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31
Food / Chocolate – a gift from above
« on: May 14, 2018, 04:27:08 PM »
Oh the sweet love that is chocolate. How much we love this heavenly concoction. Ever wonder where it all began though? The best way to go about that is to start by who had that first taste of it, and that honour goes to the first European explorer Hernán Cortés, who was given a cup of 'xocoatl' by Montezuma, the Aztec emperor. The Aztecs considered the drink so glorious that it was served in golden goblets to only members of the imperial family. However, it was a far cry from the comforting frothy drink we now know, because back then, it was bitter, and served cold.

However, the cacao beans used to make the drink were also used as money by the Aztecs. Impressed by this, Cortés took some of the beans back to his own king, Charles V of Spain in 1528. The king described chocolate as 'the divine drink that builds up resistance and fights fatigue.'

The Spanish explorers had also come across sugar in the New World and this was added to the chocolate, along with water and the drink was heated. Spices, such as vanilla and cinnamon, newly arrived from the West Indies, were also included in some recipes, and the drink became popular with the Spanish court.


They kept the recipe a closely guarded secret for nearly a hundred years, but gradually, the reputation of the sweet delicious drink spread to other European courts, and it became the drink that one must serve a royal guest.

It was finally made available for all when an enterprising Frenchman opened the first shop in London selling solid chocolate for making the drink. Chocolate houses serving hot chocolate were opened in London and other European capitals, and these became the fashionable places to be seen in! Around the 1700's, the English began to add milk to the drink, and the vanilla and cinnamon were left out, and with it, Quakers was born. In 1875, the Swiss introduced milk chocolate for eating. By this time, the high tax on imported cacao beans had been lifted and chocolate became a treat that was made affordable for the masses to enjoy.

In 1720, the cacao bean tree was given its scientific name 'Theobroma cacao', a Greek word meaning 'food of the gods'. Throughout its long history, chocolate has been considered special, not only for its taste, but for its ability to provide a quick burst of energy – due to its high carbohydrate level and trace amounts of caffeine it contains. Blocks of chocolate are standard rations for hungry children and tired grownups, as well as astronauts and climbers of Everest.


PRODUCING CHOCOLATE

Cacao beans grow only in tropical countries, so Africa's west coast and Brazil are the main producers. The pods are like small melons, which contain the beans, which are harvested twice a year. They are split open, and the beans are left to ferment in the blistering tropical sun for several days. During this time, the white beans turn dark brown and begin to obtain their chocolaty flavour. They are then dried and shipped in bags to the USA and Europe, and later distributed around the war. It takes one tree's yearly yield to make 450g (1 lb) of cocoa.

At the chocolate factory, the cacao beans are cleaned, roasted, and shelled. The roasting fills the air with the mouth-watering aroma of chocolate. The beans are broken into large pieces called nibs and these are grounded, producing a rich brown liquid or paste called 'chocolate liquor' (although it has no alcoholic content). This liquor is the main ingredient for all chocolate products. Some of the liquor is hardened into moulds to form baking (bitter) chocolate, but most is pressed to extract the cocoa butter. The resulting block is called 'press cake'. This is dried and sifted to make cocoa powder. Chocolate liquor, cocoa powder and cocoa butter are combined to make all the different kinds of chocolate you will see everywhere.

To make milk chocolate, the chocolate liquor is added to liquid or powdered milk and sugar. Interesting fact: the white chocolate we know and love is made when just cocoa butter and sugar is used without adding chocolate liquor. Cocoa butter, plus chocolate liquor, and sugar makes the familiar sweet (eating) chocolate. If vegetable fat is substituted for cocoa butter, the result is baker's or compound chocolate, found in most countries.

Once all the mixtures are blended, whatever spices and flavourings are added, the chocolate undergoes a long stirring or 'conching' period to make it smooth and creamy. After this, it is moulded into blocks and bars, wrapped and shipped to bakeries where it is used as an ingredient in cakes and biscuits, or sent straight to confectioneries.

 

By Elora Hossain

32
BBA Discussion Forum / DSE enters hi-tech era
« on: May 14, 2018, 03:56:25 PM »
The Dhaka Stock Exchange can brace itself for some radical technological upgrades in the near future that would take it to global standards after Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) and Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) became its strategic partner.

The Chinese consortium, which will ink the deal to purchase 25 percent stake in the DSE today, has offered to share an array of technical products and services covering all aspects of the stock exchange business.

“With the product and services, DSE can become a leading stock exchange in the region,” said the proposal from the consortium.

The consortium has offered to assist in mapping the information disclosure process for issuers at the DSE and share its expertise in designing an electronic information disclosure system.

The platform would provide corporate information of the issuing companies, simple analytical tools, interactive question and answer facility and online complaint portal with a view to enhancing transparency and corporate governance.

“It will allow investors to make more informed investment decisions as they may ask any question and get answer from the issuing company,” said KAM Majedur Rahman, managing director of DSE.

The Chinese consortium would also help the DSE to upgrade its trading and surveillance systems.

Over the years, SZSE has developed leading edge expertise in research and development and operation and maintenance of the market surveillance system.

“Through this partnership, SZSE can assist in developing a fully functional, responsive, efficient and practical market surveillance system for the DSE, which is adapted to meet local market regulatory requirements,” said the proposal.

The consortium will also help the DSE to design one-stop business solutions to create a unified, secure and efficient IT platform architecture to achieve comprehensive electronic business process services.

