Ransomware attacks leave customers powerless, companies ignore cyber threat


Ransomware attack: The companies hit by the NotPetya got caught by an attack using the same vulnerability as WannaCry, because they still haven’t updated their systems.

As the “NotPetya” ransomware attack spreads around the world, it’s making clear how important it is for everyone – and particularly corporations – to take cybersecurity seriously. The companies affected by this malware include power utilities, banks and technology firms. Their customers are now left without power and other crucial services, in part because the companies did not take action and make the investments necessary to better protect themselves from these cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity is becoming another facet of the growing movement demanding corporate social responsibility. This broad effort has already made progress toward getting workers paid a living wage, encouraging companies to operate zero-waste production plants and practice cradle-to-cradle manufacturing – and even getting them to donate products to people in need.

The overall idea is that companies should make corporate decisions that reflect obligations not just to owners and shareholders, customers and employees, but to society at large and the natural environment. As a scholar of cybersecurity law and policy and chair of Indiana University’s new integrated program on cybersecurity risk management, I say it’s time to add cyberspace to that list.

Online security affects everyone

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 nations. The results of the attack made clear that computers whose software is not kept up to date can hurt not only the computers’ owners, but ultimately all internet users. The companies hit by the NotPetya attack didn’t heed that warning, and got caught by an attack using the same vulnerability as WannaCry, because they still haven’t updated their systems.

Some policymakers and managers are taking notice around the world. In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security, the chief federal agency dealing with cybersecurity, has highlighted businesses’ “shared responsibility” to protect themselves against cyberattacks. Consumers can’t protect their utility services, banking systems or even their personal data on their own, and must depend on companies to handle that security.

Cybersecurity is an effort that not only protects – and even benefits – a company’s bottom line but also contributes to overall corporate and societal sustainability. In addition, by protecting privacy, free expression and the exchange of information, cybersecurity helps support people’s human rights, both online and offline.

Vaccinating cyberspace

If more companies get serious about cybersecurity, the internet ecosystem will be safer for everyone. The concept is much like vaccinating people against disease: If enough people are protected, the others benefit too, through what is called “herd immunity.”

In terms of deterring hackers, the number of vulnerable targets will drop, making it harder for hackers to find them, and less worthwhile to even look. And more companies will have defenses ready when cyber attackers come calling. This isn’t a perfect solution: With enough time and resources, any system is vulnerable. But this change in corporate perception is an important step in developing a global culture of cybersecurity.

Customers can get involved in this effort, demanding better cybersecurity from companies they do business with. These can include online retailers, whether small specialized sellers or giants like Amazon. But local bricks-and-mortar stores with customer loyalty programs that have built their brands on trust can also be susceptible to consumer pressure.

To date, it’s been hard to know which companies have the best cybersecurity practices. The product and service reviewers at Consumer Reports have made a start: In March they started evaluating devices, software and mobile apps for privacy and cybersecurity.

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Advocacy groups like the Internet Society and manyothers should ask companies to discuss cybersecurity efforts in their reports to shareholders. And they should urge government agencies to develop voluntary programs like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star appliance-efficiency rating system. The U.K. has a certification like this for cybersecurity, called Cyber Essentials. These efforts don’t require executives or managers to make different decisions, but help inform them – and the public – about how the choices they make affect consumers.

The ConversationUltimately, companies will play a huge role in shaping the future of our shared experience online. Cybersecurity and data privacy are key elements of this, and it’s time consumers demand corporations treat them as the 21st-century social responsibilities they are.


Petya ransomware cyberattack: What it does, how to protect your PC and more

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Petya ransomware is part of a new wave of cyberattacks that has hit computer servers all across Europe, locking up computer data and crippling enterprise services. (Representational Image. AP)

Petya ransomware is part of a new wave of cyberattacks that has hit computer servers all across Europe, locking up computer data and crippling enterprise services in the corporate sector. Ukraine and Russia are the worst affected, though the attack has also impacted some companies in the US and other Western European countries.  So what exactly is the Petya ransomware attack, and how does it affect a PC? Also what exactly can one do to protect themselves against the ransomware? We explain everything you need to know.

