of the state and the nation in jeopardy.
The material on record shows that Madani was in constant touch with the other accused before and after the blasts and also harboured some of them by giving them shelter in his orphanage in Kerala.
The court further said there is seldom ever that direct evidence is there in such cases. Conspiracy by very nature is hatched in complete secrecy otherwise the whole purpose will be frustrated.
It cannot be disputed that the blasts took place in Bangalore and were followed by similar blasts in the country including Delhi and Ahmedabad. Actions speak louder than thoughts. It is not possible for anyone to penetrate into the mind of others to see what thoughts are going on,” the court also observed.
In cases involving the security of the state and the nation bail is generally refused.
The state government had filed a 204 page objection on Wednesday opposoing Madanis bail, the lenghtiest in the history of the Karnataka High Court.

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Yeddi’s battle for survival restarts on Monday

The political crisis in Karnataka does not seem to end and come Monday it will be back to the boil yet again. A three judge bench of the Karnataka High Court comprising Justices Abdul Nasir, Mohan Shanthan Goudar and A S Bopanna will deliver or pronounce its verdict regarding the 5 suspended MLAs at 4 PM on Monday and all eyes are on that verdict.

When 16 MLAs, 11 of who were from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had rebelled against the party, the speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly had suspended them. This had reduced the strength of the 224 member Karnataka Legislative Assembly and the magic number for the government to survive was 106 which included the vote of the speaker.

This resulted in a lot of drama and there were two back to back trust votes and B S Yeddyurappa managed to win both of them. However the suspended MLAs decided to challenge the verdict before the court. The matter pertaining to the 11 BJP MLAs resulted in a lot of drama with a division bench of the High Court giving divergent views. The Chief Justice, Kehar upheld the order of the speaker, but Justice N Kumar gave a divergent view of the same. The matter then went up to a third judge who also upheld the order of the Speaker which meant that they remained suspended from the House. This matter is now being heard in the Supreme Court of India.

Meanwhile the matter pertaining to the 5 independent MLAs went before a three judge bench of the Karnataka High Court and the bench had reserved orders on the matter when it came up for final hearing last week.

Following this verdict there is expected to be plenty of drama in the political circles. The Yeddyurappa camp have a bag of tricks up their sleeve in case the order goes against them. If the court were to rule against the order of the speaker then the number in the house will go up to 213 which means the BJP will need 107 MLAs on its side to survive. In reality the BJP has 105 MLAs on its side and the one vote of the speaker will come into the picture only in case of a tie. This would mean that the BJP will need the support of two more MLAs in order to save its government. The BJP will bank heavily on the vote of Varthur Prakash an indepdent MLA who had voted in their favour during the last trust vote. They would be hoping that he would do the same for them this time too.

However the biggest ace up the sleeve of the BJP is an order regarding 8 MLAs which has been kept in abeyance. The Speaker had issued notices to 8 MLAs on account of unruly behaviour and the order has been kept in abeyance. As per the law the speaker can suspend these MLAs for a period of one year on account of disrupting proceedings which means they will not be able to participate in the proceedings. The BJP is likely to exercise this option in case the going gets tough for them.

A S Ponnanna, counsel for the 5 independent MLAs says that their contention before the court was that they were never part of the party but were only part of the government. We never lost our independent status and hence the speaker is wrong when he issued the order of suspension on account of defecting from the BJP. We are hopeful that this order will go in our favour, but it will not be right to sit in judgment now.

On the other hand Vivek Reddy representing the speaker and the BJP says, “ I think we have a winning case and we hope that the court will do justice in the matter. Our argument was always that the 5 independents had become part of party since they took part in the legislature meetings and had also accepted the party whops and voted in accordance with the whips several times. The real purpose of defection is to ensure that the people’s mandate is not defeated.

