Tag Archives: Southeast Asia

Indonesia Bans Sale Of Cough Syrups + Liquid Meds!

Indonesia Bans Sale Of Cough Syrups + Liquid Meds!

Indonesia has stopped the sale of all medical and cough syrups, and liquid medication after 99 children died, amidst an unexplained spike in acute kidney injuries.

 

Indonesia Bans Sale Of Cough Syrups + Liquid Meds!

On Thursday, October 20, 2022, Indonesia banned the sale of all syrup and liquid medication, including cough syrups.

This decision follows the deaths of 99 children, and 206 cases of acute kidney injuries in children, mostly under 6 years of age.

As a precaution, the ministry has asked health workers in health facilities not to prescribe liquid medicine or syrup temporarily.

We also ask that drug stores temporarily stop all sales of non-prescription liquid medicine or syrup until our investigations are completed.

– Indonesia Health Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Syahril

Read more : Truth About FDA Import Alert 99-33 On Japanese Food!

 

Indonesia Ban Of Cough Syrups + Liquid Meds : What’s Going On?!

Just a week ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) linked four cough syrups made in India to the deaths of more than 60 children who suffered acute kidney failure in The Gambia, West Africa.

WHO suspected that the four cough syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited of India, contained “unacceptable amounts” of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can damage the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.

India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organizatio immediately shut down Maiden Pharmaceuticals’ factory in New Delhi where these cough syrups were made.

In view of the seriousness of the contraventions observed during the investigation and its potential risk to the quality, safety and efficacy of the drugs being produced, all the manufacturing activities of the firm (are) being stopped with immediate effect.

The cough syrups that killed so many children in The Gambia though were not sold in Indonesia, according to the Indonesian food and drugs agency.

However, Indonesian Health Ministry Budi Gunadi Sadikin said today (Thursday, October 20) that the same toxic substances – diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol – were detected in syrups found in the homes of some of the affected children.

He added that the number of acute kidney failure cases could be higher than reported, so his health ministry was taking the conservative approach by banning the sale of all medical syrups and liquid medication.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Apple Pay Setup Guide : How To Register Your Cards!

Now that Apple Pay is available in Malaysia, here is my guide on how to set it up with your debit / credit card!

 

Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Apple Pay was first launched way back in September 2014, together with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. However, its global availability was slow and some would say, tortuous.

For years, Apple fans in Malaysia have requested for Apple Pay to be introduced in Malaysia, and could only look at Singapore in envy, when Apple Pay was introduced there more than six years ago in April 2016!

But the wait is over! The steady drip of leaks has finally culminated in actual confirmation that yes, Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia!

While this guide is based on credit cards in Malaysia, it will work in other countries too, as long as Apple Pay is supported.

 

Not All Banks Support Apple Pay

First of all, you must understand that not all banks support Apple Pay. Here in Malaysia, only three banks support Apple Pay at the moment.

Banks In Malaysia That Support Apple Pay

You will be able to register debit and credit cards issued by these banks :

  • AmBank
  • Maybank
  • Standard Chartered Bank

Banks In Malaysia That Do Not Support Apple Pay

You won’t be able to add debit or credit cards from these banks :

  • CIMB
  • Citibank
  • UOB
  • OCBC

I will update this article as and when I find out what other banks in Malaysia support, or don’t support, Apple Pay.

Read more : How To Add MySJ Vaccine Certificate To Apple Wallet + Health

 

How To Register Your Card In Apple Pay

To help you register your debit / credit card with Apple Pay, here is my step-by-step guide :

Step 1 : Open the Wallet app in your iPhone.

Step 2 : Tap on the Add button to “Add a credit or debit card to get started using Apple Pay”.

Step 3 : In the next screen, tap on the Continue button.

Step 4 : You will now be asked to “scan” your debit / credit card using your iPhone camera, positioning it within the frame.