What is Petya ransomware? What vulnerability is it exploiting it in the Windows system?

Petya is a ransomware, similar to the Wannacry attack. According to Security Research firm Kasperksy, Petya could be a variant of Petya.A, Petya.D, or PetrWrap. However, the firm doesn’t think this is a variation of the WannaCry cyberattack.

The post from Kaspersky also notes Petya is exploiting the same EternalBlue exploit that was used by Wannacry attack. The blogpost notes, “This appears to be a complex attack which involves several attack vectors. We can confirm that a modified EternalBlue exploit is used for propagation at least within corporate networks.

For those who don’t remember, WannaCry attack affected over 300,000 computers globally, and this one also exploited this particular security vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows systems. Microsoft had issued a security patch to fix the ‘EternalBlue’ exploit in Windows 10, Windows 8,7 and even Windows XP PCs. The problem like with many of the Windows updates: people might not have applied the security patch or downloaded the update.

How exactly does Petya spread? What does it do to an infected computer?

Petya is a ransomware, and it follows WannaCry’s pattern. The ransomware locks up a computer’s files and demands $300 Bitcoins as ransom to unlock the data. All data on a computer, network gets encrypted.

This message is flashed on a computer, “If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible, because they are encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don’t waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.

Petya, Petya cyberattack, Global Cyberattack, Ransomware, Global Ransomware, Petya global ransomware, Petya ransomware attack, Petya attack, What is Petya, How to protect against Petya, Petya cyberattack, technology, technology newsPetya is a ransomware, which is similar to the Wannacry ransomware and demands $300 in Bitcoins from users.

According to Kaspersky security team, in order get the credentials to spread, the ransomware relies on a custom tool called “a la Mimikatz.” This extracts credentials from the lsass.exe process, which is one of the crucial files in the Windows system. This stands for Local Security Authority Subsystem Service.

The attack is believed to have started against an update used on a third-party Ukrainian software called MeDoc, which is used by many government organisations in the country. According to reports, this is also the reason why Ukraine was the worst affect in the lot. Kaspersky says over 60 per cent of attacks took place in Ukraine, and Russia is second on the list with 30 per cent. But these are just the initial findings from Kaspersky.

Once the malware infects the computer, it will wait for an hour or so minutes, and then reboots the system. After the rebooting, the files are encrypted and a user get a ransom note on their PC asking them to pay up. Users are also warned against switching off their PC during the rebooting process, because it could make them lose their files.

As the Kaspersky blog points out, attackers want the Bitcoins to be paid and victims are asked to send the ransom to a particular address, and then the Bitcoin wallet id and personal number via e-mail to an address “wowsmith123456@posteo.net”, confirming the transaction has been made.

So how can the ransomware attack be stopped?

The malware seems to infect the entire network, and known server names. According to Kasperky, “Each and every IP on the local network and each server found is checked for open TCP ports 445 and 139. Those machines that have these ports open are then attacked with one of the methods described above.” So yes, this is a fairly comprehensive cyberattack.

When it comes to decrypting files, currently there is no solution. According to the security researchers at Kaspersky, “the ransomware uses a standard, solid encryption scheme.” The firm notes that unless the hackers made a mistake, the data can’t be accessed.

Petya, Petya cyberattack, Global Cyberattack, Ransomware, Global Ransomware, Petya global ransomware, Petya ransomware attack, Petya attack, What is Petya, How to protect against Petya, Petya cyberattack, technology, technology newsWhen it comes to decrypting files, currently there is no solution. (Image source: AP)

So who is behind the Petya cyberattack? What all companies, countries have been impacted?

