Pope Francis arrives in Bangladesh; to meet Rohingya refugees

Pope Francis arrives at the airport in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on November 30, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 01 December 2017

Pope Francis arrives in Bangladesh; to meet Rohingya refugees

DHAKA: Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid received Pope Francis on Thursday following the latter’s visit to Myanmar.

“Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh gave rise to great expectations from the international community, especially among the forcibly displaced people from Myanmar who came to Bangladesh and identify themselves as Rohingya,” said Anup Kumar Chakma, a former Bangladeshi ambassador to Myanmar.

But the pope’s visit to Dhaka is clouded by the fact that during his visit to Myanmar, he did not refer to the ongoing Rohingya crisis, use the term “Rohingya” or condemn operations carried out against the community in Rakhine state that led to their mass exodus into Bangladesh.

“It reflects how effectively Myanmar has been dealing with this issue diplomatically,” said Chakma.

The pope’s visit to Bangladesh is significant in that it may give momentum to the implementation of a repatriation accord recently signed by Bangladesh and Myanmar.

“This visit will draw more international attention and maintain pressure on the Myanmar government to ensure the sustainable repatriation of refugees,” said Dr. Delwar Hossain, a professor of international relations at Dhaka University.

The pope is scheduled to meet a group of Rohingya on Friday in Dhaka. “It has indirect value and impact on world leaders,” said Hossain.

But former Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Shomsher Mobin Chowdhury told Arab News: “I don’t think Pope Francis will play any diplomatic role in devising a solution to the Rohingya crisis. We’ve signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding with Myanmar, and we should concentrate on moving forward with this diplomatic approach.”

The pope concluded his first of three days in Bangladesh at a dinner hosted by the president, where he met politicians, diplomats and civil society leaders.

FBI warns Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of routers

Updated 25 May 2018

FBI warns Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of routers

WASHINGTON: The FBI warned on Friday that Russian computer hackers had compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and could collect user information or shut down network traffic.
The US law enforcement agency urged the owners of many brands of routers to turn them off and on again and download updates from the manufacturer to protect themselves.
The warning followed a court order Wednesday that allowed the FBI to seize a website that the hackers planned to use to give instructions to the routers. Though that cut off malicious communications, it still left the routers infected, and Friday’s warning was aimed at cleaning up those machines.
Infections were detected in more than 50 countries, though the primary target for further actions was probably Ukraine, the site of many recent infections and a longtime cyberwarfare battleground.
In obtaining the court order, the Justice Department said the hackers involved were in a group called Sofacy that answered to the Russian government.
Sofacy, also known as APT28 and Fancy Bear, has been blamed for many of the most dramatic Russian hacks, including that of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US presidential campaign.
Earlier, Cisco Systems Inc. said the hacking campaign targeted devices from Belkin International’s Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear Inc, TP-Link and QNAP.
Cisco shared the technical details of its investigation with the US and Ukrainian governments. Western experts say Russia has conducted a series of attacks against companies in Ukraine for more than a year amid armed hostilities between the two countries, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and at least one electricity blackout.
The Kremlin on Thursday denied the Ukrainian government’s accusation that Russia was planning a cyberattack on Ukrainian state bodies and private companies ahead of the Champions League soccer final in Kiev on Saturday.
“The size and scope of the infrastructure by VPNFilter malware is significant,” the FBI said, adding that it is capable of rendering peoples’ routers “inoperable.”
It said the malware is hard to detect, due to encryption and other tactics.
The FBI urged people to reboot their devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and help identify infected devices.
People should also consider disabling remote-management settings, changing passwords and upgrading to the latest firmware.