Step 5 : The Wallet app will try to pick up important details of your credit card like :

  • Name
  • Credit card number
  • Expiry date

If nothing happens, that means it cannot read the details off the card. Then you will need to tap on the Enter Card Details Manually option at the bottom.

Step 6 : Whether your card details are detected or not, verify the key card details required by Apple Pay :

  • Name
  • Card Number
  • Expiry Date
  • Security Code

If the detected details are wrong, edit them to make sure they match your debit / credit card.

Step 7 : You will need to key in the Security Code, which is a 3-digit or 4-digit CSC (Card Security Code) / CVV (Card Verification Value) / CVC (Card Verification Code) usually printed on the back of your debit / credit card.

Step 8 : If your credit card is not supported, you will get a pop-up message saying :

Your Issuer Does Not Yet Offer Support for This Card

Ask your issuer if they offer cards that support Apple Pay.

If your card is supported, you will see a list of Terms and Conditions. You will need to tap on Agree to continue.

Step 9 : The screen show details of your credit card while the Wallet app sets it up for Apple Pay. Just wait for a few seconds.

Step 10 : You will now be asked to verify your card for Apple Pay, usually through Text Message. Tap Next to continue with the verification process.

Step 11 : You will receive an SMS with a 6-digit One Time Password (OTP). You need to key that in within 2 minutes :

Card enrolment OTP for your digital wallet is XXXXXX. It will expire after 2 mins. If you have not performed this, please contact the bank.

Step 12 : Tap Next after keying in the OTP, and you should see the Card Activated notice.

That’s it! Your credit card is now ready for Apple Pay. When you open your Wallet, you should see that debit / credit card listed.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Apple did not announce anything official, but Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia!

Here is what you need to know, and how you can start using Apple Pay in Malaysia!

 

Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Apple Pay was first launched way back in September 2014, together with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. However, its global availability was slow and some would say, tortuous.

For years, Apple fans in Malaysia have requested for Apple Pay to be introduced in Malaysia, and could only look at Singapore in envy, when Apple Pay was introduced there more than six years ago in April 2016!

But the wait is over! The steady drip of leaks has finally culminated in actual confirmation that yes, Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia!

Apple did not announce anything, but you can now add your debit / credit cards to Apple Pay and start using it in Malaysia!

This makes Malaysia only the second country in Southeast Asia to support Apple Pay. The first was Singapore in April 2016.

Malaysia is also only the 10th territory in Asia to support Apple Pay, after Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and Singapore.

 

What Banks Currently Support Apple Pay In Malaysia?

Right off the bat, I have to warn you that support for Apple Pay is still pretty limited in Malaysia, to just three banks as far as I can tell.

Banks In Malaysia That Support Apple Pay

You will be able to register debit and credit cards issued by these banks :

  • AmBank
  • Maybank
  • Standard Chartered Bank

Banks In Malaysia That Do Not Support Apple Pay

You won’t be able to add debit or credit cards from these banks :

  • CIMB
  • Citibank
  • UOB
  • OCBC

I will update this article as and when I find out what other banks in Malaysia support, or don’t support, Apple Pay.

Read more : How To Add MySJ Vaccine Certificate To Apple Wallet + Health

 

How To Register Apple Pay In Malaysia?

To help you register your debit / credit card with Apple Pay, here is my step-by-step guide :

Step 1 : Open the Wallet app in your iPhone.

Step 2 : Tap on the Add button to “Add a credit or debit card to get started using Apple Pay”.

Step 3 : In the next screen, tap on the Continue button.

Step 4 : You will now be asked to “scan” your debit / credit card using your iPhone camera, positioning it within the frame.

Step 5 : The Wallet app will try to pick up important details of your credit card like :

  • Name
  • Credit card number
  • Expiry date

If nothing happens, that means it cannot read the details off the card. Then you will need to tap on the Enter Card Details Manually option at the bottom.

Step 6 : Whether your card details are detected or not, verify the key card details required by Apple Pay :

  • Name
  • Card Number
  • Expiry Date
  • Security Code

If the detected details are wrong, edit them to make sure they match your debit / credit card.