Researchers are still looking for who is responsible for this attack. But the impact of this is serious. In Ukraine, government offices, energy companies, banks, cash machines, gas stations, and supermarkets, have all been impacted, reports Associated Press. The Ukrainian Railways, Ukrtelecom, and the Chernobyl power plant was also affected by the attack.

Multinational companies like law firm DLA Piper, shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, drugmaker Merck as well as Mondelez International, which is the owner of food brands such as Oreo, Cadbury, was also impacted. In the US, some hospitals have also been impacted by this cyberattack. Poland, Italy and Germany are other countries affected by the cyberattack. In India, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port has been impacted given Moller-Maersk operates the Gateway Terminals India (GTI) at JNPT. This has capacity for over 1.8 million standard container units.

So what happens now?

For starters, it seems the email address, which was being used by the hackers, has been suspended by the service provider. In a blogpost Posteo wrote, “We became aware that ransomware blackmailers are currently using a Posteo address as a means of contact. Our anti-abuse team checked this immediately – and blocked the account straight away.” Posteo also confirmed that it was no longer possible for the attackers to access the email, send mails, or access the account.

For now, users who have lost their data can’t really recover it unless they have a backup. There’s no way of getting the decryption key from the hackers, since the email account has been shut down. However, according to a tweet from HackerFantastic, when the system goes in for a reboot, the user should power off the PC. His tweet reads, “If machine reboots and you see this message, power off immediately! This is the encryption process. If you do not power on, files are fine.”

The problem with Petya is that right now researchers have no solution for decrypting these files. There’s also no way of stopping the attack from the spreading, given it exploits vulnerabilities in the network.

For users, it is best to keep a back up of all their data. Preferably this data should not be online, and it should be encrypted. Users should also not click on email links from suspicious ids or click on links asking for access to personal information. Also keep your Windows PC updated with the latest software.


How to get regular free security updates for Windows XP and Vista


Two months ago, in an effort to fightback against the WannaCry ransomware, Microsoft took the ‘highly unusual’ step of releasing a patch for Windows XP, the ancient operating system it stopped supporting back in 2014 (even though, as it turned out, it was really Windows 7, not XP, that was to blame for the spread of the devastating malware).

Then just two weeks ago, Microsoft included Windows XP and Vista — another operating system it no longer supports — in June’s Patch Tuesday updates. Despite these recent actions, neither XP nor Vista are going to receive regular security updates from Microsoft, meaning users still running either OS remain at serious risk. However, the good news is there are a couple of tricks you can use to continue receiving security updates for both XP and Vista.

In the case of XP, the trick is to make use of updates for Windows Embedded Industry (formerly known as Windows Embedded POSReady). This is based on Windows XP Service Pack 3, and the security updates which are being released for it are essentially the same ones Microsoft would have pushed out for XP, if it was still doing so.

You can’t simply install the updates — that would be too easy — and you’ll receive a version mismatch error if you try. But a simple registry tweak is enough to fix that.

Create a text document, and call it XP.reg. You’ll need to make sure .reg is the proper extension — so not “XP.reg.txt”. If it’s not showing up as a registry file, open any folder, go to Tools > Folder Options, select View and uncheck ‘Show hidden files and folders’. That should fix the problem.

Right-click the file, and select Edit. Paste in the following:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Save it, and then double-click the file. That will make that change to the registry. That’s all you need to do. Windows should now automatically fetch updates designed for Windows Embedded Industry, ensuring XP remains protected until 2019.

This trick only works for 32-bit editions of XP, but there’s a workaround for 64-bit versions here.

As for Vista, the trick to getting updates is similar, except it uses Windows Server 2008’s patches as that OS architecture is very close to Vista’s and Microsoft plans to keep supporting it until 2020.

To use this, you need to make use of the Microsoft Update Catalog.