It has also offered to develop the bond market. In particular, SZSE has offered its bond auction tender system which is useful in managing auction of bond products with fairness and transparency.


The Chinese consortium also proposed financial data exchange platform, which is a stable and low-cost capital market communication infrastructure to connect the DSE, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, the Central Depository of Bangladesh Ltd and other core market institutions.

The technological offers are worth $37.11 million, which the consortium would bear.

Rahman said the consortium will not only upgrade technology but will also try to bring in foreign investors to the DSE by drawing into China's pool of 11,000 qualified institutional investors.

“These investors are seeking well-performing companies. They would not put their money in overvalued shares or badly performing companies,” said the DSE MD.

At present, the DSE has only 25-30 companies that are attractive to foreign investors, said Abu Ahmed, former chairman of the Dhaka University's economics department and a stockmarket expert.

“The BSEC and the DSE will have to work hard to get solid companies to the market.”

The Chinese consortium has also offered to assist the DSE in developing index-based products, bonds and asset-backed securities to diversify products in the DSE.

It has also offered to assist in designing, promoting and showcasing Bangladeshi indices in China as well as developing the DSE's derivatives market.

“Confidence among foreign investors will soar when the strategic partner will start to work in the DSE,” said Mostaque Ahmed Sadeque, president of the DSE Brokers Association.

Source- The Daily Star

33
‘মৌমাছি মৌমাছি, কোথা যাও নাচি নাচি, দাঁড়াও না একবার ভাই, ঐ ফুল ফোটে বনে, যাই মধু আহরণে, দাঁড়াবার সময়তো নাই।’

ছড়াটি পড়ার সময় প্রশ্ন জাগতেই পারে, কীভাবে মৌছিরা মধু তৈরি করে?

আসলে মানুষ মৌচাক থেকে যে মধু আহরণ করে তা মৌমাছির সঞ্চয় করা মধু। মৌমাছিরা নিজেদের খাদ্য হিসেবে এই মধু ফুল থেকে ফুলে ঘুরে ঘুরে সংগ্রহ করে।

ফুলের মধ্যে এক প্রকার মিষ্টি তরল পদার্থ থাকে যার নাম নেক্টার। মৌমাছিরা ফুল থেকে এই নেক্টার প্রথমে নিজেরা পান করে এবং তাদের দেহের মধু থলিতে করে মৌচাকে নিয়ে যায়।

মৌচাকে আনার পর ফুলের নেক্টারে যে চিনি বা শর্করা থাকে তা বিক্রিয়া শুরু করে। এর ভেতর যে পানিকণা থাকে তা বাষ্পে পরিণত হয়ে বেরিয়ে যায়। এর ফলে মৌচাকের মধু অনেকদিন পর্যন্ত ভালো থাকে।

এভাবে মৌমাছিরা নিজেদের খাদ্য হিসেবে মধু সংগ্রহ করে রাখে। আর এই মধুতে থাকে সেলুলোজ, ডেক্সট্রোজ, মন্টোজ, এনজাইম, ভিটামিন ও নানা খনিজ পদার্থ।

বাংলাদেশ সময়: ১৭৫৮ ঘণ্টা, এপ্রিল ২৯, ২০১৮

34
Life Science / হেঁচকি ওঠে কেন?
« on: May 10, 2018, 06:51:52 PM »
হেঁচকি নিশ্চয় তোমরা কেউই পছন্দ করো না। বরং বিরক্ত হও। হয়তো বড়রা বলেন, মিথ্যা কথা বলেছো তাই তোমার হেঁচকি উঠছে! যে যাই বলুক, বিজ্ঞানীরা রয়েছেন তোমাদের পাশে। তারা কিন্তু এমন কোনো তথ্যের প্রমাণ পাননি।

ঘটনা হলো, মানুষের পাকস্থলী ও ফুসফুসের মধ্যবর্তী স্থানে একটি পাতলা পর্দা থাকে। শ্বাস নেওয়ার সময় পর্দাটি নিচের দিকে নেমে যায় এবং পাকস্থলীকে চাপ দেয়, ফলে ফুসফুসে বাতাস ঢুকতে পারে। শ্বাস ছাড়ার সময় পর্দাটি উপরের দিকে উঠে আসে এবং ফুসফুস থেকে বাতাস বেরিয়ে যায়। এভাবে পর্দাটি নিঃশব্দে ওঠা-নামার মধ্য দিয়ে মানুষের শ্বাস-প্রশ্বাস চলতে থাকে।

মাঝে মধ্যে পাকস্থলীতে গ্যাস বা এসিডের পরিমাণ বেড়ে গেলে পর্দাটিতে অস্বস্তি ও যন্ত্রণা সৃষ্টি হয়। ফলে পর্দাটি সংকুচিত হয়ে পড়ে এবং ফুসফুসে বাতাস চলচলে বাধা সৃষ্টি হয়। তখন সেখান থেকে এক অদ্ভুত শব্দ বেরিয়ে আসে, এটাকেই আমরা হেঁচকি বলি। হেঁচকির মাধ্যমে পাকস্থলী থেকে গ্যাস কিংবা অবাঞ্ছিত খাদ্যবস্তুকে বের করে শ্বাস-প্রশ্বাসকে বাধাহীন রাখতে চায় মানবদেহ।