Step 7 : You will need to key in the Security Code, which is a 3-digit or 4-digit CSC (Card Security Code) / CVV (Card Verification Value) / CVC (Card Verification Code) usually printed on the back of your debit / credit card.

Step 8 : If your credit card is not supported, you will get a pop-up message saying :

Your Issuer Does Not Yet Offer Support for This Card

Ask your issuer if they offer cards that support Apple Pay.

If your card is supported, you will see a list of Terms and Conditions. You will need to tap on Agree to continue.

Step 9 : The screen show details of your credit card while the Wallet app sets it up for Apple Pay. Just wait for a few seconds.

Step 10 : You will now be asked to verify your card for Apple Pay, usually through Text Message. Tap Next to continue with the verification process.

Step 11 : You will receive an SMS with a 6-digit One Time Password (OTP). You need to key that in within 2 minutes :

Card enrolment OTP for your digital wallet is XXXXXX. It will expire after 2 mins. If you have not performed this, please contact the bank.

Step 12 : Tap Next after keying in the OTP, and you should see the Card Activated notice.

That’s it! Your credit card is now ready for Apple Pay. When you open your Wallet, you should see that debit / credit card listed.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Confirmed : Apple Pay Is Launching Soon In Malaysia!

Multiple leaks confirm that Apple Pay is launching soon in Malaysia! Here is what you need to know…

 

Leaks Confirm Apple Pay Is Launching Soon In Malaysia!

Multiple leaks have more or less let the cat out of the bag – that Apple Pay is launching soon in Malaysia!

This would make Malaysia the second country in Southeast Asia to support Apple Pay, and the 10th territory in Asia, after Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and Singapore.

AmBank Sent Apple Pay SMS

The first to leak was AmBank, when they sent out an SMS to their customers in July 2022, prematurely telling them that they can now use Apple Pay.

It appeared to have been a test run that ran awry, as their Apple Pay website was not yet ready. But it alerted everyone to the fact that Apple Pay is coming to Malaysia.

Shopee Added Apple Pay As Payment Option

The second to leak was Shopee, which released an Apple Pay option in version 2.91.28 of their app on 2 August 2022.

If you tap on it, you will simply be asked to “ensure there’s an active card in your Apple Pay wallet to proceed“.

Of course, you can’t actually add any credit / debit card to your Apple Pay wallet yet, but you can see that it is listed as a payment option.

Maxis Accidentally Promotes Apple Pay As Payment Option

On 5 August 2022, a Maxis Centre accidentally put out a cardboard sign announcing “Apple Pay accepted here“.

The tweet was deleted by its poster, but the cardboard sign was traced to the Sri Muda Maxis Centre in Shah Alam.

sorry guys had to delete the tweets atas permintaan pihak tertentu. but don’t worry cuz apple pay is coming soon to Malaysia!

AmBank Released Their Apple Pay Portal!

On 8 August 2022, AmBank (accidentally?) released their Apple Pay portal, confirming that the contactless payment system is ready to launch in Malaysia!

The AmBank Apple Pay portal has now been removed, but here are some of the details it revealed :

  • There is no transaction limit for Apple Pay, as opposed to a transaction limit of RM250 per purchase, with a RM750 daily limit, for other contactless payment platforms.
  • There is also no transaction limit for online purchases using Apple Pay through your iPhone, iPad or Mac computer.
  • AmBank also offered some promotions, including cash back for the first purchase using Apple Pay.
  • There were two unlisted YouTube videos (now removed) showing how to pay for your purchases using Apple Pay. Basically:
    a) Look for the Apple Pay and EMV contactless payment logos at the retailer
    b) Simply tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the credit card terminal to pay
    c) Use either Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode to verify the payment

 

Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

You would have thought that AmBank would have learned from their July 2022 SMS mistake, but no… they didn’t.

