Daily Archives: January 14, 2015

Pope canonises Indian-origin missionary as Lanka’s first saint


Pope Francis today canonised Indian-origin Catholic missionary Joseph Vaz as Sri Lanka’s first saint at a public mass on Colombo seafront attended by thousands as he described the 17th century priest as a model for national reconciliation after the deadly civil war.

Hundreds of thousands of people erupted in applause at the holy mass at Galle Face promenade here this morning when Pope Francis declared Joseph Vaz, who was born in 1651 in Goa then a Portuguese colony, a saint at the start of the service.

Vaz went to Sri Lanka in 1687 to minister to the scattered faithful after Dutch colonisers who had seized the island’s coastal areas from the Portuguese began persecuting Catholics.

Vaz travelled from village to village ministering to Catholics from both the Tamil and the majority Sinhalese ethnic groups.

By the time of his death in 1711 he had largely rebuilt the Catholic Church, earning him the title “Apostle of Sri Lanka”.

After the canonisation, 78-year-old Pope Francis told the crowd, “St Joseph shows us the importance of transcending religious divisions in the service of peace.”Speaking slowly in English, the Pope said Christians should follow the example of Vaz to build peace, justice and reconciliation.

“As the life of St Joseph Vaz teaches us, genuine worship of God bears fruit not in discrimination, hatred and violence, but in respect for the sacredness of life, respect for the dignity and freedom of others, and loving commitment to the welfare of all,” he said.
He said the Sri Lankan church wants to continue Vaz’s legacy of service to all, saying “Religious freedom is a fundamental human right.”Catholics make up about 7 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 20 million population, while 10 times as many people follow Buddhism.

The Pope also blessed a disabled girl at the mass where he was presented with the key to the city of Colombo by Mayor A J M Muzammil.

Upon his arrival in Sri Lanka yesterday, he had called for reconciliation and
“pursuit of truth” to promote “justice, healing and unity” after years of war with the LTTE, which ended in 2009 with the army crushing the Tamil Tiger rebels.

“The process of healing also needs to include the pursuit of truth, not for the sake of opening old wounds, but rather as a necessary means of promoting justice, healing and unity,” he had said.


3 Cyber Security Threats That You Should Be Aware Of In 2015


E-shopping using your credit card, syncing your office emails with your mobile device using an email app and authenticating financial transactions using one time passwords sent as text messages into your mobile device by your bank are some of the common things that a tech savvy consumer of today does. Are you aware that cybercriminals are leveraging these consumer activities to build sophisticated ways to compromise your data?

Consumer technology is evolving really fast. But along with it is evolving a new threat which is being exploited by cybercriminals. In a recent interaction, Surendra Singh, regional director-India and SAARC, Websense talked about 3 key cyber security threats a technology savvy consumer must be aware of, in the coming year.

Credit card data thieves will sell personal dossiers.

With billions of dollars for the taking, retail cyber-attacks seeking credit card data are likely to continue in 2015. However, as those within retail security escalate their defenses (and security measures such as Chip and PIN technology are mandated), we will see a morphing of the manner in which these thefts are committed

For example, data thieves will begin to tune their malware to gather other information besides just relevant credit card details. With a tiny code modification, credit card stealing malware can now also steal credentials or any information associated with that terminal, including the user’s identity, customer loyalty programs or other store-related data

This personal information pulled from the criminal cloud, will then be worth considerably more than the simple credit card number. Those now selling credit card accounts are likely to adapt their illegal craft to selling complete personal identity dossiers.

Mobile threats will target credentials and data

Mobile devices are conduits to consumer data, sitting on a variety of cloud based apps. Because of this, criminals will go after mobile device – not to simply crack a phone code and steal data from the device – but as a vector in the growing data resources that the device can freely access in the cloud

In short these attacks will use the phone as an access point to the increasing cloud-based enterprise applications and data resources that the devices can freely access.

Smartphone as an authentication device will spell fresh threat

Criminals will take advantage of the increasing reliance on the smartphone as an authentication measure. This is likely to manifest itself as a malicious code, designed to either intercept the text or code generation authentication elements built into mobile programs or clone or mimic a mobile device itself to take over other accounts in a variation of man-in-the-middle attacks

With this information, criminals can use the device as a key to access a broad range of information available to the user, including valuable corporate data.


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