হেঁচকি শুরু হলে তা কিছুক্ষণ পর একা একাই ঠিক হয়ে যাওয়ার কথা। এটি কোনো রোগ নয়, তাই এটা থামানোর জন্য কোনো ওষুধের দরকার নেই। তবে অনেকসময় বিভিন্ন শারীরিক অসুস্থতার কারণে হেঁচকি আসতে পারে। 

বাংলাদেশ সময়: ১৭৫২ ঘণ্টা, মে ০৯, ২০১৮

35
জানুয়ারি ও ফেব্রুয়ারির পর মার্চ মাসে বিদেশি ও প্রবাসী বিনিয়োগকারীদের শেয়ার বিক্রির প্রবণতা থেমে ছিলো। তারা একটু বাজারমুখি হয়েছিলেন। কিন্তু এপ্রিলে আবারও বিদেশি ও প্রবাসী বিনিয়োগকারীদের শেয়ার বিক্রির ধুম পড়েছে।

ঢাকা স্টক এক্সচেঞ্জের (ডিএসই) কৌশলগত বিনিয়োগকারী হিসেবে চীনা কনসোর্টিয়ামের প্রস্তাব নিয়ে ডিএসই ও নিয়ন্ত্রক সংস্থার টানাপোড়েনসহ বেশ কিছু ইস্যুকে কেন্দ্র করে এপ্রিল মাসজুড়ে দরপতন অব্যাহত ছিলো। এ কারণে বিদেশিরা শেয়ার বিক্রি করে বাজার ছাড়তে শুরু করেন বলে মনে করছেন সংশ্লিষ্টরা।

তারা বলছেন, এ সমস্যার কারণে পুঁজিবাজার অস্থিতিশীল রয়েছে। তবে সম্প্রতি নিয়ন্ত্রক সংস্থা বাংলাদেশ সিকিউরিটিজ অ্যান্ড এক্সচেঞ্জ কমিশন (বিএসইসি) চীনা দুই পুঁজিবাজার শেনঝেন ও সাংহাইকে ডিএসইর অংশীদারিত্বের জন্য মনোনিত করেছে। আগামী ১৪ মে দুই স্টক এক্সচেঞ্জ ডিএসইর মালিকানায় আসতে চুক্তি করবে। ফলে এখন পুঁজিবাজারের এই সমস্যা সমাধান হবে। এতে বাজারও ভালো হবে বলে মনে করেন ডিএসইর সাবেক পরিচালক শরীফ আনোয়ার হোসেন।

তিনি বাংলানিউজকে বলেন, দেশি বিনিয়োগকারীর পাশাপাশি বিদেশি বিনিয়োগকারীদের মধ্যে একটা ভয় কাজ করেছে। এখন সেই ভয় কেটেছে, আশা করছি বাজার ভালো হবে। বাজার ভালো হলে বিদেশিরাও শেয়ার কিনতে শুরু করবেন।

ডিএসই’র তথ্য মতে, এপ্রিল মাসে বিদেশি-প্রবাসী বিনিয়োগকারীর‍া ৫২৭ কোটি ৭১ লাখ ৮৭ হাজার ৬০২ টাকার শেয়ার বিক্রি করেছেন। অথচ মার্চ মাসে তারা শেয়ার বিক্রি করেছিলেন মাত্র ২৯৯ কোটি ২৬ লাখ ৫০ হাজার ৩০৭ টাকার। টাকার অংকে মার্চের তুলনায় এপ্রিলে শেয়ার বিক্রি বেড়েছে ১২৩ কোটি ৪৫ লাখ ৩৭ হাজার ২৯৫ টাকা। আর শতাংশের হিসেবে ৭৬ শতাংশ বেশি।

অলোচিত এই মাসে প্রবাসী ও বিদেশি বিনিয়োগকারীদের শেয়ার কেনাবেচা বাবদ লেনদেন হয়েছে ১ হাজার ৩০ কোটি ৭৪ লাখ ৫১ হাজার ৩৪৪ টাকা। এর মধ্যে শেয়ার বিক্রি বাবদ লেনদেন হয়েছে ৫২৭ কোটি ৭১ লাখ ৮৭ হাজার ৬০২ টাকা। আর শেয়ার কিনেছেন ৫০৩ কোটি ২ লাখ ৬৩ হাজার ৭৪২ টাকা। যা আগের মাসের চেয়ে কমেছে ২৪ কোটি ৬৯ লাখ ২৩ হাজার ৮৬০ টাকা।

এরআগের মাস মার্চে বিদেশিদের মোট লেনদেন হয়েছিলো ৭৫৫ কোটি ২৩ লাখ ৩৩ হাজার ২১০ টাকা। এর মধ্যে শেয়ার কেনা বাবদ ৪৫৫ কোটি ৯৬ লাখ ৮২ হাজার ৯০৩ টাকা। তার বিপরীতে বিক্রি মাত্র ২৯৯ কোটি ২৬ লাখ ৫০ হাজার ৩০৭ টাকার।
ফেব্রয়ারিতে বিদেশিরা ডিএসইতে লেনদেন করেছিলেন ৮৮০ কোটি ৭০ লাখ ৮১ হাজার ৫৫৭ টাকার। এর মধ্যে শেয়ার কিনেছিলেন ৩৯২ কোটি ৯৯ লাখ ২ হাজার ৩৭৩ টাকা। তার বিপরীতে শেয়ার কিনেছিলেন ৪৮৭ কোটি ৭১ লাখ ৭৯ হাজার ১৮৫ টাকা। 

