Debt Agency – CTXETG http://ctxetg.com/ Tue, 20 Jul 2021 12:46:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://ctxetg.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Debt Agency – CTXETG http://ctxetg.com/ 32 32 Legislative Assembly votes in favor of IMF loan to Costa Rica – http://ctxetg.com/legislative-assembly-votes-in-favor-of-imf-loan-to-costa-rica/ http://ctxetg.com/legislative-assembly-votes-in-favor-of-imf-loan-to-costa-rica/#respond Tue, 20 Jul 2021 11:03:35 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/legislative-assembly-votes-in-favor-of-imf-loan-to-costa-rica/ The Legislative Assembly approved, in a second debate, the $ 1.778 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Costa Rica. Forty-four MPs voted for, seven against and six abstained in Monday’s vote. “I thank MPs for approving credit from the IMF,” President Carlos Alvarado said. “This support of $ 1,778 million will help […]]]>

The Legislative Assembly approved, in a second debate, the $ 1.778 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Costa Rica.

Forty-four MPs voted for, seven against and six abstained in Monday’s vote.

“I thank MPs for approving credit from the IMF,” President Carlos Alvarado said.

“This support of $ 1,778 million will help swap expensive debt for cheap debt, reduce debt with the CCSS, ensure stability and promote economic recovery.”

In March, the The IMF has approved a 36-month credit agreement for $ 1.778 billion with Costa Rica.

The money will be used to help “support Costa Rica’s recovery and stabilize its economy,” in addition to ensuring debt sustainability, the agency said in a statement from its Washington headquarters.

“The IMF-backed local program focuses on implementing fair tax reforms to ensure debt sustainability, while protecting the most vulnerable,” the agency said.

“Going forward, the government’s reform agenda is designed to help promote inclusive and sustainable growth, including through innovative digitization, climate change mitigation and building resilience. “

The country hopes the credit facility will help it reduce a large budget deficit of 8.3 percent of GDP. The last time Costa Rica recorded a budget deficit of this magnitude was in 1981, when it reached 9.1% of GDP.

The government also announced that the primary deficit, which excludes debt service, has reached 3.5% of GDP, below the 4% projected by the Central Bank, although it still has to adjust downward.

The approved project (worked under project name 22.433) allocates 10% of IMF financing – $ 178 million – to settle debts with the Social Security Fund (CCSS).

Consequences of the pandemic

In January, Costa Rica and the International Monetary Fund announced that the agreement to balance the country’s finances would rule out privatizations or increases in consumption taxes or pensions, proposals rejected by the population.

This possibility sparked public fury in September and October 2020, with street protests, in a country whose economy was already hit by the lack of tourism due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Costa Rica “has made significant progress in recent years in its fiscal and structural reform program as part of the process of joining the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),” the IMF said.

However, “the pandemic has hit the economy hard and exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities, undermining the expected returns of the ambitious tax reform launched in late 2018 and generating a significant funding gap,” he said.

The multilateral organization predicts an economic recovery for Costa Rica in 2021, with 2.6% GDP growth.

Although the country was one of the first in Latin America to begin vaccination against Covid-19, “the risks to the outlook remain high given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.”

Faced with this situation, the IMF loan “aims to ensure macroeconomic stability and advance the authorities’ internal reform program”.

The engagements

Costa Rica plans to increase tax revenue through a 0.5% tax on luxury homes, and the transfer to the treasury of up to 30% of the profits of 14 state-owned companies, a measure that will be in effect. force for four years to collect 0.2% of GDP each year.

The measures envisaged in the agreement provide for a budget adjustment of 5% of GDP to reduce the deficit and reach a primary surplus in 2023 “to put the debt on a downward trajectory”.

Congress is also discussing a public employment bill to regulate wages in the public sector, which is responsible for much of Costa Rica’s fiscal imbalance.

As part of its savings efforts, the country enacted a law that drastically reduces state contributions to political parties for the 2022 election campaign.

Central government debt reached the equivalent of 69.7% of GDP in 2020, slightly below the initial forecast of 70.1%.

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/legislative-assembly-votes-in-favor-of-imf-loan-to-costa-rica/feed/ 0
“Too easy” for crooks, says man whose identity was stolen to open a loan account, buy now, pay later http://ctxetg.com/too-easy-for-crooks-says-man-whose-identity-was-stolen-to-open-a-loan-account-buy-now-pay-later/ http://ctxetg.com/too-easy-for-crooks-says-man-whose-identity-was-stolen-to-open-a-loan-account-buy-now-pay-later/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 17:00:00 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/too-easy-for-crooks-says-man-whose-identity-was-stolen-to-open-a-loan-account-buy-now-pay-later/ Neill Bryce is shocked at how easily a crook has stolen his identity to take out loans on his behalf. The Lower Hutt electronics developer discovered that someone had opened a Humm buy now, pay later account in their name when a debt collector contacted him just over a week ago, demanding to ‘silver. Bryce […]]]>

Neill Bryce is shocked at how easily a crook has stolen his identity to take out loans on his behalf.

The Lower Hutt electronics developer discovered that someone had opened a Humm buy now, pay later account in their name when a debt collector contacted him just over a week ago, demanding to ‘silver.

Bryce checked with credit rating agencies and discovered that four more credit applications were made on his behalf to GEM (owned by Latitude Financial Services), Genopay, Zip and Layby Holdings, all of which spotted and blocked the attempt. of fraud.

When Bryce asked for answers, Australian company Humm, which has more than 2.3 million customers in Australia and New Zealand, revealed that the scammer opened the account in January using only his name, date. of birth, address and driver’s license number.

READ MORE:
* KiwiSaver member hacked: we are already victims
* Tracking the data breach that gave scammers my credit card details
* Prison for the leader of the massive identity theft network

“It’s too easy,” Bryce said. “They don’t even require the identification document, just the driver’s license number.”

