cyber security

Centre asks Microsoft for discount on Windows 10 upgrade to protect systems against cyber attacks

While Indian officials said the software giant has agreed to the request in principle, analysts said it could prompt similar pleas from other countries.

The Centre has asked Microsoft for a “one-time special” discount on its latest operating system to help users in India guard their systems against malware and ransomware attacks, PTI reported. The software giant has agreed to the request in principle, National Cyber Security Adviser Gulshan Rai said.

The government “wants to incentivise the common man to upgrade their systems” Rai said.

“We have asked Microsoft to offer a one-time special pricing, so that people are able to replace their old operating systems with the latest operating systems (Windows 10),” Rai told PTI. The official said that India is pitching for “less than a quarter of the current price” to ensure people are able to guard their systems against ransomware attacks, Reuters reported. Microsoft representatives are yet to comment on the announcement as it could pave the way for similar requests from around the world.

Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10 Home, is priced at around Rs 8,000 while the professional version can set users back by around Rs 14,999. While lakhs of users in India rely on the Windows operating system, only a few have upgraded to the latest version.

A report had said India was the worst-affected in the Asia-Pacific region during the latest global cyber attack called Petya that first targeted systems in Ukraine. The ransomware forced India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to shut down operations at one of its terminals on June 28. Rampant piracy in the country also makes systems even more susceptible to breaches.

In May, the WannaCry ransomware virus had crippled systems worldwide and affected more than 150 countries. It had locked data on computers it struck, which could only be released after a paying a ransom in bitcoins. The major cyber attack had targeted several nations, bringing operations at hospitals, telecommunications firms and other companies to a halt.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.