While all eyes are on the verdict of the High Court on Monday, there is also a lot of interest that the special court hearing the case of the land scam has generated. BJP insiders point out that a lot would depend on the verdict of this case. The arguments at the moment are pertaining to the admissibility of the case and there is a good chance that if the matter is admitted B S Yeddyurappa may dissolve the house following the budget session on February 24th.

In this case two petitions had been filed by two lawyers before the Governor of Karnataka, H R Bharadwaj who in turn accorded sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister in connection with a land scam.

Aarushi Talwar case, back to square one

The mystery surrounding the Aarushi Talwar case continues to haunt the Central Bureau of Investigation and today when one looks at it, it has come a full circle and is back to where the Noida police left it off.

The case commenced with the Noida police blaming the parents for the murder and when one looks at yesterdays court verdict it is again back to square one. There were various scientific tests conducted in this case and each one had a different version to give out.

However CBI officers investigating the case say that the biggest draw back was the missing weapon which till date has not been recovered. The investigators also claim that there were various versions to this case and hence they were unable to come to any conclusion.

Now with the court ordering that the parents of Aarushi be made accused in this case, the legal battle is sure going to be a long drawn one. The legal team of the Talwars say that they will surely challenge this order and also fight out the case. They further add that they cannot reveal much on this at the moment and still studying the order.

However the CBI which had initially said that there was no evidence against the Talwars have their battle cut out.

The first point of contention is the recovery of the weapon. Explains senior advocate, C V Nagesh who specializes in matters of crime, “ the non recovery of a weapon is not fatal to the case. In such an event one always has to rely upon circumstantial evidence. The prosecution and the investigating agency will now need to form a chain and the weapon is part of this. Now that the weapon has not been found it may have broken this chain but that is not sufficient to give anyone a clean chit.

The motive is something that needs to be proven. The prosecution will first have to explain to the court as to who had the motive. The next line of argument would be that the bodies were found inside the house and the second thing is that the blood stains were wiped out from the scene of the crime. The CBI will argue that no other person had access to the house since it was locked from inside and only the occupants were inside the house. At this point the accused will have to explain their stand and convince the court that the crime and the events leading up to it had taken place in their absence. The CBI will then have to put forth before the court that the events leading were within the exclusive knowledge of the accused persons who were present inside the house.

The CBI will need to build up this chain leading up to the event and then rely on the circumstantial evidence in order to unerringly prove the guilt of the accused persons.

Many a time the CBI has also towed the line of the Noida police in this case. There are many things mentioned by the CBI which point towards the parents which will now have to be argued before the court. At one point of time it was argued that there could have been a possible angle of rape in this case and the private parts and the vaginal swabs of the deceased persons had gone missing. The evidence was wiped out in order to save the family’s honour, the investigators had also claimed. The CBI claimed that the doubt was always towards the members of the family but they were finding it difficult to prove the motive behind this.

Confusion- While both the accused and the CBI gears up to face the court in this case, it may be pertinent to note the amount of confusion there is in this case. Before the court there are the confessional statements of the Talwars, Rajkumar and Shambu. Each one has had something diagonally opposite to say

The first of the scientific tests and the confessions was conducted on Rajkumar who was a domestic help at the the residence of Anita Durani, a family friend of the Talwars. In his confession he states the murder was due to revenge. He states that Krishna a compounder at Dr Talwar’s clinic was humiliated and hence he decided to take revenge by killing the doctor’s daughter.

I was invited by Krishna who stayed at a quarters in the Talwar household. We were drinking together and there was another person by the name Shambu. Krishna told us he was insulted by Talwar. Following that Shambu and Krishna went up to Aarushi’s room and killed her. Hemraj a domestic help at the Talwar house had witnessed this and hence they killed him too.

The next is the confessional statement of Shambu who also goes on to repeat what Krishna had said during the test.

Krishna in another version says that once Rajkumar reached Aarushi’s room he tried to force herself on her. She resisted and in the melee Krishna drew out a dagger and killed her. Hemraj witnessed this and they dragged him to the terrace and killed him.