“It’s done online and you just type the number in a box. It does not provide identification.

The email and phone number the scammer gave Humm wasn’t Bryce’s.

Fraud and cybercrime are the most underreported of all crimes according to the Crime and Victims Survey.

Purchases were made using the Humm account in his name at JB HiFi and Rebel Sport for a total of $ 620, he says.

When Bryce called Humm, with whom Westpac in New Zealand signed an agreement to provide buy now, pay later finance to their customers, he was surprised at the response.

“The first person I spoke to was really, really jovial about it all. I said, “It seems to be pretty easy to commit this kind of fraud”, and she said, “It happens all the time”. I did not know what to say.

He later got angry when Humm said he reported the account as fraudulent within a day of opening it, but despite his address, he didn’t even appear to have sent him a letter alerting him to the fraudulent activity he had identified.

After being contacted by Thing, Bryce was called in by Humm’s deputy general manager Chris Lamers, who apologized, but was concerned the ad would provide a “how-to” for crooks wanting to defraud Humm.

In a written statement, Lamers said: “Fortunately, incidents of fraud are incredibly rare, but when they do occur it can be difficult for the victims and for everyone involved.

“We pride ourselves on working hard to eliminate fraud and we make sure there is as little impact on the victim as possible. We will always bear the financial cost of any fraudulent activity, ensure that their credit report is not affected, and we work with them to understand how the fraud may have occurred.

“Our systems and processes mean this is always a rare event, and in the past 12 months, only 0.03% of applicants have been fraudulent.”

Humm is owned by a giant Australian publicly traded company called Flexigroup.

SCREENSHOT

Humm is owned by a giant Australian publicly traded company called Flexigroup.

Lamers said he paid an external anti-money laundering company to verify all the apps, but also ran them through its own fraud management platform.

Humm accounts must have a valid credit or debit card loaded on them, but Bryce said the one that was used on his account was stolen, making him think his identity thief was probably part of an organized group capable of finding stolen sources. as well as stolen identity information.

Humm also confirmed that he will not sue Bryce for the money stolen on his behalf and that he will cancel the debt collector.

Mike Stone, director of AML at DIA, said under AML laws, lenders like Humm are required to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of their customers.

“In a situation where a new customer is enrolled through an online process, there must be a robust mechanism to ensure that the person being treated remotely is the true holder of the identity that they claim to be,” he said. he declares.

While there have been relatively few small-scale AML prosecutions in New Zealand, Australia the penalties have been brutal.

In 2019, Westpac was hauled to the coals for AML failures, including a small number of child exploitation payments, which cost the bank AU $ 1.3 billion in fines, and the chief executive of Westpac, Brian Hartzer, his work.

Westpac Australian Managing Director Brian Hartzer and Chairman Lindsay Maxsted have resigned following the launch of an investigation by Australia's financial intelligence agency - AUSTRAC - into a money laundering and mining scandal 'children.

Getty Images

Westpac Australian Managing Director Brian Hartzer and Chairman Lindsay Maxsted have resigned following the launch of an investigation by Australia’s financial intelligence agency – AUSTRAC – into a money laundering and mining scandal ‘children.

In 2018, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, owner of ASB, paid a fine of A $ 700 million for AML violations.

Humm owner Flexigroup’s 2020 annual report to investors in the ASX equity market cited “failing to establish and integrate processes and tools to support customer identification and credit scoring” as the one of its major risks.

Bryce doesn’t know how the con artist ended up with his driver’s license number.

But, he says, driver’s licenses are commonly used as identification documents, so it could be a breach of privacy in an organization he has dealt with in the past.

It wasn’t until late last year that the law changed to require businesses and other organizations to notify people when a privacy breach may have exposed their information to crooks.

The New Zealand driver's license is often used by lenders as an identification document.

Provided

The New Zealand driver’s license is often used by lenders as an identification document.

Already this year, Bryce had been contacted by an organization – his dentist – who had suffered a privacy breach in which some of his private information had been compromised.

Lyn McMorran, executive director of the Federation of Financial Services, which represents many non-bank lenders, said identity fraud is a cost to lenders.

They had lobbied the NZTA for controlled access to its database of driver’s license photos so that they could develop systems to match photos taken of people making online claims with photos in the database. data.

“We discussed with the NZTA that a driver’s license is not just a license to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s an important piece of identification, ”McMorran said.

“Lenders should have access to their photo database,” she said.

Bryce says it’s been hard work to regain control of her identity.

Wellington electronics developer Neill Bryce got a new driver's license and an alert was added to his credit report with all three credit bureaus.

STENT KEVIN

Wellington electronics developer Neill Bryce got a new driver’s license and an alert was added to his credit report with all three credit bureaus.

He had to deal with each of the lenders, get a new driver’s license, and ask the three credit bureaus to place “deletion” labels on his file, so any lender would know he had been victimized. identity fraud.

He is also working to restore his credit rating.

“My credit rating is now in the worst tenth of the population,” he says.

He has also filed complaints with police and regulators, including the Privacy Commission.

Fraud and cybercrime were identified as the most common form of crime in the Crime and Victims Survey, but also the least reported, with only 7% of victims bothering to notify authorities.

Bryce suspects it’s because people know that no action will be taken.

The police told him: “After carefully considering the circumstances and the information available, we are unfortunately not in a position to take further action at this time. “

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/too-easy-for-crooks-says-man-whose-identity-was-stolen-to-open-a-loan-account-buy-now-pay-later/feed/ 0
The pandemic has created a mountain of medical debt – here’s who is facing these bills http://ctxetg.com/the-pandemic-has-created-a-mountain-of-medical-debt-heres-who-is-facing-these-bills/ http://ctxetg.com/the-pandemic-has-created-a-mountain-of-medical-debt-heres-who-is-facing-these-bills/#respond Fri, 16 Jul 2021 19:09:00 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/the-pandemic-has-created-a-mountain-of-medical-debt-heres-who-is-facing-these-bills/ First, the pandemic has hit families with a double stroke of illness and massive unemployment. Now, as the country sees signs of economic recovery, a new survey highlights the continuing hits of the pandemic: growing medical debts. Half of people who suffered at least some form of the pandemic’s fallout – COVID-19 infection, decreased income, […]]]>

First, the pandemic has hit families with a double stroke of illness and massive unemployment.