The steps to follow are:

  • Look for any Windows Server 2008 updates mentioned by Microsoft, and make a note of the relevant Knowledge Base ID, or browse the regularly updated list at BeepingComputer.
  • Open the Microsoft Update Catalog and search for the ID, or click the BeepingComputer update link.
  • Locate the Windows Server 2008 version of the patch.
  • Download and install it.

Naturally there are risks associated with both these methods — you are, after all, installing patches on an operating system they aren’t intended for — so it’s worth making sure you’ve backed up all your important personal files or settings before proceeding.


Windows 10 Source Code Leaked

Image result for Windows 10 Source Code LeakedMicrosoft has confirmed that a portion of the source code for Windows 10 has leaked online. The leak, containing software elements not normally visible to the public, may represent an opportunity for hackers to uncover and exploit security weaknesses.

The leak was originally reported by U.K. tech site The Register, which described the leaked files as “a massive trove” including both code for USB and Wi-Fi modules, and full unreleased builds of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. The Register claimed the trove was stolen from Microsoft as recently as March.

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However, The Verge has contradicted part of that assessment, claiming that the leak is “relatively minor.” Much of the leaked material has already circulated outside of Microsoft, as part of code packages regularly shared with development partners and other customers.

However, there is worrisome evidence that the content came from hacks of Microsoft’s network. The Verge points to the arrest this week of two men in England accused of hacking Microsoft, and Ars Technica received unconfirmed reports of a hack on Microsoft in March.

The files have since been removed from Beta Archive, a collection of abandoned or incomplete software, where they originally surfaced.


Microsoft looks to the cloud to make Windows 10 safer for enterprise users

Image result for Microsoft looks to the cloud to make Windows 10 safer for enterprise usersWe already knew that the next version of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, will feature a large number of new tools for consumers. While it was always clear that business users would also get their fair share of updates, Microsoft remained pretty quiet about what those would look like. That’s changing this week, as the company today announced a number of new security features for Windows 10 that will launch with the Fall Creators Updates later this year.

Rob Lefferts, the director of program management for Windows Enterprise and Security, told me that the company is obviously aware of the changing security landscape, which now often includes well-funded and supported hackers. To stay ahead of these threats, the company is doubling down on its existing security efforts, but in addition, it’s now also pushing ahead with new initiatives that emphasize cloud intelligence with AI and machine learning.

So while the team is hardening the Windows 10 platform with this new release — just like it has done with all the previous releases — it’s also building up its efforts to use the cloud to analyze security threats and prevent attacks.

As Lefferts noted, 96 percent of the attacks that Microsoft is seeing are distinct attacks. That’s partly because malware is now often polymorphic but also because the company is seeing more custom attacks.


One of the main vectors for attacking any desktop operating system is the browser. Back in 2016, Microsoft announced that it was working on a sandboxing technique — the Windows Defender Application Guard — that would allow it to stop attackers from ever getting a foothold on the machine, even if they were able to penetrate the browser’s defenses. It took the company quite a while to get this to market, but the next version of Windows 10 will now ship with support for this feature. Lefferts told me that it took the team a while to figure out the right user experience to enable this feature, which is hard when you start every browser session from zero. The team also had to ensure that it could quickly spin up these micro-containers with the Edge browser fast enough.

In addition, Microsoft is also improving the Windows Defender Exploit Guard with data it gathers from across its users. The Exploit Guard features a large set of intrusion rules and policies and Microsoft says that this feature should now help protect organizations better against quite a few advanced threats, including zero day exploits.

The company has now also built the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), which was previously available as a stand-alone tool, right into Windows 10. Lefferts stressed that this was something that Microsoft’s users had asked for.


Microsoft is also extending the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) feature that allows enterprise security teams to detect and respond to threats to include the Windows Server OS for protection across platforms. What’s more interesting, though, is that ATP is now linked to Microsoft’s cloud-based security services that use advanced analytics and machine learning to understand threats based on the huge number of signals Microsoft receives from across its users. The company is also using this cloud-based protection model to improve Windows Defender Antivirus.