বাংলাদেশ সময়: ১৮৪৬ ঘণ্টা, মে ০৮, ২০১৮

36
৩০ এপ্রিল থেকে শুরু হওয়া পুঁজিবাজারে দরপতন যেনো থামছেই না। ব্যাংক, বিমা ও অর্থিক প্রতিষ্ঠানের পাশাপাশি গ্রামীণফোন, স্কয়ার ফার্মসহ ভালো ভালো কোম্পানির শেয়ারের দাম কমায় এই দরপতন আরো দীর্ঘায়িত হচ্ছে বলে আশঙ্কা করছেন সংশ্লিষ্টরা।

এ কারণেই টানা ছয় কার্যদিবসের মতোই দিনভর সূচক পতনের মধ্য দিয়ে সপ্তাহের পঞ্চম ও শেষ কার্যদিবস বৃহস্পতিবারও (১০ মে) দেশের পুঁজিবাজারে লেনদেন হয়েছে। দিনটিতে উভয় বাজারে সূচকের পাশাপাশি কমেছে বেশির ভাগ কোম্পানির শেয়ারের দাম। এর ফলে টানা সাত কার্যদিবস পুঁজিবাজারে দরপতন হলো। তবে এর আগে ২৫ ও ২৬ এপ্রিল টানা দুই কার্যদিবস বাজারের উত্থান ঘটেছিল।

এদিকে, বৃহস্পতিবার বিনিয়োগকারীদের মধ্যে অতি ভয় ও আস্থাহীনতার মধ্য দিয়ে দিনের লেনদেন শেষ হয়েছে। এতে দেশের প্রধান পুঁজিবাজার ঢাকা স্টক এক্সচেঞ্জে (ডিএসই) সূচক কমেছে ৪০ পয়েন্ট। আর চট্টগ্রাম স্টক এক্সচেঞ্জে (সিএসই) সার্বিক সূচক কমেছে ৬১ পয়েন্ট। এছাড়া এদিনটিতেও আগের দিনগুলোর মতোই ব্যাংক, বিমা ও আর্থিক প্রতিষ্ঠানসহ বেশির ভাগ কোম্পানির শেয়ারের দামও কমেছে। ফলে দরপতনও অব্যাহত রয়েছে বাজারের।
 
ডিএসই’র তথ্য মতে, বৃহস্পতিবার ১৪ কোটি ৮৭ লাখ ৬২ হাজার ৯০৭টি সিকিউরিটিজের হাতবদল হয়েছে। এতে লেনদেন হয়েছে ৫৬২ কোটি ৪৭ লাখ ৫৭ হাজার টাকা। এর আগের দিন লেনদেন হয়েছিল ৫৬০ কোটি ৩৫ লাখ ৬৩ হাজার টাকা। এরও আগের দিন লেনদেন হয়েছিল ৪৭২ কোটি ৯৭ লাখ ৭২ হাজার টাকা।

ডিএসই’র তিন সূচকের মধ্যে ব্রড ইনডেক্স আগের কার্যদিবসের চেয়ে ৪০ দশমিক ১১ পয়েন্ট কমে পাঁচ হাজার ৫৮৭ পয়েন্টে এসে দাঁড়িয়েছে। পাশাপাশি ডিএস-৩০ মূল্যসূচক ১১ দশমিক ৯৮ পয়েন্ট কমে দুই হাজার ৭৩ পয়েন্টে এবং শরিয়াহ সূচক তিন দশমিক দুই পয়েন্ট কমে এক হাজার ৩০৬ পয়েন্টে দাঁড়িয়েছে।

ডিএসইতে লেনদেন হওয়া কোম্পানির মধ্যে দাম বেড়েছে ৮৯টির, কমেছে ১৯৭টির এবং অপরিবর্তিত রয়েছে ৪৮টির।

অপর বাজার চট্টগ্রাম স্টক এক্সচেঞ্জের (সিএসই) সার্বিক সূচক ৬১ দশমিক ৩৬ পয়েন্ট কমে দাঁড়িয়েছে ১০ হাজার ৪২৯ পয়েন্টে। দিনটিতে সিএসইতে লেনদেন হয়েছে ২৭ কোটি ৫১ লাখ ২৭ হাজার টাকা। এর আগের দিন লেনদেন হয়েছিল ২২ কোটি ৩৬লাখ টাকা।
সিএসইতে লেনদেন হওয়া কোম্পানির মধ্যে দাম বেড়েছে ৭৯টির, কমেছে ১২০টির আর অপরিবর্তিত রয়েছে ২৯টির।

বাংলাদেশ সময়: ১৭২০ ঘণ্টা, মে ১০, ২০১৮

37
Self Improvement / The Purpose of The Art of LIVING
« on: May 08, 2018, 04:10:37 PM »
The Purpose of The Art of LIVING is to provide the consistent and comprehensive resource people need to make sense of our interdependent world and who we are in it, to connect and create on increasingly higher levels and, together, bring the greater lives and world we all envision into reality.

We are realizing this Purpose through ground breaking experiential events and media that model what is already working and what is possible and reveal the all important "How" that is necessary to effect real and lasting transformation.

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6 Reasons Why a Website is Important for your Business
website importance for businessA simple question, What is a website? In its bare form, a website is a single domain that consists of different web pages. We should all know that by now, but surprisingly what we don’t all know, is the benefits a website can provide for your business and its shocking to witness how many business don’t actually have a website or online presence!