Now, as the country sees signs of economic recovery, a new survey highlights the continuing hits of the pandemic: growing medical debts.

Half of people who suffered at least some form of the pandemic’s fallout – COVID-19 infection, decreased income, loss of health insurance coverage – said they had had medical debt issues over the course of the past year, according to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation focused on healthcare in America.

For people who haven’t experienced any of these pandemic-related issues, 27% said they had medical debt issues.

In total, 38% of the 5,450 people surveyed said they had had problems with medical bills or debt in the past year. This could include difficulty paying bills, calling a collection agency, or a lifestyle change to pay off debts.

Researchers in the survey said they did not directly ask people if they had had any medical debt issues because of the pandemic. But there are various signs suggesting links.

For example, 59% of people who contracted COVID-19 and lost income reported having had medical debt issues in the past year and 63% of people who lost income and lost health insurance coverage had reported having problems with medical bills.

Likewise, survey participants who are black, a demographic particularly affected by the pandemic, were much more likely to say they had had medical debt issues in the past year, with 55% compared to the national average of 38%.

The survey did not show how much people were in the red, but other data suggests it is getting worse.

About 21 million members of Credit Karma – a platform that offers free credit scores and allows members to purchase loan and credit card offers – had $ 47 billion in medical debt in collection as of April, said a spokesperson. The average debt was $ 2,200.

Less than a year earlier, around 20 million members had $ 45 billion in collections as of September 2020, the spokesperson said. Medical debt collections account for about 44% of all collections, she noted.

In contrast, consumer credit delinquencies fell in the first quarter of 2021, according to the American Bankers Association. A composite ratio of delinquency data on loans fell to 1.91% from 2.39% in the last quarter of 2020 and delinquencies fell in seven of the 11 categories tracked.

It’s easy to see how the pandemic is contributing to America’s medical debt problem. In 2017, 19% of all households had some type of medical debt, according to Census Bureau data. The median amount was $ 2,000, the data showed.

But new findings from the Commonwealth Fund show the extent of the problem and the lasting consequences of medical debt.

Of those who reported having medical debt issues – such as an unpaid bill, calls from collection agencies, or needing a lifestyle change to pay off the debt – 43% said they had seen their credit score drop over the past two years. More than a third (35%) said they used most or all of their savings to pay and 35% said they had accumulated credit card debt. More than a quarter (27%) said they were unable to pay for necessities as a result.

Although the total number of cases in the United States is lower than its 2020 peaks as vaccination rates rise, the particularly infectious delta variant is fueling a further rise as COVID-19 cases rise in all 50 states.

About 10% of Commonwealth Fund survey participants were uninsured, and these people faced medical billing issues at higher rates than insured survey participants.

One way forward was potentially to turn temporary tax relief under the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout into permanent tax relief, the researchers noted. Consumers who purchase their health care coverage through the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act will get a larger tax credit to cover the 2021 and 2022 premiums.

Keeping larger grants in place could prevent 4.2 million people from uninsured from 2022, according to the Commonwealth Fund study.

“Even before the pandemic, people struggled with inadequate health coverage and growing medical debt,” said Dr David Blumenthal, chairman of the Commonwealth Fund. “Now the administration and Congress have the ability to ensure not only that all US residents have health insurance, but that coverage is affordable and comprehensive.”

Earlier this week, Senate Democrats said they had reached a deal for a $ 3.5 trillion budget over the next 10 years that would put more money into healthcare spending, among other things. It is far from certain that the deal will become law in the equally divided Senate, analysts note.

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/the-pandemic-has-created-a-mountain-of-medical-debt-heres-who-is-facing-these-bills/feed/ 0
EMEA Morning Briefing: Equities on the Rise, Economy -2- http://ctxetg.com/emea-morning-briefing-equities-on-the-rise-economy-2/ http://ctxetg.com/emea-morning-briefing-equities-on-the-rise-economy-2/#respond Fri, 16 Jul 2021 04:20:00 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/emea-morning-briefing-equities-on-the-rise-economy-2/ AMC shares rose nearly 8%, erasing losses from the start of the day, when they fell nearly 6% in pre-market trading. The stock has fallen more than 20% so far this week, making it one of the biggest losers as a searing rally in even stocks started to falter. GameStop edged down less than 1% […]]]>

AMC shares rose nearly 8%, erasing losses from the start of the day, when they fell nearly 6% in pre-market trading. The stock has fallen more than 20% so far this week, making it one of the biggest losers as a searing rally in even stocks started to falter. GameStop edged down less than 1% on Thursday, extending a pre-market decline and bringing its loss for this week to nearly 13%.

   
 
 

Rebound in oil demand could boost inflation and put pressure on indebted nations, OPEC says

A strong recovery in global oil demand next year could accelerate the pace of inflation and put pressure on heavily indebted countries, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Thursday.

In a monthly report, OPEC made its first 2022 forecast for the global oil market, saying it expects the global appetite for crude to increase by 3.3 million barrels per day to reach on average 99.9 million barrels per day. This echoes forecasts made in June by the International Energy Agency, which expects demand to return to pre-pandemic highs by the end of next year.

   
 
 

U.S. banking regulators seek comment on third-party relationship guidelines

Interagency Guidelines on Third Party Relations proposed by three banking regulators highlight the risks financial institutions face as banks increasingly rely on external vendors and fintech companies for their products and services. services, industry observers said.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are seeking comments on proposed guidance that provides a risk management framework for third party relationships, the agencies said. this week. Third parties mentioned in the document include vendors, fintech companies, affiliates and holding companies of banking organizations, the agencies said.