During this Nupur Talwar was subject to a lie detector test in which she said that her husband had nothing to do with the killing. She was God’s gift to us and we didn’t or would even think of killing her.

Although in all these confessions, there is talk about a weapon, the fact is that till date the investigators have not been able to ascertain that it was the same weapon that was used in the murder. Krishna had even confessed that he had hidden the weapon near the scene of the crime, but the CBI was never able to find it. However a couple of months after the confession they did manage to find the weapon, but the forensics have not yet been able to ascertain that it was the same weapon used to murder Aarushi and Hemraj.

What after Pakistan’s refusal?

It was a big blow for the National Investigating Agency when Pakistan refused to grant access to the agency in order to probe the masterminds in the 26/11 attack. For the NIA which has been on the trail of the famous David Headley case probing some of the masterminds of the 26/11 attack was extremely crucial.

Sources say that the Headley probe has come to kind of a stand still. There is a delay in the Tawahur Rana angle to the case since there is still a cloud on whether he would make a confessional statement or not. In order to join the dots in the Headley case it was very crucial for the NIA to get hold of Rana since he is said to be Headley’s partner in crime during the 26/11 operation.

NIA sources say during the interrogation of Headley there was hardly any information that slipped out regarding Rana and hence it became very important to wait for Rana’s interrogation as well.

The NIA says that the Headley case still seems to be a bit of a jig saw puzzle and hence it was very important that they got independent access to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Sayeed these two men had all the answers since they were part of the entire operation from the planning stages itself.

While investigating the case of David Headley, the NIA has so far found material relating to the man himself and also his operations in India. However in order to join the missing links the most important of them being the local angle, they needed to get access to the top brass of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

While the missing dots relating to the local angle of the David Headley operation is bound to come out sooner or later once the trial of Rana commences, the more important thing is the future plans of the Lashkar. Headley while in India could have interacted with members of the local modules and till date the investigators have not managed to track that down. In addition to this he has done some extensive surveys of various other targets in Delhi and other cities which are very much in the possession of the Lashkar and could be used for further attacks. Interrogating the top brass of the Lashkar may not have given the NIA all the answers but would have at least given them a better direction in their on going investigation.

In addition to this the NIA was also looking to get some clarity regarding the mystery man Sajid Mir who has started to surface a lot these days. He was the man who kept speaking with the ten terrorists at the time of the attack. He has slowly started to emerge as a global jihadi and India needs more information on him since he can be very dangerous for India.

The only way to get more information on Mir was again through the top brass of the Lashkar. There are lots of ifs and buts regarding Mir, the NIA says and Pakistan has contininously denied the existence of this man.

Now with the Pakistan government saying a flat no to any form of investigation by the NIA or any other Indian agency, India will have find its way out without any dependency. All eyes would be on the Rana trial and also a request will be made sooner or later to interrogate him. Apart from that they will need to pick up the pieces they already have with them and prepare a strong case which will help safe guard India’s security.

Madani vs The State of Karnataka

Abdul Nasar Madani. Photo courtesy: oonly.com
Abdul Nasar Madani has a tough task ahead when he knocks on the doors of the Karnataka High Court where he has sought bail. Madani who was arrested in a very controversial manner from Kerala for his alleged role in the Bangalore serial blasts has put up various points in his bail application terming his arrest as illegal and more importantly based on the confessions of the other accused.

The state of Karnataka has filed detailed objections in this case running into over 200 pages in which it opposes the bail plea.

The state of Karnataka starts off by saying that outfits such as the Students Islamic Movement of India which have been banned continue to operate in full swing. The entire band wagon is on a mission to Islamise India and all persons involved in the Bangalore serial blasts including Madani were part of this operation.

Further the state goes on to say that Madani has links with T Naseer the prime accused in the Bangalore serial blasts. Terming their association as a deadly one, the government states that it was Madani’s speeches that inspired Nasir to take this path. In addition to this the state also says that Madani had at times had knowledge of the facts of the case and in addition to this he even sheltered Nasir. The objections also list out the number 9349955085, 9349955082 and 9426838833 as the number used by Madani to keep in touch with Nasir.

