Business & Finance

Hackers program bank ATMs to spew cash


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As ATMs have become ubiquitous, so too have attacks that turn these automated tellers into robotic thieves. In July 2016, a group of masked cyber-criminals cashed out 34 ATMs operated by the First Commercial Bank, one of Taiwan’s largest banks. Criminals had collected more than 83.27 million New Taiwan dollars (US$2.6 million) in cash — without using ATM cards. The criminals did not physically damage the ATMs, nor did they use skimmers or bank cards. According to CCTV footage, the thieves used cellphones to trigger the ATMs to automatically dispense money. The Wall Street Journal reports that twenty-two people, most from Eastern Europe, waited by ATMs to remove the money. Three suspects were later arrested and over NT$77 million recovered.

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Following this, criminals used a similar scheme in August to steal 12 million baht (US$350,000) from the Government Savings Bank ATMs in Thailand. In September, the same kind of attacks was detected in Europe; however, this fact was not made public. The criminals programmed bank ATMs to spew cash. Gang members stood in front of the machines at the appointed hour and collected millions of dollars. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the threat could be linked to malicious software used by the Russian gang known as Buhtrap, known for stealing money through fraudulent wire transfers.

imagesTo perform a logical attack, hackers access a bank’s local network, which is further used to gain total control over ATMs in their system. Cash machines are then remotely triggered to dispense money, allowing criminals to steal large amounts with relative ease. With full control over ATMs, criminals can choose the exact attack time to loot newly filled ATMs. This result in millions of dollars lost, as in the case of the First Commercial Bank. Sometimes the hackers break into the systems that process transactions on banking payment networks; other times they have hit ATM networks directly.

The computer code for the attacks was released recently by a member of Buhtrap and is now being used by others. In addition, another group called Cobalt has begun to carry out attacks on banks in Europe and Asia as well, The Wall Street Journal reported. Cobalt is reportedly active since June 2016. Their key targets are ATM control systems. As of September 2016, the group is believed to have attacked banks in Russia, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Romania, Belorussia, Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Malaysia.

Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned U.S. banks of the potential for similar attacks. The FBI said in a bulletin that it is “monitoring emerging reports indicating that well-resourced and organized malicious cyber actors have intentions to target the U.S. financial sector.” The FBI reported hackers used “phishing” emails to break into the Taiwan and Thailand banks. The emails were designed to look like messages from ATM vendors or other banks, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Business & Finance

ATM pe dhava bol


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Mom and I have come to my material uncle’s house in Allahabad on the occasion of Kali Puja and Diwali. We were scheduled to return home after Bhaiphonta or Bhai Dooj. But, my grandfather (Dadu) and uncle (Mama) had to be hospitalised on the eve of Kali Puja. Both were suffering for sometime and they became very serious on the day we went to Maihar. The same night we had to admit them to the hospital. Although my Dadu was discharged from the hospital after a few days, but mama’s condition was critical. He was in ICU for long time. So, we had to postpone our return journey. Mama was discharged yesterday from the hospital.

On the evening of November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetised all 500 and 1000 rupee notes with immediate effect. All Banks and ATMs were closed on November 9 to make necessary arrangements. ATMs reopened today and are only dispensing notes worth 2000 rupees. We came to Allahabad on a short trip with return ticket booked and itinerary planned and finalised. We didn’t carry much cash or cheque books. We had our debit cards to meet cash requirements, but now we just got stuck with little cash. I am returning today. Mom returned yesterday with Dadu. In short notice, we couldn’t get tickets to travel on the same day.

Today, I went to ATM for cash I need for my journey expenses. OMG! What a rush at the ATMs. It seems people are on assault – dhava bol diya, as we say in Hindi. Every ATM has a big queue. HDFC ATM was better with 25-30 people standing in an orderly queue. But, there was a chaos at the ATM of State Bank of India. Obviously the news of demonetisation has caused a panic among people and everyone wants to get 100 rupee notes. Many ATMs are already dry and bank people are at stress to meet the demands. At places, banks called in police or closed down for the day to cope with the rush of customers.

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Scene at an ATM of HDFC Bank in Allahabad

This situation is same everywhere. My mom said that she went to an ATM at Kolkata for cash. She also had to stand in the queue for long time.