If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A website itself can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow.

As a business owner, you need to know where your consumers are. But what if consumers know your business and what you can offer, but they can’t reach you? That is one of the risks you take by not having a website for your business.

What are some other benefits of having a business website?

Cost Effective
You know exactly how much your website is going to cost you and it’s ongoings – a brick and mortar store, on the other hand, is susceptible to many out of the ordinary occurrences which could blow out the costs such as leaving the lights on, theft, damage, extra staff etc.

A strategically developed website and online presence solution provides tremendous benefits and costing outlines.

Accessible around the clock
Your website and social media accounts are accessible 24/7/365. Imagine that you want to buy from a store. You put in all the effort required to go to the store, but when you get there, it’s closed. We all know how irate we feel in that situation. You’ll think twice about going back given the bad taste its left (ok might have been your fault for not checking but hey, this is proving the point here!). You will just find another store that is more easily accessible.

Since your website is operational around the clock, from the convenience of the local coffee shop, their couch or their bed, your customers and clients can easily access your website and services.

Convenient
What is more convenient: driving outside to look for different stores that are available to shop in, or sitting in the comfort of your own home and shopping for the products you’re looking for? Pretty obvious answer, unless you like aimlessly driving around. Smart businesses realise this and thus have their own website housing their products and services so that potential customers can browse online for the products they want to purchase.

Credibility
By building a website you are giving your business the opportunity to tell consumers why they should trust you and the testimonials and facts to back up those opportunities. Believe it or not, most people will search the internet for a product or service before the purchase to check the credibility first. When you provide good service or product, positive word-of-mouth about your business is likely to spread. Which in turn, delivers more repeat and new business.

People tend to trust a business after they have done business with it. Using your website, you can continuously serve consumers online and increase your credibility as a business owner.

Sales
Without sales, or selling more than you spend, your business is doomed. By having an online presence you allow for the sale of your products or services around the clock to whoever whenever with no or hardly any limitations; Unless you run out of stock or overworked, but that’s a good problem to have right! Giving your business the online presence it deserves is crucial to your brand and accountants smile.

In short, being visible worldwide means you are very likely to gain more customers. The more customers and visitors you have, the more sales you will generate. The more sales you generate the happier you and your shareholders will be!

Marketing
Having a website and online presence strategy allows you to market your business online. There are lots of marketing strategies you can use to advertise and market your business. All online marketing strategies have been proven to be effective. Which ones you choose depends on the type of business you are in. Speak to us to see which are best for your business.

Bottom Line
It is imperative for every business to have a website. The more professional your website is, the more advantages you can gain. Feel free to let us know your thoughts by commenting on our Facebook Page.

You might also want to check out our services page. Let us help you develop an effective website solution for your business, tailored to honing in on your prospective clients.

Are you making the most of your online strategy? Find out today with our Complimentary Online Marketing Audit.

39
History & Latest Cyber crime / Bangladesh Bank robbery..
« on: March 23, 2018, 06:49:06 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_Bank_robbery