Other new features include an improved version of Device Guard, the company’s service for managing which applications an enterprise user can run on a company-issued machine. Device Guard is now also integrated into Windows Defender ATP, which should make it easier to manage for IT and security teams. In addition, companies that want to opt into this can now use data from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which combines billions of data points to analyze threats, to automatically allow users to install applications that are most likely safe to install (thing Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.).

Lefferts noted that Microsoft’s goal is to bring together all of its compute, big data and machine learning smarts — combined with data it gathers from its users around the globe and traditional signature-based approaches — to protect its customer’s machines. “We think the Fall Creators update takes full advantage of Windows threat protection and we are pushing forward,” he said.


How to Block Pop-Ups in Firefox

How to Block Pop-Ups in Firefox

Browsing on the Web on your phone or computer can become a fraught experience if you visit sites that throw a lot of pop-ups at you. It’s particularly bad on the mobile where it is hard to dismiss these. However, this is slowly becoming less of an issue, as most browsers now allow you to prevent pop-ups altogether. Firefox is the second-most popular desktop browser in India, and you can follow the below steps to block pop-ups with Firefox. We’ve also written about Chrome, UC Browser, and Opera, if you don’t use Firefox.

How to block pop-ups in Firefox (Windows/ macOS/ Linux)
If you’d like to block pop-ups on Firefox for desktop, follow these steps:

Open Firefox.
Click the hamburger menu button in the top-right corner, and choose Options.
Choose Content in the left-hand side.
Tick Block pop-up windows to block pop-ups, or untick to allow.
popup firefox pc Firefox popups

How to block pop-ups in Firefox (Android)
If you’d like to block pop-ups on Firefox for Android, follow these steps:
Open Firefox.
Type about:config in the address bar.
Search for dom.disable_open_during_load.
Set it to false to allow pop-ups, and true to block pop-ups.
How to block pop-ups in Firefox (iPhone/ iPad)
If you’d like to change the pop-up blocker setting on Firefox for iOS, follow these steps:

Open Firefox.
Tap the hamburger menu button at the bottom.
Swipe left, and then choose Settings.
Turn on the toggle for Block Pop-up Windows to block pop-ups, or turn it off to allow pop-ups.

popup firefox ios Firefox popups

Have you had any trouble with pop-ups on Firefox? Share your questions via the comments below.

For more tutorials, visit our How-To section.



Monument Valley vs Framed: A Tale of Two Sequels

Monument Valley vs Framed: A Tale of Two Sequels

At WWDC 2017, a little over a week ago, Apple announced Monument Valley 2 for iOS. The original was highly acclaimed, and even found prominent mention in the Netflix series House of Cards. In the past, developer Ustwo has spoken out against a sequel, but a fresh team with new concepts and features changed things, the company said.

The game – out now for iOS, with an Android version in the works – is available for Rs. 400 ($4.99 in the US), and most of the early reviews were extremely positive. The original was also one of our favourite mobile games, thanks to its gorgeous design and intelligent gameplay. So it was obvious that we were going to give Monument Valley 2 a shot as well.

The sequel is – obviously and predictably – gorgeous and the delight of exploring the pastel worlds it presents alone is worth the price of entry. But the “freshness” that’s promised is nowhere to be seen. The game has changed, yes, but only in the most basic sense. As an experience, Monument Valley 2 remains much the same as the original, only it doesn’t even have the appeal of being something completely original and, thus, delightful.

When Monument Valley came, it had the advantage of there never having been anything to compare it to. Playing Monument Valley 2, you get a clear baseline to measure it against, and while the second game is still enjoyable, it’s less satisfying nonetheless.

monument valley so much colour monument valley

Monument Valley 2 is a gorgeous game that pairs impossible geometry with beautifully laid out landscapes, and characters who start off as ciphers and slowly gain in personality. Much like the original, the pastel colour palette stands out, and the now familiar towers are filled with strange systems to get you from point A to point B. Without spoiling things, the game features a series of puzzles – that are largely simpler than the original – as you work your way through a series of impossible buildings, slowly unfolding the story just like the structures themselves. It’s all very pleasing, if familiar.