   
 
 

Rio Tinto’s second quarter Australian iron ore shipments drop 12%

SYDNEY – Rio Tinto PLC said it shipped 12% less iron ore from its Australian mining center in the second quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier, and that it expects annual exports to rise. are at the bottom of the previous estimate after facing above-average precipitation, operational stoppages and labor shortages due to Covid-19 restrictions.

   
 
 

Biden says he expects to provide update on travel ban in Europe soon

President Biden said he expected to provide an update on whether his administration would lift the ban on travel from Germany and other parts of Europe in the coming days, at the following an assessment by its Covid-19 advisers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the subject in a bilateral meeting with Mr Biden on Thursday, he said.

   
 
 

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri resigns after failing to form government

BEIRUT-Lebanon Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Thursday abandoned his nine-month efforts to form a government, exacerbating a political crisis as the country grapples with a cratered economy and medical shortages amid a global pandemic .

President Michel Aoun tasked Hariri in October with forming a new government after the latter collapsed following the deadly explosion in Beirut in August that destroyed much of the capital. Mr Hariri is the second prime minister designate to give up trying to form a government amid a stalemate among the country’s ruling elite.

   
 
 

Biden bids farewell to German Angela Merkel at the White House

WASHINGTON-President Biden welcomed Angela Merkel to the White House for what is likely her last visit as German Chancellor, with both sides highlighting improving transatlantic relations despite divergent interests on energy and other issues .

After several hours of meetings Thursday afternoon, the two leaders said they discussed a range of topics from the global Covid-19 pandemic to the more assertive behavior of China and Russia. They also highlighted a series of issues they disagree on, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a Russian project to send natural gas to Germany.

   
 
 

EU court sets limits on headscarf ban in the workplace

BRUSSELS – The highest court in the European Union said on Thursday that employers can ban the wearing of scarves and other religious symbols, but are setting conditions for those bans to comply with the bloc’s anti-discrimination laws.

   
 
 

Intel in talks to buy GlobalFoundries for around $ 30 billion

Intel Corp. is exploring a deal to buy GlobalFoundries Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, as part of a move that would boost the semiconductor giant’s plans to make more chips for other tech companies and be seen as its biggest acquisition ever.

A deal could value GlobalFoundries at around $ 30 billion, the people said. There is no guarantee that one will meet, and GlobalFoundries could make a planned initial public offering. GlobalFoundries is owned by Mubadala Investment Co., an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, but based in the United States

   
 
 

Netflix’s Gambit video game takes shape as streaming competition grows

Netflix Inc. co-founder Reed Hastings has often said that he sees video games as the streaming company’s biggest competitor for customers.

Now he wants Netflix to make its own video games, and the company has brought in an industry veteran to oversee its strategy.

   
 
 

Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

   
 
 

Every hour in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

Write to us at newsletters@dowjones.com

We offer an enhanced version of this briefing that is optimized for viewing on mobile devices and sent directly to your inbox. If you would like to register, go to https://newsplus.wsj.com/subscriptions.

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 16, 2021 00:20 ET (04:20 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/emea-morning-briefing-equities-on-the-rise-economy-2/feed/ 0
EFCC is not a debt collection agency – Bawa http://ctxetg.com/efcc-is-not-a-debt-collection-agency-bawa/ http://ctxetg.com/efcc-is-not-a-debt-collection-agency-bawa/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 17:33:43 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/efcc-is-not-a-debt-collection-agency-bawa/ Abdulrasheed Bawa, President of the EFCC By Moji Eniola The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, warned members of the public not to drag the commission into business deals gone awry. Bawa gave his advice while speaking as one of the panelists at the Alao Aka-Bashorun Memorial Lecture Thursday […]]]>

Abdulrasheed Bawa, President of the EFCC

By Moji Eniola

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, warned members of the public not to drag the commission into business deals gone awry.

Bawa gave his advice while speaking as one of the panelists at the Alao Aka-Bashorun Memorial Lecture Thursday in Lagos.

Bawa, represented by Mr. Anselm Ozioko, Head of the Legal Department of the EFCC, intervened on the subject; “Our role in the effective implementation of Nigeria’s anti-corruption law”.

He said there was a general misconception among members of the public that the EFCC was a debt collection agency and urged the public to stop asking the anti-corruption agency to collect debts.

“I am responsible for saying that members of the public, including legal practitioners in the collection of their clients, should stop urging us (the board) to do so.”

“I must also state that in the course of a financial crime investigation, it is possible that a sum of money transferred from a symbolic plaintiff’s account could be recovered as an exhibit.

“In certain circumstances, the exhibits may be turned over to the complainant or the said exhibit will be used for the prosecution of the suspect in court.

“At the end of a successful prosecution, the court may grant a restitution order for the nominal plaintiff, in which the exhibit will be delivered to a nominal plaintiff in accordance with the court order,” Bawa said.

Victims of fraud turn to the EFCC and they expect the organization to freeze suspects’ bank accounts, have them confiscate their assets and hand over the assets (victims) to them.

The president said that when the EFCC followed due process and did not act according to the victims’ expectations, they are confused.

Bawa said that despite the best efforts of the EFCC, international e-commerce platforms like Paypal have failed to restore Nigeria to their payment platform due to the nefarious activities of fraudsters.

Commenting on the role of lawyers during questioning, the president said they should observe and not interfere with EFCC interrogations and should not vouch for suspects held by EFCC.

“The EFCC has, in certain situations, sued lawyers who have filed their appeal certificates with the bar to vouch for suspects because their client has skipped the bond.