I went to the Chowk market to buy some items that my mom asked me. By the time I reached there, there was a raid by Income Tax authorities. They chased the customers out to close down the shops. It’s all mess everywhere. Everyone seems to be confused. I went to a sweet shop to buy some sweets. The shop owner accepted 500 rupee note for sweets worth 450 rupees and 10 percent was his exchange fee!! He is trying to make some fast bucks encashing the situation.

Cartoon By R.K.Laxman When Morarji Desai Withdrew 1000, 5000 & 10000 Rupee Notes in 1978. (Image: Times of India)
Cartoon By R.K.Laxman when Morarji Desai withdrew 1000, 5000 & 10000 rupee notes in 1978. (Image: Times of India)

The sudden demonetisation to prevent corruption and fake currency notes has caused confusion and people are behaving strange. I hope that the situation gets normal soon. We have to get adjusted to it anyway. This is the third time that high-value currency notes are demonetised in India. The first time it was done in 1946.

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Event & Festival

Diwali … the day after


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diwali-festival

We have grown up writing essays on Diwali as a festival of light. I wonder if my grandchildren will appreciate that description!

Nowadays there is already so much artificial light that for the Diwali evening one has to switch off most of it to create enough darkness to light up the diyas (lamps). Same is the case with creating noise for celebrations. The world is going deaf with sound pollution. We have to switch off our Television sets — especially the Arnab show🙂 — to hear the crackers burst. Sweets! I remember as a child savouring sweets occasionally associating them with festivals and special occasions. When my mother used to prepare sweets at home then it used to be a day of celebration! Now one has to only open the refrigerator door and there is a mini sweet shop or ice-cream parlour.

Not so long ago, perhaps only a few decades ago, these festivals were a social occasion for poor artisans to earn some money. They helped the rich celebrate their wealth and getting their share in the bargain by selling their produce and skill, sustaining a healthy equilibrium. From sweeper to coppersmith, carpenter to potter, tailor to artisans would get busy for months. Today the rich businessmen go to China to buy incredible cheap stuff, come back and sell it to the poor people for a profit. The poor who can’t afford a square meal buys a mobile and feels empowered.

Instead of going around exchanging festive hugs, jadoo ki jhuppi, we shifted to mobile phones and now to social media and greetings is just a click. Life today is turning into a constant inorganic  celebration. No wonder the festivals are losing its sheen, as we remembered it. Today a child can’t differentiate between a Diwali, Christmas or New Year  and might enjoy a Halloween more.

“The Times They Are A-Changin” — Bob Dylan, 1964!!

Faith & Belief, Travel & Leisure

Maihar: Where the Mother’s necklace fell


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Mom and I came to Allahabad at my maternal uncle’s house on the occasion of Diwali and Kali Puja. Yesterday we planned to visit Maihar today for pilgrimage. Maihar is around 200 km from Allahabad. Maihar is known for the temple of revered mother goddess Sharda situated on Trikuta hill of Maihar. It is in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. This temple is known for the 1063 steps to the top.

THE LEGEND

According to the local legends, when Prithviraj Chauhan defeated king Parmal then in anger Aalha took out his sword to kill all the army of Prihviraj Chauhan but goddess Sharda caught his hands and stopped him. The warriors Alha and Udal, who had war with Prithvi Raj Chauhan, were very strong followers of Sharda Devi. It is said that they are the first ones to visit the goddess in this remote forest. They called the mother goddess by the name ‘Sharda Mai’, and henceforth she became popular as ‘Mata Sharda Mai’. Alha worshiped for 12 years and got the amaratva with the blessings of Sharda Devi.

The legend that is supposed to be the reason for the existence of the temple starts with the Devi Sati and Lords Shiva who got married despite the objection of father of the Goddess – Daksha. Dejected by the marriage, Daksha planned a great Yagna to bring insult to Lord Shiva by not inviting Him. The act infuriated the Goddess who sacrificed herself in the holy fire. Upon getting the news of Her death, Lord Shiva brought His anger upon the world destroying anything and everything He met meanwhile carrying dead body of the Goddess on his back. To stop Him, Lord Vishnu cut the body into 52 pieces that fell at different parts of India where 52 Shakti Peethas (shrines) could now be found. Maihar is one of those 52 shrines where necklace (known as ‘har’ in Hindi) of the Goddess (‘Mai’ means Mother) fell. Sharda is just another of Her many names.

