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Cybercriminals attack Nepali banks’ SWIFT system

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Unidentified cybercriminals have reportedly hacked into the SWIFT system of some Nepali banks to steal money, exposing vulnerability in the information technology system of the banks,according to media reports.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunication (SWIFT), is a global financial messaging system that thousands of banks and commercial organisations across the world use to transfer money.

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central bank of the country, has confirmed the report that cyber theft was took place on the day of Laxmi Puja during the Tihar Festival, when all the banks and the central monetary authority remained closed.

It is learnt that some Nepali banks including NIC Asia Bank’s SWIFT codes have been hacked by hackers by using malware in their system.

The Cable News Network (CNN) reported that the North Korea based hackers might have been involved in the latest hacking. It had also suspected that the similar SWIFT code used by the group in South Korean banks hacking in 2013 have been used again.

In May 2016, cyber criminals had hacked into the computer of a Bangladeshi central bank official to make illegal payments via SWIFT.

According to a report prepared by the Russia-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab in 2015, international cybercriminals had attempted to attack financial institutions in Nepal using a malware called Carbanak.

The criminals had sent messages to the New York Federal Reserve seeking to transfer nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank’s account, Reuters reported.

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Health

Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.

Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

The study  was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”

African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.

Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

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