It’s possible that people won’t agree with this – we’ve seen vicious Twitter battles play out on this topic already – but Monument Valley 2 feels more like an expansion pack, rather than a new game. Both Monument Valley titles are short games that offer up a beautiful world for you to inhabit, but at this point, and after the hype of the WWDC reveal, perhaps our expectations were simply at the wrong place for this game to be worth the asking price.
This becomes clearer when you compare Monument Valley 2 to another iOS sequel that just released recently – Framed 2. The game released this week, also at Rs. 400 ($4.99 in the US), which makes for a good comparison. Framed is another one of those “concept” games you’ll find on iOS; the original game from two years ago has a unique premise – you’re shown a series of comic-book frames, and if you change the order of the panels, you can change the outcome of the story.

Pop art colours, sharp lines, and retro background music all come together to make Framed an engaging buy, though the concept wears a bit thin by the end of the game. Framed 2 recognises this, and fine tunes the game, elevating it from quirky and interesting, to must play.

framed game framed game

The story of Framed 2 features the same characters and it’s again told without any dialogue, but there’s a lot of drama and emotion nonetheless. The different settings are dynamic, while the core mechanic of rearranging panels remains. You will rearrange the frames to determine what happens next, and find ways to evade capture using the environment.

The difference between these two sequels can not be overstated. Framed 2 is the result of a developer taking a hard look at its game, deciding it could do better, and delivering on that thought. Monument Valley 2 claims to be the same thing – but feels more like a developer looked at its output, and thought, “this is great”.

As a result, where Framed 2 has not been afraid to change things up, making the police more effective and the storytelling crisper and more fulfilling. On the other hand, Monument Valley 2 tries to be a more faithful sequel, and in the bargain, misses out on building on the original.

As the reviews have pointed out, whether you’re new to the series or a big fan of the original, Monument Valley 2 is well worth your time and money. But given how original the first game felt, we can’t help but feel a little disappointed.



Sega Forever on Android and iOS Isn’t the Netflix of Retro Gaming

Sega Forever on Android and iOS Isn’t the Netflix of Retro Gaming

Sega Forever is the company’s attempt at bringing back its older games to modern devices, games that are synonymous with consoles such as the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis as it was known in the US), Sega Master System, and of course, the Sega Dreamcast to name a few.

To kick this off, Sega has made classics like Comix Zone, Phantasy Star II, and Sonic the Hedgehog available on the App Store and Google Play. You can play them for free with ads and cloud saves, or simply pay a nominal fee of Rs. 160 ($1.99 in the US) to play them ad-free with support for local saves. Unfortunately, the free versions doesn’t support offline play.

While this initiative is called Sega Forever, typing that into the App Store or Google Play doesn’t take you to any app named ‘Sega Forever’. Instead you’ll see some of the aforementioned titles available for download as separate apps.

It’s here that the very idea of Sega Forever falls flat. You see, Sega is positioning this as the Netflix of retro gaming. On paper, this sounds cool. Unfortunately, the practicalities of this have yet to be ironed out. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video let you download or stream a host of content from those apps, but this is not the case with Sega Forever.

Sega Forever doesn’t have a subscription for classic games either either. Well, not for now at least, with Sega stating that it wants to use the smartphone as a gateway with ads to allow for some form of monetisation. It’s also eyeing the PC games space too and it might have a different revenue model.
This lack of consistency – intentional or otherwise – continues in the titles on offer. Firing up Sonic the Hedgehog, you’re smacked silly with nostalgia. From opening menus that have the game’s box art and cartridge, invoking a sense of simpler times, to the classic ‘Sega’ refrain when the logo pops up on screen, the company hasn’t shied away from its heritage or its fans.