Then again, they may have “accidentally” leaked the Apple Pay website to drum up some hype ahead of the official launch.

These “accidents” have a habit of happening…

In any case, Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia, even though there was no official launch!

Read more : Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Most likely, Apple will roll it out in Malaysia with the next iOS update – probably iOS 15.6.1.

Currently iOS 15.6 does not support Apple Pay in Malaysia. When you try to add a debit / credit card to the Wallet app, you get this pop-up :

To add cards, keys, tickets and passes to Wallet, look for the Add to Wallet button in apps, emails and websites.

Until Apple adds this functionality through an iOS update for Malaysia, there is simply no way to add any card to the Wallet app.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Chinese Jamming Attacks Force US Navy To Withdraw?!

Was the US Navy forced to withdraw from the South China Sea after Chinese jamming attacks on their planes?

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are…

 

Claim : US Navy Withdraws After Chinese Jamming Attacks!

This was the Chinese article that went viral after the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao) and netizens promoted it excitedly in July 2020, and again in 2022.

It was allegedly translated into English by Hong Kong-based analyst, Thomas Wing Polin, whose translation was widely circulated on social media

It was this English translation that went viral again social media, after tensions rose between the US and China over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The post is very long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

Just now, the U.S. fighter plane flew over the South China Sea again.
Unexpectedly, it lost control halfway, and the U.S. finally admitted one thing.

Just now, the US CNBC website reported that several US Growler electronic warplanes were mysteriously attacked when they flew to the South China Sea again.

These warplanes were all out of control midway, but these warplanes were out of control for only a few seconds. Then the US military ordered the request. All fighters over the South China Sea withdrew.

 

US Navy Withdraws After Jamming : Just A Chinese Fantasy

That Chinese article was given some legitimacy after it was posted in Asia Times by Pepe Escobar.

However, it is COMPLETELY BOGUS, and is yet another example of Chinese propaganda warfare. Here are the facts…

Fact #1 : There Is No Such CNBC Report

A quick check on any search engine will show that CNBC never published a report on US Growler planes being attacked by Chinese jamming.

Fact #2 : No US Growler Planes Ever Lost Control From Chinese Jamming

No US EA-18G Growler planes ever lost control to Chinese jamming.

The Americans first detected Chinese jamming during USS Theodore Roosevelt’s deployment to the Philippines in 2018.

One EA-18G Growler pilot confirmed it in an interview with GMA News Online, but pointed out that they were not in danger :

The mere fact that some of your equipment is not working is already an indication that someone is trying to jam you. And so we have an answer to that.

A EA-18G Growler, XE 573 166857 of the VX-9 “Vampires” cruises over the desert during a mission. Shot 3/11/2009. RMS 227040

Fact #3 : EA-18G Growler Is An Electronics Warfare Aircraft

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is a two-seat electronics warfare aircraft, designed to jam enemy radar and electronics.

While the Growler is still vulnerable to powerful ground jamming, it is the worst aircraft for the Chinese to attack electronically because it’s the American aircraft most able to defend against, and respond to, a jamming attack.

Hence, the pilot’s response – “We have an answer to [Chinese jamming]“.

Fitted with a multitude of jamming pods and electronics, its electronics warfare officer can counter-jam Chinese radar and communications in the area.

And if they are ever in real danger, the pilot can fire an AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) to destroy the Chinese jammer.

But perhaps that’s also the reason why the Chinese chose to attack the EA-18G Growler in 2018 – it was the aircraft best able to withstand such an attack.

Fact #4 : It Is Illegal To Jam Any Aircraft In International Airspace

China has the right to jam foreign military aircraft entering its airspace without permission, but the Chinese do not have the right to jam any aircraft, military or civilian, flying in international airspace.

While a jamming attack is not an act of war like firing a missile or shooting shells at the aircraft, it is still a hostile, provocative act that could result in the loss of aircraft and aircrew.

Needless to say – it is illegal for for anyone to electronically interfere with aircraft flying in international space, even if they are EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft.