Bangladesh Bank robbery
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Building
The Bangladesh Bank robbery, also known colloquially as the Bangladesh Bank heist, took place in February 2016, when instructions to fraudulently withdraw US$ 1 billion  from the account of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York were issued via the SWIFT network. Five transactions issued by security hackers, worth $101 million and withdrawn from a Bangladesh Bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, succeeded, with $20 million traced to Sri Lanka (since recovered) and $81 million to the Philippines (about $18 million recovered).[1] The Federal Reserve Bank of New York blocked the remaining thirty transactions, amounting to $850 million, at the request of Bangladesh Bank.[2] It was identified later that Dridex malware was used for the attack.[3]
Background[edit]
The 2016 cyber-attack on the Bangladesh Central bank was not the first attack of its kind.
In 2013, the Sonali Bank of Bangladesh was also successfully targeted by hackers who were able to cart away US$250,000.
In 2015, two other hacking attempts were recorded: a $12 million theft from Banco del Austro in Ecuador in January, and an unsuccessful attack on Vietnam's Tien Phong Bank in December.
In all these cases, the perpetrators were suspected to have been aided by insiders within the targeted banks, who assisted in taking advantage of weaknesses at giving access to the SWIFT global payment network.
Events[edit]
Capitalizing on weaknesses in the security of the Bangladesh Central Bank, including the possible involvement of some of its employees,[6] perpetrators attempted to steal $951 million from the Bangladesh central bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York sometime between February 4–5 when Bangladesh Bank's offices were closed. The perpetrators managed to compromise Bangladesh Bank's computer network, observe how transfers are done, and gain access to the bank's credentials for payment transfers. They used these credentials to authorise about three dozen requests to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to transfer funds from the account Bangladesh Bank held there to accounts in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Thirty transactions worth $851 million were flagged by the banking system for staff review, but five requests were granted; $20 million to Sri Lanka (later recovered),[7][8]and $81 million lost to the Philippines, entering the Southeast Asian country's banking system on February 5, 2016. This money was laundered through casinos and some later transferred to Hong Kong.
Attempted fund diversion to Sri Lanka[edit]
The $20 million transfer to Sri Lanka was intended by hackers to be sent to the Shalika Foundation, a Sri Lanka-based private limited company. The hackers misspelled "Foundation" in their request to transfer the funds, spelling the word as "Fundation". This spelling error gained suspicion from Deutsche Bank, a routing bank which put a halt to the transaction in question after seeking clarifications from Bangladesh Bank.[7][9][10]
Sri Lanka-based Pan Asia Bank initially took notice of the transaction, with one official noting the transaction as too big for a country like Sri Lanka. Pan Asia Bank was the one which referred the anomalous transaction to Deutsche Bank. The Sri Lankan funds have been recovered by Bangladesh Bank.[7]
Funds diverted to the Philippines[edit]
The money transferred to the Philippines was deposited in five separate accounts with the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC); the accounts were later found to be under fictitious identities. The funds were then transferred to a foreign exchange broker to be converted to Philippine pesos, returned to the RCBC and consolidated in an account of a Chinese-Filipino businessman;[11][8] the conversion was made from February 5 to 13, 2016.[12] It was also found that the four U.S. dollar accounts involved were opened at the RCBC as early as May 15, 2015, remaining untouched until February 4, 2016, the date the transfer from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was made.[12]
On February 8, 2016, during the Chinese New Year, Bangladesh Bank through SWIFT informed RCBC to stop the payment, refund the funds, and to "freeze and put the funds on hold" if the funds had already been transferred. Chinese New Year is a non-working holiday in the Philippines and a SWIFT message from Bangladesh Bank containing similar information was received by RCBC only a day later. By this time, a withdrawal amounting to about $58.15 million had already been processed by RCBC's Jupiter Street (in Makati City) branch.[12]
On February 16, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank requested Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' assistance in the recovery of its $81 million funds, saying that the SWIFT payment instructions issued in favor of RCBC on February 4, 2016 were fraudulent.[12]
Investigation[edit]
Bangladesh[edit]
Initially, Bangladesh Bank was uncertain if its system had been compromised. The governor of the central bank engaged World Informatix Cyber Security, a US-based firm, to lead the security incident response, vulnerability assessment and remediation. World Informatix Cyber Security brought in the forensic investigation company Mandiant, for the investigation. These investigators found "footprints" and malware of hackers, which suggested that the system had been breached. The investigators also said that the hackers were based outside Bangladesh. An internal investigation has been launched by Bangladesh Bank regarding the case.[7]
The Bangladesh Bank's forensic investigation found out that malware was installed within the bank's system sometime in January 2016, and gathered information on the bank's operational procedures for international payments and fund transfers.[12]
The investigation also looked into an unsolved 2013 hacking incident at the Sonali Bank, wherein US$250,000 was stolen by still unidentified hackers. According to reports, just as in the 2016 Central Bank hack, the theft also used fraudulent fund transfers using the SWIFT global payment network. The incident was treated by Bangladeshi police authorities as a cold-case until the suspiciously similar 2016 Bangladesh Central Bank robbery.[13]
Philippines[edit]
The Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) launched a probe and looked into a Chinese-Filipino who allegedly played a key role in the money laundering of the illicit funds. The NBI is coordinating with relevant government agencies including the country's Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). The AMLC started its investigation on February 19, 2016 of bank accounts linked to a junket operator.[12] AMLC has filed a money laundering complaint before the Department of Justiceagainst a RCBC branch manager and five unknown persons with fictitious names in connection with the case.[14]
A Philippine Senate hearing was held on March 15, 2016, led by Senator Teofisto Guingona III, head of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressional Oversight Committee on the Anti-Money Laundering Act.[15] A closed-door hearing was later held on March 17.[16] Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has also launched its own investigation.[7] On August 12, 2016, RCBC was reported to have paid half of the Ph₱1 billion penalty imposed by the Central Bank of the Philippines.[17] Prior to that, the bank reorganized its board of directors by increasing the number of independent directors to 7 from the previous 4.[18]
United States[edit]
FireEye's Mandiant forensics division and World Informatix Cyber Security, both US-based companies, investigated the hacking case. According to investigators, the perpetrators' familiarity with the internal procedures of Bangladesh Bank was probably gained by spying on its workers. In a separate report, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says that Agents have found evidence pointing to at least one bank employee acting as an accomplice, with evidence pointing to several more people as possibly assisting hackers in navigate the Bangladesh Bank’s computer system.[19] The government of Bangladesh is considering suing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a bid to recover the stolen funds.[7]
FBI suspicion of North Korea[edit]
Federal prosecutors in the United States have revealed possible links between the government of North Korea and the theft.[20] U.S. prosecutors are reportedly at work building potential cases that would accuse North Korea of directing the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The report also said that to be included in the charges are "alleged Chinese middlemen," who facilitated the transfer of the funds after it had been diverted to the Philippines.[21]
Some security companies, including Symantec Corp. and BAE Systems, say that the North Korea-based Lazarus Group, one of the world’s most active state-sponsored hacking collectives, were probably behind the attack. They cite similarities between the methods used in the Bangladesh heist and those in other cases, such as the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014, which U.S. officials also attributed to North Korea. Cybersecurity experts say Lazarus Group was also behind the WannaCry ransomware attack in May that infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.[22]
Some or all of the stolen funds may eventually have found its way to North Korea. The FBI is examining the totalitarian state’s link to the hack, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the investigation.[23]
US National Security Agency Deputy Director Richard Ledgett was also quoted as saying that, “If that linkage from the Sony actors to the Bangladeshi bank actors is accurate—that means that a nation state is robbing banks."[24]
Other attacks[edit]
Computer security researchers have linked the theft to as many as eleven other attacks, and alleged that North Korea had a role in the attacks, which, if true, would be the first known incident of a state actor using cyberattacks to steal funds.[25][26]
Response from linked organizations[edit]
 
Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank who resigned from his post in response to the case.
The Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation said it did not tolerate the illicit activity in the RCBC branch involved in the case. Lorenzo V. Tan, RCBC's president, said that the bank cooperated with the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas regarding the matter.[27] Tan's legal counsel has asked the RCBC Jupiter Street branch manager to explain the alleged fake bank account that was used in the money laundering scam.[28]
The RCBC's board committee also launched a separate probe into the bank's involvement in the money laundering scam. RCBC president Lorenzo V. Tan filed an indefinite leave of absence to give way to the investigation by the authorities on the case.[29][30] On May 6, 2016, despite being cleared of any wrongdoing by the bank's internal investigation, Tan resigned as President of RCBC to "take full moral responsibility" for the incident.[31][32] Helen Yuchengco-Dee, daughter of RCBC founder Alfonso Yuchengco, will take over the bank's operations. The bank also apologized to the public for its involvement in the robbery.
Bangladesh Bank chief governor Atiur Rahman resigned from his post amid the current investigation of the robbery and money laundering. He submitted his resignation letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 15, 2016. Before the resignation was made public, Rahman stated that he would resign for the sake of his country.[33]
On August 5, 2016, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas approved a ₱1 billion (~US$52.92 million) fine against RCBC for its non-compliance with banking laws and regulations in connection with the bank robbery. This is the largest monetary fine ever approved by BSP against any institution. RCBC stated that the bank will comply with the BSP's decision, and will pay the imposed fine.[34]
Ramifications[edit]
The incident shows the risks that banks connected to the SWIFT system are exposed to as a result of the security vulnerabilities of other member banks. By breaching the Bangladesh Central Bank's security firewalls, hackers were able to hack the system and transfer the funds through the established global banking networks almost undetected. The failure of the Bangladeshi government to build adequate safeguards for its financial system became the starting point for a global, multi-million money laundering scheme whose effect was felt beyond the country's borders.
The case threatens the reinstatement of the Philippines to the blacklist, by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, of countries making insufficient efforts against money laundering.[35] Attention was given to a potential weakness of Philippine authorities' efforts against money laundering after lawmakers in 2012 managed to exclude casinos from the roster of organizations required to report to the Anti-Money Laundering Council regarding suspicious transactions.
The case also highlights the threat of cyber-attacks to both government and private institutions by cyber criminals using real bank codes to make orders look genuine. SWIFT has advised banks using the SWIFT Alliance Access system to strengthen their cyber security posture and ensure they are following SWIFT security guidelines. Bangladesh is reportedly the 20th most cyber-attacked country, according to a cyber-threat map developed by Kaspersky Lab, which runs in real time.[36]

40
Life Style / The Benefits of Developing the Power of Concentration
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:04:51 PM »
There are many benefits to developing the power of concentration. Here are a few of them:

Control of your thoughts.
The ability to focus your mind.
Peace of mind.
Freedom from futile and annoying thoughts.
The ability to choose your thoughts.
Better memory.
Improved Self-confidence.
Inner strength.
Stronger Willpower.
Decisiveness.
The ability to study and comprehend more quickly.
Inner happiness.
More powerful and efficient use of creative visualization.
-Deeper and more successful meditation.
And much more...
Does this seem too good to be true? Develop the power of concentration and find out for yourself!


41
Life Style / The Inner resistance to Develop Concentration
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:04:02 PM »
To develop this ability, you have to train your mind. Most people believe that concentration is a strenuous and tiring activity, and that it involves exertion and tension, which are difficult and unpleasant. This belief, which usually starts at an early age, is not true.

Parents and teachers expect children to study, do their homework and get good grades. Sometimes, they use disciplinary measures against the children. This makes the children feel forced to do something they don't like doing.

Telling a child often, that he or she is not concentrating well enough, creates a subconscious aversion to concentration and study. These become associated with coercion, lack of freedom, and doing something they do not like to do. When children grow up, it is no wonder that their power of concentration is too weak.

Though most people would admit that good concentration is a great asset, yet, most of them, do nothing to strengthen it, because they don't know how, and because they lack the motivation to do so.

Concentration can be fun, if approached in the right way. It should be practiced with joy, positive attitude, optimism, and understanding of its great possibilities.

42
Life Style / The Restless Mind
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:03:19 PM »
Thoughts claim our attention constantly, wasting our time and energy on unimportant and useless matters. They actually, rule our life. We have become so used to this condition that we regard it as natural.

While breathing, we do not need to pay attention to each inhalation and exhalation. We become conscious of the process of breathing, only when we have some difficulty with breathing, such as when our nose is clogged, due to a cold, or when we are in an unventilated room.

It is the same with thinking. We become conscious of the constant onslaught of our thoughts, and of our inability to calm them down, only when we need to concentrate, solve a problem or study. We are also acutely aware of them, when we have worries or fears.

How to Focus Your MindHow to Focus Your Mind

Does your attention often wander away? Are you unable to focus your mind? Learn how to improve your focus and strengthen your concentration skills with simple mental exercises.

Learn How to Focus

Examine this familiar situation. You need to study something for your job or for an exam. You sit comfortably on the sofa with the book in your hands and start reading. After a while, you feel hungry and go to the kitchen to eat something.

