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Friday, June 12 2020


Dive In

Following her arrest, Mrs Soy Sros’ family lost their income as she is the sole breadwinner. She is a widow and a mother of two underaged children. They are now taken care of by their grandmother. As per today, Mrs Soy Sros remains in jail. According to CUMW who visited Mrs. Soy Sros on May 8, 2020 her health is rapidly deteriorating and she now receives medical treatment.

That’s from an urgent letter written by a workers union to Kate Spade and Capri Holdings, which owns Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo. It urges these companies to call for the release of Soy Sros—a worker at a Cambodian factory that manufactures handbags for these brands. She spent two months in an overcrowded prison for a single Facebook post complaining about layoffs due to the pandemic. The letter never received any acknowledgement or reply. Buzzfeed News has the story that speaks volumes about luxury brands. Illustration: Parth Savla

the big story

A ring of Indian super-hackers for hire

The TLDR: An obscure Indian company called Belltrox Infotech Services is making global headlines for all the wrong reasons. Citizen Lab— a Toronto-based internet advocacy organisation—has named it as an illegal hacker-for-hire operation that targets big-name media publications, hedge funds and advocacy groups around the world. And it reveals the other side of India’s well-established IT prowess and jugaad.

 

Tell me about this Belltrox

The hacker-in-chief: The tiny 15-employee company operates out of Delhi—apparently from above a chai shop. Its directors are Sumit Gupta and his wife, Veenu Arora. In 2015, Gupta was charged with 10 counts of email and computer hacking in California. And two San Francisco-area private investigators were charged with hiring him to access private email correspondence in a legal dispute between two companies. He seems to have then fled to India. And attempts to extradite him have failed. 

 

Point to note: His wife Veenu told Bloomberg News that “she runs a medical transcription company and that Gupta runs a cake shop.” But Gupta’s former employees say they were asked to breach firewalls and find loopholes in computer systems: “The incentives were always project based. The more information (we) gathered, the more money we were paid.” So not cake, then.

 

So what did they do exactly? And who did they target?

 

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In today’s edition

  • India’s infection rate: an official update
  • Now Zoom is censoring your meetings
  • Can dogs smell covid?
  • A list of the best true crime podcasts
  • Will lockdown loneliness turn us into loners?
  • Vogue editor Anna Wintour apologizes for past sins
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