In his bail plea, Madani goes on to counter the argument of the Bangalore police regarding his visit to a place called Madapur where the conspiracy was also hatched. Madani has argued that he has been provided security by the State of Kerala due to his political status. When this is the case there should have been a diary noting of his visit to Madapur and this was not there. However the Bangalore police argue that he had only given an outline of his tour programme but had never furnished his day to day programmes. They also quote the Kerala police saying he had not furnished details of his day to day programme. A diary to this effect had not been maintained and this is a fact which has been confirmed by his own security personnel.

Madani is known to flout rules and the Bangalore police quote an episode in which he had gone missing from Calicut for nearly 4 hours without informing his security ring.

The police say that Madani has had a very big role to play in the Bangalore serial blasts. He has had a history in the past and was also an accused in the Coimbatore blasts. He has not only abetted the Bangalore blasts but has been part of the conspiracy and has also instigated the accused apart from harbouring them. More importantly despite knowing all this he maintained silence in this case.

The Bangalore police also go on to state that the nexus between Madani and the rest of the accused in the blasts case was very strong. The other accused have stated that they were in the know of Madani and have also outlined his role in this case. Moreover there have been several documents that have been seized that these men were planning on destruction using jihad as an excuse. The police say that they have seized stickers from these people which states, “ Ayodhya to Jeruselum, Jihad will go on.”

The police say that in addition to the other accused in the case, Jamal Muhhamad, the brother of Madani too has told them that his brother harbored the rest of the accused. All this is an indication that he had a serious role to play in the blasts.

The police say that if he is released then he will abcond and will use his money and muscle power to get out of this case. The police say that this arrest was not carried out for the heck of it and they did so only after proper investigation. We have phone records to show his links and the arrest was made only after the collection of proper evidence.
This submission was made before the Karnataka High Court which will now take up the matter on Thursday.

Yeddi has Rs 4071782 in cash

B S Yeddyurappa- Pic- The Hindu
Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa who has been accused of scams worth over a few 1000 crores has cash to the tune of Rs 4071782. This is as per the assets and liabilities declared by him on Sunday at Bangalore.
The Chief Minister who has been criticized several times for various scams had said two days back that he would be declaring his assets and liabilities in public so that it puts an end to all the speculation regarding him. He has also handed out a copy to the Bharatiya Janata Party high command.
In his assets and declaration the Chief Minister also says that he has one Contessa car and a Scorpio. Apart from this he has 2.5 kilograms of gold. He also goes on to list the number of houses he has, the land owned by him and also the shares he has in some companies.
In his declaration he says that he has two houses at Shikaripura which is his home town and constituency. Apart from this he also owns a House at the RMV II stage in Bangalore.
He says that he has agricultural land in Channahalli among other places. He says that he has 4.16 acres of agriculture land in Channahalli, 5.02 acres in Tirumalapaura and 9.12 acres of agriculture land in Shiralikoppal
In addition to this he has also declared that he has one Contessa car and a Scorpio. The gold which he has is around 2.5 kilograms, the CM further declared.
Yeddyurappa further states that he has 100 shares in a company known as Softech, 70 shares in a company named Kethan and 50 shares at Zeenat Infotech. In addition to this he has household things worth Rs 10 lakh and an LIC policy worth Rs 1.7 lakh.
The details of his bank holding are as follows:

