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Cybercriminals attack Nepali banks’ SWIFT system

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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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Demand for legalizing same-sex marriage

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KATHMANDU- Stakeholders concerned have demanded a law related to same-sex marriage in the context when the Nepal’s constitution and laws have accepted the concept of marital equality.

At an interaction program held with media about the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation by an organization named Yubalaya here Sunday, the demand came as a prompt need of the time by the people concerned.

The complaint of homosexuals was that they were deprived of marriage by choice in the absence of the legalization of same-sex marriage which according to them is the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Blue Diamond Society Program Officer Anuj Peter said though the constitution has promised to make special provisions for protection, empowerment or development of gender and sexual minorities, such vows are yet to be executed in practice.

Peter, who identifies himself as a homosexual, shares that he has been legally denied to marry a man of his choice.

Yubalaya Chair Sabin Singh highlighted the need of support from media and civil society to address the issue of gender identity and sexual minorities regarding same-sex marriage law.

The participants of the program put their queries about marital equality, broader sexual education and safe abortion.

As told by the Society, to date, 30 countries across the world have legalized same-sex marriage and endorsed a law towards that end and the Netherlands was the first country to legalize it in the end of 2000.

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