No nation that claims to be peaceful would behave so recklessly.

Fact #5 : China Pledged Not To Militarise The Spratlys

Back in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that China has no intention to militarise the Spratly islands :

Relevant construction activity that China is undertaking in the Nansha Islands does not target or impact any country and there is no intention to militarise.

President Xi Jinping also reiterated that China is “committed to freedom of navigation in the sea” and to “resolving disputes through dialogue“.

The presence of military jamming equipment in 2018 though would suggest that President Xi was lying, or has no control of what really goes on in the South China Sea.

It doesn’t help that the writer specifically pointed out how China has militarised those islands :

Since the construction of China’s island and reef defense began, the living space of US military fighters and warships has been shrinking. If China continues to develop like this, the United States will not have any chance of winning.

Fact #6 : Jammers Are Offensive Weapons

The claim that electronic jammers are defensive weapons is nonsensical. Electronic jamming is an offensive capability.

Imagine if your neighbour uses an electronic jammer to disrupt your Wi-Fi network, claiming that he has the right to defend his own Wi-Fi network. Which court in the world would agree with him?

The Chinese author of that fantasy piece actually debunked his own claim that jammers are defensive weapons, noting that “it is an electronic jamming device that can cut off the enemy’s radio system. The attacked fighter will be out of control. Since it cannot be controlled, these fighters will soon crash.

Does that sound like a defensive weapon to you? Serious lack of logic and common sense.

Russian Krasukha ground jamming system

Fact #7 : Electronic Jammers Do Not Affect Flight Controls

While electronic jammers can suppress or disrupt radar and communications, they cannot render an aircraft uncontrollable.

Airplanes will not crash simply because they lose radar and communications. Planes that lose radar and communications can still fly…

So the claim that Chinese jammers caused the Growler planes to almost crash is ludicrous.

Fact #8 : Chinese Jammers Do Not Cover Half The South China Sea

While the writer claims that the US military acknowledged that China’s electronic jamming system has covered more than half of the South China Sea, this is yet another fantasy.

The Chinese only deployed military jamming equipment to several artificial islands they created on Mischief Reef and Fiery Cross.

And as powerful as ground-based jamming can be, their effectiveness is greatly reduced by range. That’s why China introduced their Xi’an H-6G airborne jamming aircraft in 2018.

These long-range jamming aircraft would not be necessary if China is already capable of jamming electronics across such a vast distance.

Xian H-6G jamming bomber

Fact #9 : The United States Did Not Withdraw

The United States did not withdraw from the South China Sea in July 2020, as claimed by the article.

In fact, they sent two aircraft carriers – USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan – together with their battle groups into the South China Sea just before the Chinese article was published.

It was the first time two carrier groups operated together in the South China Sea since 2009. The third US carrier – USS Theodore Roosevelt – was also nearby, in the Philippine Sea.

The US Navy Chief of Information left no doubt that the two carriers were there to assert that the South China Sea are international waters, not Chinese waters.

Not did it withdraw in April 2021 when the same article went viral again.

In April 2021, the US Navy posted this famous photo of the captain and executive officer of USS Mustin (DDG-89) –  an Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer watching the Liaoning carrier group in the Philippine Sea.

The photo left no doubt that the US Navy was not going anywhere, and would shadow Chinese naval forces wherever they are in the South China Sea… and beyond.

Neither did they withdraw in 2022 when the same fake story went viral again.

On 20 January 2022, USS Benfold – an Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer – conducted a Freedom of Navigation operation by sailing past the Paracel Islands (which the Chinese call Xisha Islands).

On 24 January 2022, two US aircraft carrier groups led by USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln entered the South China Sea for training exercises.

This fake story appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

Please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends, so they know the truth!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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UOB Buys Citibank Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand + Vietnam!

UOB just announced that they will take over Citibank consumer business in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam!

Here is what you need to know…

 

UOB Buys Citibank Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand + Vietnam!