“In some cases, we have reported such lawyers to the Legal Discipline Committee. It is not your responsibility as a lawyer to release anyone, you are recommending that someone be suitable as a surety, not you, as a lawyer, ”he said.

Bawa said that in many cases lawyers have tried to defeat investigations by bringing fundamental rights lawsuits against the EFCC when their clients receive letters of invitation.

“As a lawyer, you cannot prevent a law enforcement agency from fulfilling its statutory obligations,” he said.

NOPE

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/efcc-is-not-a-debt-collection-agency-bawa/feed/ 0
Kaseya, the software company hacked to distribute ransomware, already had security vulnerabilities http://ctxetg.com/kaseya-the-software-company-hacked-to-distribute-ransomware-already-had-security-vulnerabilities/ http://ctxetg.com/kaseya-the-software-company-hacked-to-distribute-ransomware-already-had-security-vulnerabilities/#respond Wed, 14 Jul 2021 00:05:00 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/kaseya-the-software-company-hacked-to-distribute-ransomware-already-had-security-vulnerabilities/ For 21 years, software company Kaseya worked in relative obscurity – at least until cybercriminals exploited it in early July for a massive ransomware attack that harassed businesses around the world and escalation of US-Russian diplomatic tensions. But it turns out that the recent hack wasn’t the first major cybersecurity problem to hit the Miami-based […]]]>

For 21 years, software company Kaseya worked in relative obscurity – at least until cybercriminals exploited it in early July for a massive ransomware attack that harassed businesses around the world and escalation of US-Russian diplomatic tensions.

But it turns out that the recent hack wasn’t the first major cybersecurity problem to hit the Miami-based company and its core product, which IT teams use to remotely monitor and administer computer systems and other devices. At work.

“It sounds a bit like déjà vu,” said Allie Mellen, security analyst at Forrester Research.

In 2018, for example, hackers managed to infiltrate Kaseya’s remote tool to perform a “cryptojacking” operation, which channels the power of affected computers to mine for cryptocurrency, often without its victims breaking out. account for it. This was a less damaging breach than the recent ransomware attack, which was impossible to miss as it crippled affected systems until their owners paid. But it has also relied on Kaseya’s Virtual System Administrator, or VSA, product as a means of accessing the businesses that depend on it.

A 2019 ransomware attack also spread to computers through another company’s add-on software component for Kaseya VSA, causing more limited damage than the recent attack. Some experts have linked this earlier assault to some of the same hackers who went on to form REvil, the Russian-speaking union blamed for the latest attack.

And in 2014, Kaseya’s own founders sued the company in a dispute over responsibility for a VSA security breach that allowed hackers to launch a separate cryptocurrency scheme. The court case does not appear to have been previously reported outside of a brief mention 2015 in a technical blog post. At the time, the founders denied responsibility for the vulnerability, calling the charges against them a “false claim.”

Almost all of Kaseya’s security issues are rooted in well-understood coding vulnerabilities that should have been addressed earlier, said Katie Moussouris, cybersecurity expert, founder and CEO of Luta Security.

“Kaseya needs to get in shape, like the entire software industry,” she said. “It’s a failure to integrate the lessons the insects were teaching you. Kaseya, like many businesses, cannot learn these lessons. “

Many attacks relied at least in part on what is known as SQL injection, a technique used by hackers to inject malicious code into web requests. It’s an old technique that Mellen says has been viewed as a “solved problem” in the cybersecurity world for a decade.

“This indicates a chronic product safety issue in Kaseya’s software that remains unanswered seven years later,” she said. “When organizations choose to overcome security concerns, incidents continue and, as in this case, escalate. “

Kaseya noted that this has been a long-standing target, as many of its direct customers are “managed service providers” that host the IT infrastructure of hundreds if not thousands of other businesses.

“In the industry we are in and the number of terminals we manage around the world, as you might expect, we take security very seriously,” said Ronan Kirby, president of the company’s European operations, during of a Belgian cybersecurity conference on Thursday. “You attack a business, you enter the business. You attack a service provider, you break into all of their customers. You walk into Kaseya, it’s a very different proposition. We are therefore obviously an attractive target.

Kaseya declined to answer questions from The Associated Press about previous hacks or the legal dispute involving its founders.

Mark Sutherland and Paul Wong co-founded Kaseya in California in 2000. They had previously worked together on a project to protect the email accounts of US intelligence officers at the National Security Agency, according to an account on the company’s website.

But more than a year after Kaseya’s sale in June 2013, court records show Sutherland, Wong and two other former senior executives sued the company to recover $ 5.5 million in share buybacks they said they were unfairly denied.

At the heart of the dispute was an attack by hackers who used Kaseya’s VSA as a means to deploy Litecoin mining malware that secretly hijacks the power of a victimized computer to earn money for the hacker by dealing cryptocurrency payments.

Kaseya publicly disclosed the attacks in a March 2014 notice to customers. Privately, he criticized the company’s previous management for failing to warn of “serious vulnerabilities” in Kaseya’s software. He sought to deprive them of the final $ 5.5 million of the purchase price to compensate for the loss of business and damage to reputation.

The founders, in turn, criticized the new management for reducing coding expertise and eliminating a “fix” system to quickly fix bugs, according to the lawsuit of Sutherland, Wong, the former CEO Gerald Blackie and former COO Timothy McMullen.

They also argued that the SQL injection technique used by hackers was very common and “inherent in all computer code” using the SQL programming language.

“Ensuring that every piece of database access code is immune to SQL injection is essentially impossible,” their lawsuit said. Mellen and Moussouris both rejected this claim.

“This is a bold and provably false statement,” Moussouris said. “This highlights the fact that they lacked the security knowledge and sophistication to protect their users.”

None of the plaintiffs or their lawyers responded to requests for comment. They agreed to close the case in December 2013, just a month after filing it. We do not know how this was resolved. Kaseya is a private company.