You return to the book, but a few moments later you hear people talking outside. You listen to them for several moments and then bring your attention back to the book.

After a while, you feel restless and switch on the radio to listen to music. You continue reading a few moments, and then remember an incident that happened yesterday, and start thinking about it.

When you look at your watch, you are amazed to find out that one complete hour has passed, and you have hardly read anything.


 
This is what happens when one lacks concentration. Imagine what you could have accomplished, if you could control your attention and focus your mind!

A job that requires physical strength, such as carrying heavy loads, for example, strengthen the muscles. However, it is not the same as exercising daily in a gym. Reading and studying, exercise the mind, but to gain strong concentration, you need to practice exercises every day, just like training in a gym.

43
Life Style / The Power of Concentration
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:02:38 PM »
The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun. When they are concentrated, they illumine." - Swami Vivekananda

When I was a child, I saw how a magnifying glass could burn a piece of paper, when the rays of the sun were focused through it on one point. The fire could only be ignited, when the sun's rays were concentrated on a small point. When the magnifying glass was moved too far away, or too close to the paper, the rays were not focused enough, and nothing happened.

This experience, describes vividly, how the power of concentration works. It is a skill, which enables you to fix your attention on one single thought or subject, while at the same time excluding from your awareness everything else.

"The power of concentration manifests as focused attention and as a one pointed mind."

When you focus your mind, you conserve your energies and do not dissipate them on irrelevant thoughts or activities. This is why, developing concentration is vital for anyone aspiring to be more efficient and take charge of his or her life. This skill is vital for every kind of success. Without it, your efforts get scattered, but with it, you can accomplish great things.

Concentration has many uses and benefits. It assists in studying, enables faster comprehension, improves the memory, helps in focusing on a task, job or goal, and therefore, achieving them more easily and efficiently. It is a powerful tool for the efficient use of creative visualization, and it also helps in developing psychic powers.

When this ability is strong, the mind obeys you more readily and does not engage in futile, negative thoughts or worries. This ability plays an important role in meditation, gaining mental mastery, and attaining peace of mind.

Without it, the mind just jumps restlessly from one thought to another, not allowing you to meditate properly.

Do you now realize, why it is very important and worthwhile to develop and improve the ability to concentrate?

To develop this power you need to train and exercise it. Forget all your excuses about not having the time or being too busy. Do not say that the circumstances are not appropriate, or that you cannot find a quiet place to exercise. With a little planning, desire and motivation, you can always find the time to exercise each day, no matter how busy you are.

44
Life Style / Tips and Advice for Peace of Mind
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:01:44 PM »
Minimize the time you spend on reading newspapers or watching the news on TV. Since most of the news are negative news, and you cannot do anything about them, why should you think about them and feel stressed and anxious?
Stay away from negative conversations and from negative people. You don't want their thoughts and words to sink into your subconscious mind and affect your moods and state of mind.
Don't hold grudges. Learn to forget and forgive. Nurturing ill feelings and grievances hurts you and causes lack of sleep.
Don't be jealous of other people. Jealousy means that you have low self-esteem, and therefore, consider yourself inferior to other people. Jealousy and low self esteem, often, lead to lack of peace of mind.
Accept what cannot be changed. This saves a lot of time, energy and worries. Every day, we face numerous inconveniences, irritations and situations that are beyond our control. If we can change them, that's fine, but this is not always possible. We must learn to put up with such things and accept them cheerfully.
Don't dwell on the past. The past is not here anymore, so why think about it? Let bygones be gone. Forget the past and focus on the present moment. There is no need to evoke unpleasant memories and get immersed in them.
Learn to be more patient and tolerant with family, friends, co-workers, employees, and everyone else.
Don't take everything too personally. A certain degree of emotional and mental detachment is very helpful. On many occasions, it would be useful to inject a certain measure of detachment and non involvement. This would bring into your life more peace, harmony and common sense.
Learn to focus your mind. When you can focus your mind, you can more easily reject worries and anxieties, refuse to think negative thoughts, and reduce the constant chatter of your mind.
Meditation is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you have the time, and are willing to try it, even just a few minutes a day will make a difference in your life. You will become more peaceful, relaxed and happy.
Inner peace eventually, leads to external peace. By creating peace in your inner world, in your mind, you bring it into your external world, and into other people's lives.

45
Life Style / Peace of Mind Tips and Advice
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:00:49 PM »
Peace of mind is a state of mental and emotional calmness, with no worries, fears or stress. In this state, the mind is quiet, and you experience a sense of happiness and freedom.

Such peaceful moments are not so rare. You have experienced them in the past, at times when you were engaged in some kind of an absorbing or interesting activity. Here are a few examples:

Watching an entertaining movie or TV program.
Being in the company of someone you love.
Being absorbed in reading a book.
Lying on the sand at the beach.
On vacation, when you experience some sort of mental numbness, forgetting your work and day-to-day-life.
In deep asleep, when you are not aware of anything.
Such activities, and similar ones, take away the mind from its usual thoughts, worries and constant thinking, replacing them with inner peace. Usually, this state lasts for only a while, but we enjoy it while it lasts.

The question is, how to bring more peace of mind into our life, and more importantly, how to experience it in times of difficulties and ordeals.

You might also ask, whether it is possible to turn it into a habit, and enjoy it always and under all circumstances. Actually, there are a few things you can do to enjoy more peace in your life, and in time, you might gain the ability to experience it quite often.

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