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Beware Windows 10 Email Update, Smart Compose Coming to Google Docs & More News

This week in tech news: Ransomware poses as Windows 10 update via email, India plans to tap the tech opportunity created by US-China trade war and Smart Compose is coming to Google Docs.

Tech news you need to know, in three minutes or less.


Beware! Ransomware Poses As Windows Update Via Email

Windows 10 users need to be on high alert for a scam update that’s circulating in emails that purport to be from Microsoft.

The dangerous Windows 10 update was discovered by the security researchers at Trustwave's SpiderLabs. According to their findings, the nefarious update is designed to infect your Windows 10 machine with the Cyborg ransomware.

That said, the ransomware gives itself away by being propagated via email. The bogus email will either come with the subject line of “Install Latest Microsoft Windows Update Now!” or “Critical Microsoft Windows Update!” to tempt you into opening it. It also only contains a simple line which reads “Please install the latest critical update from Microsoft attached to this email”.

The file will appear to be in .jpg format, but according to the security firm, it is a .exe file. Upon clicking on the email's attachment, the executable hidden within it downloads a file called 'bitcoingenerator.exe' from a GitHub account with the name misterbtc2020. Once activated, the ransomware encrypts all of the files on the infected user's system and appends their filenames with its own file extension, 777. A ransom note with the filename 'Cyborg_DECRYPT.txt' is then left on the desktop of the compromised machine.

If you get such an email, either delete it or change your password, to protect your system from the hack. Please note Microsoft never sends a mail to ask you to update to another version.

Make in India symbol (MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)

How India Plans To Tap The Tech Opportunity Created By US-China Trade War

In a bid to boost its Make in India initiative, the central government is formulating a plan to offer incentives to 324 international manufacturers like Tesla Motors and GlaxoSmithKline to establish their plants in India, reports Bloomberg. The government proposes to provide the manufacturers land to set up a factory along with power, water and road access, according to the draft of the document prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and Invest India. Other companies that officials will reach out to include Eli Lilly & Co., South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical Corp., and Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

While the trade war has benefited countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia, rigid land acquisition rules and labour laws have prompted investors to largely ignore India when looking for alternatives to China. The latest proposal may reduce red tape, and set the nation, which expanded at the slowest pace in six years last quarter, on a path to double its gross domestic product to $5 trillion by 2025 -- a goal set Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The DPIIT’s draft proposes for the creation of areas that can accommodate ready-to-move-in industrial clusters and might solve the issue of acquiring land faced by foreign investors. Interestingly, the proposed incentives will be provided by the government for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, fuel efficiency and carbon taxation. Moreover, the draft has also taken care of the electronics and telecom sector as it proposed to solve issues like flexible employment, manufacturing-related incentives linked to investments and value addition.


Google is adding the Gmail feature that helps write your emails for you to Google Docs

After its successful debut on Gmail last year, Google is bringing its ghost-like Smart Compose feature to Google Docs. Google says in total, Smart Compose in Gmail already saves people from typing about 2 billion characters per week. The company announced Wednesday that it would be expanding its AI-powered feature to Google Docs, allowing G-suite users to draft documents such as business contracts or marketing pitches quickly.

The feature uses Google’s machine learning models to make its suggestions, which study your past writing to personalize its prompts. In theory, that means Smart Compose writes a little like you, though in practice the majority of its suggestions play it safe, using bland phrasing and corporate speak. Adding Smart Compose to Google Docs could be a big step up for the tool, challenging its AI autosuggestions with a larger range of writing styles. While emails tend to be more action-orientated, Google Docs is used for everything else.

For the time being, Smart Compose for Google Docs appears to be geared toward businesses. The beta version of the feature is currently only available to domain administrators, the company said.

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