Sutherland and Wong’s LinkedIn profiles list them as retirees. Blackie became CEO of another Miami-based remote control software provider, Pilixo, where he was joined by McMullen. Pilixo did not return a request for comment.

New vulnerabilities affecting Kaseya’s VSA – including the one exploited by the ransomware gang REvil – were discovered this year by a Dutch cybersecurity research group that says it confidentially notified Kaseya in early April. “In the wrong hands, these vulnerabilities could lead to the compromise of a large number of computers managed by Kaseya VSA,” the Netherlands Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure said in a blog post last week explaining the timeline of his actions.

Some of these Kaseya were patched in May, including another SQL injection flaw, but the Dutch group said others still weren’t patched when the ransomware started hitting hundreds of businesses in early July. . Kaseya said up to 1,500 businesses were compromised as a result of the attack. Kaseya deployed patches for vulnerabilities used in the REvil attack on Sunday.

With Kaseya in the spotlight, a cybersecurity worker helping customers affected by the July 2 ransomware attack discovered what he called a blatant Kaseya security omission: a vulnerability in a publicly accessible customer portal that had was identified in 2015 but not corrected.

Hold Security’s Alex Holden said he informed Kaseya and the portal was quickly taken down. But the vulnerability troubled him, he said, as it allowed unauthenticated users to access a highly protected configuration file on Microsoft’s web servers, which often contains passwords and can grant access. to the main functions.

Moussouris said there is a pattern of ransomware syndicates looking for easily detectable software flaws.

“It’s a collective technical debt around the world and ransomware gangs are technical debt collectors,” she said. “They’re going after organizations like Kaseya” and others that haven’t invested in better security.

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/kaseya-the-software-company-hacked-to-distribute-ransomware-already-had-security-vulnerabilities/feed/ 0
The CFPB highlights the conclusions of the control examinations – Finance and Banking http://ctxetg.com/the-cfpb-highlights-the-conclusions-of-the-control-examinations-finance-and-banking/ http://ctxetg.com/the-cfpb-highlights-the-conclusions-of-the-control-examinations-finance-and-banking/#respond Mon, 12 Jul 2021 18:33:36 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/the-cfpb-highlights-the-conclusions-of-the-control-examinations-finance-and-banking/ United States: The CFPB highlights the conclusions of the supervisory reviews July 12, 2021 Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP To print this article, simply register or connect to Mondaq.com. CFPB Highlighted findings of supervisory reviews completed in 2020. Reviews covered, among others, (i) automotive service, (ii) consumer reporting, (iii) debt collection, (iv) equity loans, (v) […]]]>

United States: The CFPB highlights the conclusions of the supervisory reviews

To print this article, simply register or connect to Mondaq.com.

CFPB Highlighted findings of supervisory reviews completed in 2020. Reviews covered, among others, (i) automotive service, (ii) consumer reporting, (iii) debt collection, (iv) equity loans, (v) mortgage service and (iv) student loan service.

In its periodical publication Highlights of supervision, the CFPB reported, among other things, examples of:

  • unfair or deceptive practices with regard to (i) the insurance of protection of collateral placed by the lender, and (ii) the demands for payment and the amounts of repayment, in circumstances where consumers were to benefit from discounts on auxiliary products;
  • deficiencies in the compliance of companies reporting to consumers with the Fair Credit Reports Act and Regulation V, in particular, their (i) accuracy requirements, (ii) requirements regarding identity theft blocking requests and (iii) dispute investigation requirements;
  • violations by debt collectors of the largest participants, including (i) prohibited calls to a consumer’s workplace, (ii) failure to interrupt communications after receiving a written request or refusal to pay, and (iii) illegal administrative garnishment of wages during debt consolidation processes;
  • failure to (i) investigate errors in a timely manner, (ii) perform reasonable reviews, (iii) correct errors properly and (iv) obtain affirmative consent from consumers before charging them an overdraft fee;
  • payday loan violations that involve misrepresentation regarding (i) an intention to sue, (ii) whether credit checks will be performed and (iii) consumer eligibility for toll-free reimbursement factories; and
  • deceptive market practices involving private education loan rates and student loan servicing, including (i) cancellation of public service loans, (ii) impact of employer certification forms, and (iii) ) the irreversible consequences of automatic abstentions in the event of a natural disaster.

Primary sources

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: United States Finance and Banking

Comparative guide to banking regulations

Linklaters

Comparative guide to banking regulation for United States jurisdiction, see our comparison guides section to compare multiple countries

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/the-cfpb-highlights-the-conclusions-of-the-control-examinations-finance-and-banking/feed/ 0
SCV Water Board will resume face-to-face meetings on September 7 http://ctxetg.com/scv-water-board-will-resume-face-to-face-meetings-on-september-7/ http://ctxetg.com/scv-water-board-will-resume-face-to-face-meetings-on-september-7/#respond Sat, 10 Jul 2021 18:54:32 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/scv-water-board-will-resume-face-to-face-meetings-on-september-7/ The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency board of directors voted by 7-5 Tuesday to return to face-to-face meetings on September 7. The September date is later than the August 3 date recommended by Board Chairman Gary Martin in a report presented to directors at Tuesday’s virtual meeting. “What I did two weeks ago is not […]]]>

The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency board of directors voted by 7-5 Tuesday to return to face-to-face meetings on September 7.

The September date is later than the August 3 date recommended by Board Chairman Gary Martin in a report presented to directors at Tuesday’s virtual meeting.

“What I did two weeks ago is not something I would necessarily do today, as the guidelines have changed (and) new information has emerged,” said director Beth Braunstein, noting the public health recommendation to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Braunstein argued for flexibility in the agency’s approach, which will be discussed on August 3, when agency staff present options to “implement a hybrid program that would allow a some remote participation of members of the public ”when the board of directors returns. in-person meetings.

