Blaze at firecracker factory outside Indian capital kills 17

An ambulance is parked in front of a plastic factory in the Bawana industrial area on the northern edge of New Delhi on Jan. 20, 2018 after a fire killed at least 17 workers. (AFP)
Updated 20 January 2018

Blaze at firecracker factory outside Indian capital kills 17

NEW DELHI: A massive fire broke out at a firecracker factory on the northern outskirts of the Indian capital on Saturday, killing at least 17 workers, a fire official said.
The official K.C. Gupta said a dozen fire engines took three hours to douse the fire in the Bawana industrial area of New Delhi.
Gupta said 17 bodies have been recovered so far and one injured worker has been hospitalized. A search operation was continuing for any more workers trapped in the two-story structure gutted by the blaze.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
There are fatal accidents nearly every year in India as people work in makeshift factories in the absence of proper safety standards.
In June of last year, 23 workers were killed when a blast occurred while they were producing firecrackers in Kheri village in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The explosion triggered a blaze that engulfed the factory before firefighters put it out.
India has a huge demand for firecrackers, which are used in religious festivals and weddings.
Factories start producing firecrackers months before the nation’s biggest Hindu festivals when people set them off in celebration.


Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

Updated 20 min 38 sec ago

Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

  • Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions
  • There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware

LYON: Global police body Interpol warned Monday of an “alarming” rate of cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic, with criminals taking advantage of people working from home to target major institutions.
An assessment by the Lyon-based organization found a “significant target shift” by criminals from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.
“Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19,” said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock.
“The increased online dependency for people around the world is also creating new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyberdefenses are up to date,” he added.
The report said cybercriminals were sending COVID-19 themed phishing emails — which seek to obtain confidential data from users — often impersonating government and health authorities.
Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions, it added.
In the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a rise in ramsomware attacks, in which users have to pay money to get their computer to work again.
There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware, said Interpol.
From January to April, some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs — all related to COVID-19 were detected by one of Interpol’s private sector partners, it said.
The agency warned the trend was set to continue and a “further increase in cybercrime is highly likely in the near future.”
“Vulnerabilities related to working from home and the potential for increased financial benefit will see cybercriminals continue to ramp up their activities and develop more advanced and sophisticated” methods, it said.
Once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Interpol said, “it is highly probable that there will be another spike in phishing related to these medical products as well as network intrusion and cyberattacks to steal data.”