Path to spirituality

Many a time, we are overwhelmed with joy for no reason. At times, we remain silent and motionless even after receiving news of happiness. Actions and reactions are inherent in the nature that have been given to a man. It is all up to him how he wants to use these natural gifts or how not.
Similarly, there is a very important weapon of a man called consciousness. You are termed as conscious if you can differentiate between bad and evil, respect and dishonour, logic and fault, living and dead. Yes, many times it becomes very hard to differentiate between the living and the dead. The one whom you call living, god calls them dead in Quran because they can’t differentiate between oppression and embrace simply good and bad.
You don’t always need to take a tough path of spirituality to understand spirituality itself. As rightly put forth by a Kashmiri mystic, whom hindus call Lalleshwari and muslims call Lal Ded: “I will weep and weep for you, O Mind; (my Soul) The world hath caught you in its spell. Though you cling to them with the anchor of steel, not even the shadow of the things you love. Will go with you when you are dead. Why then have you forgot your own true self?”
The biggest reason of spirituality has always been from the thoughts of death, which inevitably forced a man to remember god. The curiosity of this force pushed Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira to set their foot outside the kingdoms that were given to them on a platter. There is something which forced them to denounce the riches and comfort. Similarly, Lord Ram was exiled to the forests and in turn learnt lessons of life and death. Prophet Muhammad spent days and nights in a Cave in Mecca called Hira where he was enlightened.
It has been established that spirituality exists in all the religions, but what you need to reach there is a path — a path leading towards greater good.


‘Baed’ Eid Mubarak

All over the world, it is “Eid-ul-Adha.” In mainland India, it is “Bakr Eid,” and in my home — Kashmir — it is “Baed Eid,” which means big Eid. The day symbolises the sacrifices of prophet Ibrahim, his son prophet Ismail and Ismail’s mother Hajara. One night, Ibrahim saw a dream where he was asked to sacrifice his 13-year-old son, Ismail. But he sidelined it for three nights, thinking it was a distraction from the devil. But once he became sure that it was a commandment from the god, he confided to his wife and took his son away from home. Then he revealed the whole story to his son — who later became a prophet – and Ismail replied: “Please tie my hands when you sacrifice me otherwise I may shake and ooze my blood on your clothes after which god will get angry with me.” About this learned, intellectual and obedient son, Allama Iqbal questioned, who taught all this to Ismail? Certainly god. “Yeh Faizan-e-Nazar Tha Ya Ke Maktab Ki Karamat Thi, Sikhaye Kis Ne Ismaeel Ko Adaab-e-Farzandi,” wrote the famous poet. It was not easy for Ibrahim to even think of sacrificing his first son, who was born when he was 86 years old, as per the Quran, and 100 years old, as per the Bible. But god was only testing Ibrahim to see whether he was willing to put aside everything for the sake of god to obtain larger things from the almighty. God didn’t really want any human sacrifice. The moment Ibrahim got ready to sacrifice his son, a sheep suddenly appeared from nowhere and a hidden voice asked Ibrahim to sacrifice the sheep, instead of his son, as he had passed the god’s test. That is why it’s written in Quran: “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches allah, but it is piety from you that reaches him.”
This is the first time that I am not celebrating Eid at my home. I hope the fire in Kashmir douses soon, and the beautiful valley resumes as the abode of sufi saints Lal Dedc and Noor ud-Din.

Malware attacks on banking, social sites likely to rise

Irfan Rashid

New Delhi

Banking malware could become a big concern for security experts and users of mobile internet banking. With almost all banks developing dedicated apps for banking, hackers could lev­erage this to trick users and generate illegitimate cash to fuel their intentions, said Quick Heal Technologies in a report here on Thursday.

According to the Quick Heal’s second quarter threat report, detection of trojans, worms, infectors and exploits has been on the rise. The combined figure of adware and potentially unwanted programmes (PUA) category detection is 28 per cent on an average, it added.

Sharing details, Sanjay Katkar, MD & CTO, Quick Heal Technologies, said; “We consider creating awar­eness around IT and cyber security as our prime responsibility and therefore, we have been releasing threat reports periodically.”

He said malware attacks on social networking sites are likely to increase in the near future. By 2018, there could be about 2.55 billion users of the social network. Given the sheer volume of user interaction, such sites become easy targets for online scammers and cyber criminals, he added.

While adware remains one of the major malware, dominance of the ransom­ware family showed no res­p­ite even in this quarter. Locky ransomware continued to maintain its dominance by encrypting files on the infected system and adding the “.locky” extension to them. Due to a lack of decryption possibility, .locky is considered one of the most dangerous ransomware.

Katkar said: “At Quick Heal, our teams constantly monitor the threat landscape and develop solutions to counter these threats. Our threat reports are an attempt towards building safe and secure IT environments and online experiences. We are constantly innovating to equip our consumers and enterprises to monitor and prevent these threats and safeguard their critical data.”

PUA and adware are suspected to be laced with destructive functionalities including damaging or crashing boot sector records of infected computers. Additionally, adware is most likely to be used for delivering ransomware into the targeted systems.

As per the report, “Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is another trend which is taking momentum. In RaaS, malware authors sell ransomware along with a customisable kit through the online black market. Interested people can register and download them for free or a nominal fee. Once the ransomware file is customised as per the requirement, it is then spread through the desired infection vectors.”