But this isn’t the same across games. Comix Zone for example, doesn’t have the same attention to detail that Sonic the Hedgehog gets in terms of menus, though much like Phantasy Star II and other titles at launch, it does have visual references to the console they were all for – in this case the Sega Mega Drive – front and centre.

At the same time, these games have a mention of Sega Forever and other titles under the label in the first screen of the game itself – something that Sonic doesn’t have. The blue hedgehog might be Sega’s mascot, but you’d think that Sega would use his popularity to highlight the other games in the Sega Forever initiative too.

Every bit of what constitutes to Sega Forever is disorganised and scattered. Granted, Sega is doing what it can under the framework of current guidelines from the likes of Apple, but it makes us wonder if this is an earnest attempt to make and preserve classic titles available to a larger audience, or simply a quick money grab.

By launching on mobile the company gets access to more users, but not necessarily those with the capacity or inclination to pay. Rather, Sega Forever on iOS and Android has more potential to serve as an ad platform thanks to the sheer number of titles that can be offered from the Mega Drive and Master System libraries alone.

The real test of realising the idea that is the ‘Netflix of retro gaming’ will depend on Sega Forever’s execution on consoles and PC. With the potential for better aggregation and bundling, a unified achievement system, perhaps a trading card meta-game layer (on Steam), and pixel perfect reproduction minus ads, it could just be what the Sega faithful and newcomers need. Till then, you’re better off getting your retro fix elsewhere.


ISRO to Launch 31 Satellites on Friday, Including Cartosat-2

ISRO to Launch 31 Satellites on Friday, Including Cartosat-2

India will launch 31 satellites with its PSLV rocket
Total weight of all the 31 satellites is about 955kg
Rocket will sling the satellites into a 505km polar sun sunchronous orbit
India on Friday will launch its earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series weighing 712kg and 30 co-passenger satellites (29 foreign, one Indian) with its rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the Indian space agency said on Tuesday.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the PSLV rocket’s XL variant is expected to lift off on Friday morning at 9.29am from the Sriharikota rocket port.

The 30 satellites will together weigh 243kg and the total weight of all the 31 satellites, including Cartosat, is about 955kg, ISRO said.
The rocket will sling the satellites into a 505km polar sun sunchronous orbit (SSO).

The co-passenger satellites comprise 29 nano satellites from 14 countries – Austria, Belgium, Britain, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the US as well as one Indian nano satellite.

The 29 international customer nano satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between ISRO’s commericial arm, the Antrix Corporation Ltd and the international customers.


SpaceX Successfully Launches Iridium Satellites Into Orbit Atop Falcon 9

SpaceX Successfully Launches Iridium Satellites Into Orbit Atop Falcon 9

SpaceX Successfully Launches Iridium Satellites Into Orbit Atop Falcon 9Photo Credit: SpaceX
SpaceX has succeeded in landing a Falcon 9 first-stage booster
Falcon 9 blasted off carrying 10 satellites for Iridium Communications
It was the second series of Iridium satellites launched by SpaceX
The American company SpaceX on Sunday successfully placed 10 satellites for the communications company Iridium into orbit using a Falcon 9 rocket.

After launching as scheduled from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:25pm local time (8:25pm GMT or 1:55am IST), the Falcon 9’s first stage returned less than eight minutes after taking off.

As planned, it landed on a barge floating in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX has successfully landed multiple rockets on both land and water, as part of its effort to bring down the cost of space flight by re-using multimillion dollar components instead of jettisoning them in the ocean after launch.
It was the second series of Iridium satellites launched by SpaceX, after a set of 10 were delivered in January.

In total SpaceX, which is headed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, will launch a series of 75 satellites for Iridium’s satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT by 2018.

The $3 billion (roughly Rs. 19,350 crores) project is a bid to upgrade the Virginia-based Iridium’s global communications network.