Apex Bank Vidhan Soudha branch, Bangalore- Rs 17.92 lakh
Corporation Bank, Sadashiva Nagar- Rs 5.24 lakh
Karnataka Bank, Shiralikoppal Branch- Rs 7.31 lakh
Shiva Cooperative Bank, Shiralikoppal Branch- Rs 1,782
Urban Bank– Rs 46,000
State Bank of Mysore, Shimoga- Rs 7.58 lakh
Canara Bank, Shiralikoppal, Rs 2.19 lakh
Vijaya Bank- Rs 0
Yeddyurappa had hoped that once he declared these assets in public, he would be able to clear out his name. He is already facing various charges of corruption. There is a Lokayukta probe into the various lands that were allegedly denotified by him. Apart from this there is an independent commission of inquiry probing several charges. Very recently the Governor of Karnataka too had granted sanction to prosecute Yeddyurappa in connection with the above mentioned cases. That case is now being heard by a special court in Bangalore.
The opposition has however not taken too lightly the declaration of assets and liabilities of Yeddyurappa. H D Kumaraswamy, former Chief Minister of Karnataka and JD(S) leader said that there is nothing new in it and he fails to understand why such an issue is being made out of this. He says that it is mandatory for every MLA to declare his assets and liabilities. He however added that he would be more interested in knowing about the denotification of lands in favour of his sons and also on how Yeddyurappa managed to procure all that he has just declared.

Mir to Rehan-Lashkar is as dangerous as ever

While Sajid Mir, the chief handler of the 26/11 attack continues to pose a big security risk, India has started to raise concerns about Rashid Abdullah who has now shifted base to Bangladesh and will be planning a series of attacks on Indian soil.

The Prime Minister of India and Home Minister had recently expressed concern that newer terror groups will be looking to launch attacks on Indian soil and these statements were made based on specific intelligence inputs in the wake of the Varanasi blasts.

There has been an interesting change in pattern in the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which dominates the threat perception for India. With the likes of Hafiz Saeed facing the heat like never before, Sajid Mir whose true identity the ISI has managed to keep under wraps till date will focus more on the operations in India. While Mir will have over all control on operations in India, he will also look into the role this outfit will need to play in the West considering his expertise.

Indian intelligence agencies say that the key person for localized groups staging attacks on Indian soil will however be a man by the name Rashid Abdullah who also go by the alias Rehan.

The latest inputs on Rehan go on to suggest that he has shifted base into Bangladesh and will be putting together an important module with local Indians so that more home grown attacks can be launched.

The Indian Mujahideen which was the Lashkar’s most effective Indian based module has been in disarray for quite some time thanks to large scale arrests and also the rumour surrounding the death of its founder, Riyaz Bhatkal. Most of its operatives who are still on the lose are either in Pakistan or in the Gulf. The job now handed over to Rehan will be to get together these operatives and form newer groups which are home grown. The IB says that it is extremely crucial for the ISI to have home grown terrorist organizations for obvious reasons.

The 35 year old Rehan according to the Intelligence dossier is a very senior commander of the Lashkar. Hailing originally from Faislabad, Rehan has many India based operations to his credit which include the Bangalore serial blasts, the 2006 train bombings among others. However his most important operation was the 26/11 attack in which he played a vital role during the training of the ten terrorists which took place in Muzafarabad. He has been put very high on the wanted list and also forms part of the Indian dossier to Pakistan.

He always operated out of Pakistan and Nepal but now has shifted to Bangladesh from where he is planning on his new venture. With this move the IB has put him very high on the radar since he will not stick to one place and is expected to operate out of the United Arab Emirates since many of the Indian Mujahideen operatives are holed up in that country.

Sources say that these developments are a pointer to the fact that the Karachi Project is very much on. The Karachi Project which was also mentioned by David Headley during his confession is a very large operation in which the Lashkar along with the Al-Qaeda plans on coming together and carrying out mass attacks on Indian soil. The plan which was the brain child of the ISI involves the likes of Ilyas Kashmiri, Sajid Mir and also Rehan. Not only is the Lashkar planning on using its Pakistan based force to carry out attacks, but will also send in a home grown outfit to strike terror on Indian soil. Indian agencies are also worried that there is a lot of material prepared by David Headley which is in the possession of the Lashkar which could be used by the newer groups for the Karachi Project.

Jazz up the IPhone