“We have to be flexible in everything we do,” she said. “I hope that shows in our planning and in the way we do things.”

Director Bill Cooper said he did not understand the rationale of the majority of the board for choosing September 7 instead of August 3 to return to face-to-face meetings.

“We have to be prepared to hold our meetings the way we are supposed to,” Cooper said, citing recent public events attended by directors, including the State of the State event at the Hyatt Valencia.

PFAS funding

The board of directors decided to allow themselves to authorize up to $ 40 million of debt issuance to meet the investment costs of PFAS with a simple majority vote.

“When the merger took place, we were not dealing with PFAS and we had no plans to do business with PFAS,” Daniel Mortensen, vice chairman of the board, said at the meeting. “The retail debt limitation was not done with the idea that we would be dealing with PFAS.”

The option to authorize up to $ 40 million in debt issuance was a secondary recommendation that received a dissenting vote from Director Ed Colley.

The board of directors initially failed to secure a four-fifths majority to adopt the main recommendation of the board’s finance and administration committee which would not have imposed any restriction on the amount. of debt issuance after lifting the $ 11 million funding cap and the fourth fifth vote requirement for retail debt.

Directors Kathye Armitage, BJ Atkins, Lynne Plambeck, Braunstein and Mortensen voted against the main recommendation.

“Because (PFAS) was an unknown which was kind of abandoned to us, it was appropriate that only PFAS work readjusted this limit to allow for a more economical funding option than repeatedly asking for $ 11 million in funding. dollars, ”Mortensen said.

A staff report on Tuesday’s agenda item noted that the investment costs of PFAS amount to $ 47.8 million in SCV Water’s five-year investment plan.

“We should discuss how to do lower cost financing which may involve other sources of funds than bond financing,” Martin added to the board discussion before voting in favor of the alternative financing plan.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, PFAS are man-made chemicals found in a wide range of products used by consumers and industries, such as rugs, kitchenware. non-stick and paper food packaging. SCV Water has undertaken efforts, including the first of several new treatment facilities that began operating late last year, to remove PFAS from local groundwater to make it usable.

Generator

The board approved the purchase of a $ 275,000 generator for back-up power at the Earl Schmidt Filtration Plant during Public Safety Power Outages (PSPS) and similar blackouts.

The purchase uses a grant of $ 249,854 that SCV Water received from the California Office of Emergency Services as part of its Community Power Resiliency program in March and $ 25,000 from the agency’s budget.

The report found that a new generator would allow the plant to run at full capacity during blackouts.

The engineering work, including design, permits and construction, related to preparing the plant for the generator will cost the agency $ 490,000, according to Mike Alvord, director of operations and maintenance for the agency. This project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/scv-water-board-will-resume-face-to-face-meetings-on-september-7/feed/ 0
Biden administration cancels $ 55.6 million in student loan debt for fraud victims http://ctxetg.com/biden-administration-cancels-55-6-million-in-student-loan-debt-for-fraud-victims/ http://ctxetg.com/biden-administration-cancels-55-6-million-in-student-loan-debt-for-fraud-victims/#respond Fri, 09 Jul 2021 19:25:52 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/biden-administration-cancels-55-6-million-in-student-loan-debt-for-fraud-victims/ The Biden administration is writing off $ 55.6 million in student loan debt for victims who were defrauded by three for-profit institutions. The education department said in a statement on Friday that he canceled the debts of 1,800 borrowers who attended Westwood College, the Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute. Of the […]]]>

The Biden administration is writing off $ 55.6 million in student loan debt for victims who were defrauded by three for-profit institutions.

The education department said in a statement on Friday that he canceled the debts of 1,800 borrowers who attended Westwood College, the Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute.

Of the canceled debt, the lion’s share – some $ 53 million – will go to borrowers who attended Westwood College, which closed in 2015.

The school, which had campuses across the country, is accused of having distorted the ability of students to transfer credits to another institution between 2002 and 2015. In addition, it is accused of misleading students. students who took his criminal justice program into believing that they would be able to find employment with various law enforcement agencies in Illinois.

Separately, the department has approved more than $ 2.2 million from 200 claimants who say they were defrauded in Marinello. The borrowers claimed that the school failed to teach them the key elements of a cosmetology program and that students were left for weeks or months without instructors.

Another debt of $ 340,000 was forgiven by 18 borrowers who attended the Court Reporting Institute. The agency says the majority of students were never able to complete the program, noting that only 2 to 6 percent of students graduated.

Debt is canceled as part of the Ministry of Education’s borrower defense program, which allows those who have been defrauded by institutions to write off their debts.

The Biden administration had already canceled $ 1.5 billion in debt for nearly 92,000 borrowers who claim to have been defrauded by the ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian College.

Education secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaPuerto Rico to receive nearly $ 1 billion in pandemic relief funds Warren blocks confirmation of Biden’s choice to push for student loan reforms said in a statement that the agency “will continue to do its part to review and approve borrower advocacy requests quickly and fairly so that borrowers get the help they need and deserve.”

“We also hope that these approvals serve as a warning to any institution engaging in similar behavior that this type of misrepresentation is unacceptable,” he said.

White House is under vocal pressure from the left to cancel large swathes of student loan debt, something President BidenJoe BidenJohn Kerry to Visit Moscow Officials to Discuss “Global Climate Ambition” Civil Rights Leaders Find Meeting with WH “Encouraging” Amid Voting Rights Battle Pentagon Considering Locations to Send Afghan interpreters as Biden promises evacuations by end of July MORE has so far hesitated to do so.