On 14 January 2022, UOB announced that they won the bid to take over Citibank consumer business in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The acquisition of Citibank in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam will cost UOB about S$5 billion (about RM15.5 billion or USD 3.72 billion).

When completed around early 2024, the acquisition of Citibank Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam will expand UOB’s retail customer base to approximately 10 billion in the region (including Singapore).

The sale comes more than 8 months after Citi announced in April 2021 that it would be exiting the consumer banking market in 13 markets. Citi, however, will continue to retain its Singapore assets.

The acquisition will affect some 5,000 Citi employees in those four countries, about 36% of whom have worked at Citi for more than a decade.

 

Official Statement By Citibank Malaysia On UOB Purchase

On 14 January 2022, Citibank Malaysia issued this advisory on the acquisition of Citi’s Consumer Banking business in Malaysia :

Dear Valued Customer,

I am writing to let you know that Citi in Malaysia has reached an agreement with UOB Group for the acquisition of Citi’s Consumer Banking business in Malaysia.

This is a positive outcome for Citi, our people, and our customers.

UOB Group will acquire Citi’s consumer business which includes credit cards, personal loans, retail banking, mortgages and wealth management solutions for high net-worth individuals.

We are delighted to find a strong partner in UOB Group, a leading Pan-Asian institution committed to providing great products, services and customer experiences. They have established a strong presence in Southeast Asia backed by a global network of 500 offices and have a reputation for building lasting relationships with customers.

Rest assured, there will be no immediate impact to your credit card accounts, loan accounts, deposits, investments, or any other product you may hold with us. This announcement is the start of a process that we expect will take time, with closing of the transaction subject to regulatory approvals.

Until such time, all our Consumer Banking business operations, Citibank service teams including our Relationship Managers, branches, call centers, Citibank Online and mobile banking services, will continue to serve you as usual.

Citi remains committed to serving you with excellence. Together with UOB Group, we will be sharing further updates with you in the future.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Natalya Kaspersky : Data Leaks In Southeast Asia & Globally

InfoWatch, the Russian cybersecurity and data loss prevention pioneer, just announced that they have set-up their first Southeast Asian base here in Kuala Lumpur. InfoWatch Group President Natalya Kaspersky flew in to make the announcement at IFSEC South East Asia 2017, and share the new InfoWatch report on data leaks in Southeast Asia.

 

Natalya Kaspersky & InfoWatch

Natalya Kaspersky is not just the Group President of InfoWatch, she was also the co-founder of Kaspersky Lab. She is a very influential figure in the Russian IT industry, and one of the wealthiest women in Russia.

 

InfoWatch SEA Base In Kuala Lumpur

The key announcement at IFSEC South East Asia 2017 is the establishment of the first InfoWatch South East Asia base in Kuala Lumpur under Vladimir Shutemov, the InfoWatch Labs Chief International Business Development Officer.

Based out of an office in the Ilham Tower, InfoWatch SEA will be a 10-12 strong team primarily focused on sales and marketing in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. During our informal chat, Natalya revealed that Malaysia was a natural choice because of her past experience with Kaspersky Lab in Malaysia.

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Data Leaks In South East Asia

The InfoWatch Analytical Center has been releasing global data leak reports on a biannual basis since 2007. And now, for the first time, they released a data leak report specifically for South East Asia.

This report is based on over 10,000 cases that have been publicly announced. Although that only represents 1% of all data leaks globally. the report gives us a valuable statistical sample of the data for analysis.

The new InfoWatch focus on South East Asia will help companies in this burgeoning region prevent data leaks from within their organisations.

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Microsoft SIR : APAC Vulnerable To Malware In 2017

7 February 2017 – Microsoft today marked “Safer Internet Day” with regional findings from the Microsoft SIR (Security Intelligence Report), Volume 21, a twice yearly report that provides unique insights into the threat landscape to help organizations learn about trend data in industry vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and web-based attacks.