]]>
http://ctxetg.com/biden-administration-cancels-55-6-million-in-student-loan-debt-for-fraud-victims/feed/ 0
Why the Covid crisis must push credit rating agencies to review their methods and fight against bias http://ctxetg.com/why-the-covid-crisis-must-push-credit-rating-agencies-to-review-their-methods-and-fight-against-bias/ http://ctxetg.com/why-the-covid-crisis-must-push-credit-rating-agencies-to-review-their-methods-and-fight-against-bias/#respond Fri, 09 Jul 2021 03:05:21 +0000 http://ctxetg.com/why-the-covid-crisis-must-push-credit-rating-agencies-to-review-their-methods-and-fight-against-bias/ Illustration: Ramandeep Kaur / ThePrint Text size: A- A + The methodology of credit rating companies puts a country trying to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic at a standstill. If a government increases its spending, its debt increases, and therefore the rating goes down. If a government keeps spending under control, demand does not […]]]>
Illustration: Ramandeep Kaur / ThePrint

Text size:

The methodology of credit rating companies puts a country trying to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic at a standstill.

If a government increases its spending, its debt increases, and therefore the rating goes down. If a government keeps spending under control, demand does not pick up and projected GDP growth declines, increasing the prospects for downside.

As rating agencies pursue this standard approach developed for normal times, even in these unprecedented times, the rating and outlook for emerging economies appears to be worse, whether his government is fiscal conservative or prodigious.


Read also : Why the Modi government has walked a tightrope with a new Covid relief package


What a downgrade could mean for an economy

In recent weeks, a number of rating agencies have downgraded India’s GDP growth forecast. Fitch reviews Cut India’s growth forecast at 10% for the current year, compared to 12.8% estimated earlier. Likewise, Standard & Poor’s has lowered his projections to 9.5 percent for the current year, up from 11 percent estimated earlier.

These estimates feed their sovereign ratings. While S&P maintained a stable outlook on India’s sovereign credit rating, they warned India could face a rating downgrade if the economic recovery is slower or if deficits and debts exceed their forecasts.

A sovereign credit rating indicates a sovereign’s creditworthiness. Governments seek higher credit ratings for easier access to international financial markets. These ratings also affect the ratings of other domestic borrowers in international markets.

Even when governments do not borrow in international financial markets, as in the case of India, the country’s rating matters because foreign institutional investors like pension funds, banks and other portfolio investors have rules regarding a country’s rating for them to invest in stocks and bonds in that country. Downgrading could mean many of them would have to quit.

How grades are assigned

India’s sovereign rating is assigned by global rating agencies such as Moody’s, S&P, Fitch, Japan Credit Rating Agency, DBRS and R&I. Each of these rating agencies has a methodology and a model for assessing the creditworthiness of a sovereign.

Typically, they examine the prospects for economic growth, fiscal and debt dynamics, and the soundness of the external sector, which includes the position of the current and capital account and foreign exchange reserves, to assess the country’s creditworthiness. .

To assess fiscal and debt dynamics, the key variables are the budget deficit and the change in the public debt-to-GDP ratio.

Keeping debt and deficit under control while boosting growth is a tightrope walker. If a country borrows more and spends more to increase its economic growth, its fiscal and debt dynamics suffer. If a country tries to maintain fiscal discipline by controlling its spending and borrowing, its economic growth may not accelerate immediately.

So whether countries focus on higher growth financed by additional spending or on fiscal discipline, there is a possibility of lower growth forecasts and downgrading of ratings. This challenge becomes even more aggravated during a Black swan event like the Covid-19 pandemic.


Read also : Covid reversed years of gains made by India after 1991 liberalization


Why there seems to be a bias in the assessment

While countries have responded to the Covid crisis with supportive measures through expansionary fiscal policy, the scope of support varies depending on the ability to access low-cost finance.

Many advanced economies have implemented large-scale spending. However, support in emerging economies has been relatively weaker due to their limited ability to borrow and spend.

Rating agencies use the same parameters to assess the creditworthiness of all countries, but some studies have shown that their ratings are biased in favor of advanced economies.

Agencies give higher marks to advanced economies regardless of their macroeconomic fundamentals, show studies. For example, the United States has maintained the best ratings of most agencies despite its debt estimated at around 110% of GDP.

One of the reasons the United States can afford to increase its debt and spending is because the US dollar is the primary reserve currency, giving the country the ability to sell bonds that are in high demand around the world. at low interest rates.

As such, even if the agencies plan to downgrade the United States, their rating does not matter. Previous episodes rating downgrades show that in such a case, investors are avoiding riskier assets and flocking to US government bonds due to the institutional strength and liquidity of the US Treasury bond bond markets.

Investors are confident that central banks in advanced economies will be able to cope with the potential implications of a downgrade.

Questions to ponder in India

Credit scores are more important for countries without a hard currency, such as India.

Since last year, the Narendra Modi government has launched a number of support measures to mitigate the disruptive impact of the pandemic. The structure of most of the relief packages was made with a eye on the public deficit. But a collapse in income resulted in a heavy borrowing schedule for central and state governments.

The agencies have raised concerns about India’s rising debt and deficit levels.

It’s worth asking yourself: how much debt is too much? Is there an ideal debt-to-GDP ratio? Given that countries are at different stages of economic development, can countries be compared to a median number? Should metrics, which may be applicable in normal times, be applied to assess creditworthiness in unpredictable times?

Rating agencies lowered their growth forecasts for India, citing a slower recovery after the second wave. It looks like the agencies will frown on anything the government does.

Ila Patnaik is an economist and professor at the National Institute of Finance and Public Policy.

Radhika Pandey is a consultant at NIPFP.

Opinions are personal.


Read also : 7-year record: UPA raised gasoline and diesel prices more than BJP, but the world story was different


Subscribe to our channels on Youtube & Telegram

Why the news media is in crisis and how to fix it

India needs free, fair, uninhibited, interrogative journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media are in a crisis of their own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, giving in to crass spectacle in prime time.

ThePrint employs the best young reporters, columnists and editors. Supporting journalism of this quality requires smart, thoughtful people like you to pay the price. Whether you live in India or abroad, you can do it here.

Support our journalism