The Microsoft SIR report, released in December last year, identified Asia Pacific markets, especially the emerging ones, as among those at the highest risk of cybersecurity threats. Three out of the top five global spots for rate of malware encounters in the region. Malaysia placed 11th amongst the top markets in Asia Pacific under malware threats. Furthermore, Malaysia reported a malware encounter rate of more than 27.6%, compared to the worldwide encounter rate of 20.8 percent during the same period.

Two of the top five locations across the globe most at risk of infection included neighbouring countries Vietnam and Indonesia. Other top markets under malware threats include large developing markets and Southeast Asia countries – Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and India – each with encounter rates of more than 30 percent.

However, markets in the region with higher levels of IT maturity such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have displayed malware encounter rates that are below the worldwide average, highlighting the diverse cybersecurity landscape in the Asia Pacific.

Top Markets in the Asia Pacific under Malware Threats in the Microsoft SIR :

  1. Mongolia
  2. Vietnam
  3. PakistanIndonesia
  4. Nepal and Bangladesh
  5. Cambodia
  6. Philippines
  7. Thailand
  8. India
  9. Sri Lanka
  10. Malaysia
  11. Taiwan
  12. China
  13. Singapore
  14. Hong Kong
  15. South Korea
  16. Australia
  17. New Zealand
  18. Japan

 

Top Encountered Malware in Asia Pacific

The Microsoft SIR report showed that the top most encountered malicious software families in Malaysia include:

  • Gamarue, a worm which can give a malicious hacker control of your PC, steal information and change PC security settings;
  • Lodbak, a trojan that is usually installed on removable drives by Gamarue, and which attempts to install Gamarue when the infected removable drive is connected to a computer; and Peals is a generic detection for various threats that display trojan characteristics.

In particular, Gamarue, the most commonly encountered non-generic threat was encountered by 3.3 percent of computers. This worm is commonly distributed via exploit kits and social engineering and can also be attached to spam mails.
Gamarue’s variants, can give a malicious hacker control of the infected computers and have been observed stealing information from the devices and communicating with command-and-control (C&C) servers managed by attackers. Gamarue also makes unwanted and malicious changes to the local computer’s security settings.

Jasmine Begum, Director, Corporate External & Legal Affairs (CELA), Microsoft Malaysia said, “With increasing malware encounters and sophistication of cyberattacks, cybersecurity is becoming a mission critical priority for most organizations. It generally takes an average up to 200 days for organizations to find out that they have been breached. With no sign of abatement in the future, what companies need is a Secure Modern Enterprise posture, which involves well-integrated “Protect-Detect-Respond” investments and capabilities, with a strategic focus on the core pillars – Identity, Apps, Data, Infrastructure and Devices. Additionally, organizations should also strongly consider adopting trusted cloud-based services to enjoy the highest levels of data protection, leveraging the cloud provider’s enterprise-grade security and privacy expertise, assurances and certifications.”

Security teams should also keep abreast of changes in the threat landscape brought about by emergence of cloud computing. The latest report contains an expanded Featured Intelligence section that includes a deep dive section on Protecting cloud infrastructure: detecting and mitigating threats using Azure Security Center. This section details new threats that organizations may encounter and explains how they can use Azure Security Center to protect, detect, and respond to security threats against Azure cloud-based resources.

Some of the new cloud-targeted threats outlined in the Microsoft SIR are:

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  • Pivot back attacks, which occurs when an attacker compromises a public cloud resource to obtain information that they then use to attack the resource provider’s on-premises environment
  • “Man in the Cloud” attacks, in which an attacker induces a prospective victim to install a piece of malware using a typical mechanism, such as an email with a link to a malicious website. It then switches out the user’s cloud storage synchronization token with the attacker’s token, allowing the attacker to receive copies of each file the user places in cloud storage. This effectively makes the attacker a “man in the middle” for cloud storage.
  • Side-channel attacks, where an attacker attempts to put a virtual machine on the same physical server as the intended victim. If he succeeds, the attacker will be able to launch local attacks against the victim. These attacks might include local DDoS, network sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks, all of which can be used to extract information.
  • Resource ransom, where attackers hold cloud resource hostage by breaking into and controlling public cloud account, and then requiring the victim to pay a ransom to release encrypted or restricted resources.

Organizations need to ensure they have a robust cybersecurity posture to withstand and respond effectively to most cyberattacks and malware infections.

Five best practices for improving defence against cybersecurity threats are:

  • Ensure strong fundamentals: Use only genuine, current and updated software. The usage of IT assets which are old, unprotected, or are non-genuine in nature, substantially increase the chances for a cyberattack. For example, pirated and counterfeit software are known to come with embedded malware infections.
  • Focus on cyber hygiene: Poor cyber hygiene of IT users, negligent employee behaviour or weak credentials/password protection within an organization, adds a high degree of vulnerability for system compromise. With more and more personal devices being used at the workplace, the higher the chance they are infected.
  • Have a data culture: Develop a big data analytics culture involving data classification, multifactor authentication, encryption, rights management, machine learning for behavioural analytics and log analytics to spot user anomalies and irregular or suspicious patterns, which could provide potential clues in advance to prevent impending or ongoing security breaches.
  • Invest in a robust cyber defence ecosystem and monitor all systems in real time: Invest in trusted security solutions and modern threat protection technologies to monitor, detect and remove common and advanced cyber threats in real time, while developing in-house expertise to undertake threat analytics.
  • Regular assessment, review and audit: Be comprehensive on all aspects of cybersecurity, not just technology. Have a IT trusted supply chain across cloud, software, hardware, Internet of Things, BYOD (bring your own device) and regularly review and assess cybersecurity investments and performance of both software and hardware deployment, including customer and vendor access to the corporate network.

Resources like the Microsoft SIR (Security Intelligence Report) are just one aspect of the Microsoft comprehensive approach to security – including a holistic platform, unique intelligence and broad partnerships – which is critical to enabling the digital transformation of leading organizations in Asia.

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to building trust in technology in the region, it launched its first combined Transparency Center and Cybersecurity Center in October 2016. Located in Singapore, the joint facility brings together Microsoft capabilities in a single location in Asia Pacific, to serve the security needs of the public and private sector and foster the building of a trusted and secure computing environment.

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Malaysia Hosts IMGA SEA Competition

Kuala Lumpur, 17 June 2016 – After success in two continents, the team behind the hugely successful International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) has announced it is to host the first-ever mobile games competition in Southeast Asia on 8 November 2016, in partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, Director of Creative Content & Technology division at MDEC said, “We are thrilled to play host to this global event and we are proud to partner with IMGA. This collaboration is another testament to Malaysia’s commitment to become the leading ASEAN hub for games development and we hope that this event will raise more awareness on the quality of our local talents including the robust regional and local games industry.”

 

IMGA SEA Awards

Coming on the heels of IMGA celebrating their 12th annual awards ceremony in San Francisco, IMGA SEA awards will mark the first year that the awards are handed out in Southeast Asia, recognising talents from the fast growing and blooming markets of the region.

Commenting on the new event, Maarten Noyons, Founder of the IMGA said, “Southeast Asia is rightly held up around the world as a hotbed of mobile gaming talent, showing tremendous download and revenue growth year-on-year. As all eyes look to Asia, we are proud to bring IMGA here to celebrate this creative and exciting industry, and can’t wait to see what we ultimately unveil from the community during our ceremony event.”

The call for entries is now open. Malaysian mobile games studios, indie developers, publishers involved in any aspect of the creation of mobile games are invited to submit their game until 30 September 2016 on sea.imgawards.com/submit-your-game. After an online pre-selection, the panel will select the winners during the final judging session in an intensive multi-day private roundtable held in Penang in early November. Winners will be announced on 8th November and listed online.

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