We started early in the morning as the road condition is bad. Yes, the road is very bad and it took us over six hours to reach Maihar. Some renovation work is going on. We stopped for tea at one place and didn’t want to waste time before we reach the temple city.

We reached the gateway to the temple at the base of the Trikuta hill. There is a ropeway for pilgrims who cannot walk up over 1000 steps. But, we found that the ropeway was closed for maintenance. There’s a road also that goes up the hill. We hired a Maruti van to take us up. The temple remains closed from 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm, so we waited near the main gate at the foothill.

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There is a nice park near the gate as a part of beautification of the place. Today being Dhanteras, there is not much crowd at the temple.

Many people bring their new vehicles at the temple for “vahan puja” here at the Sharda Devi temple and this is the area where the temple priests perform the puja of the vehicles.

We started for going up in a Maruti Van at 2.00 pm. It’s a small 5 minute drive up the hill.

We reached the temple at the top of the hill and prayed to the goddess Sharda Devi. Statues of Sri Kalbhairav, Bhagwan Narsingh, Hanuman ji, Goddess Mother Kali, Durga, Sri Gauri Shankar, Sheshnag, Phoolmati Mata, Bramhdev & Jalappadevi are also installed in Sharda Devi temple campus.

The famous historian A. Cunningham has done a detailed Study of this temple. He dates the stone inscription to 9th or 10th century AD.

Behind the temple and downhill is Alha Pond. At a distance of 2 km from this pond is situated an ‘akhara’ (wrestling ring) where Alha and Udal used to practice kushti (wrestling). The people of Maihar believe that Alha is still alive and comes at 4 am in the morning to worship the Goddess Sharda.

There is nice narrow wandering stream flowing below the temple hill. The hills nearby are surprisingly having flat, barren top!

After our worship at the temple, we had our lunch at a restaurant in the market near the temple.

After lunch, we returned home.

Food & Drink, History & Heritage

Kunafeh: Sweet Cheese Pastry


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Today, we went to Mansour Mall in the evening. We thought of having Kunafeh (sweet cheese pastry) and so we walked into MADO Cafe. MADO is a Turkish ice-cream brand and has over 250 branches working as cafes and restaurants all over the world. The brand gets its name from two words : “Maraş”, the former name of the city where the firm is originated; and “Dondurma”, the Turkish name used for ice-cream.

Kunafeh is a pastry that is common to countries in the Middle East. It is a dessert popular in Levant region and Turkey, Greece, Iraq, etc. It is made with the shredded phyllo like pastry and it is usually filled with a neutral, non-salty, stringy cheese and it is baked until the pastry gets nice and golden brown and crispy and it is then smothered in a simple syrup. It is served with crushed pistachios spread over it.

According to Wikipedia, Kunafeh is first mentioned in 10th century. It is generally believed to have originated in Palestinian city Nablus in West Bank. However, some believe that the origin of the savoury sweet Kunafeh may date back to the time of the Abbasid Caliphate in 9th century Baghdad. Gil Marks, author of “Encyclopedia of Jewish Food,” writing about the “early adoption and production of this pastry by the Jewish community,” relates how the Caliphs’ cooks made a “crepe-like” pastry called qata’if wrapped around almond cream and drizzled with honey. By the 13th century, Middle Eastern cooks began to bake “thinly sliced … qata’if and tossed the shreds with honey,” but the preparation was later modified whereby the qata’if batter was poured “into thin lines onto the metal sheet.” This new method of cooking the dough became known as Kadayif or Kunafeh, a variation of the word qata’if.

Kunafeh is really very tasty sweet dish. I love it although it’s quite a high calorie dessert. MADO Cafe also served with a small piece of vanilla ice cream topped with crushed pistachios. Just awesome!

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Faith & Belief, Views & Opinion

Ravana’s teachings from his deathbed


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This story is not in Ramcharitmanas or in Valmiki Ramayana, but it was probably added in some later versions of Ramayana. This story is, however, very famous.

After airing fatal arrow on the battlefield of Lanka, Lord Rama told his brother Lakshmana: “Go to Ravana quickly before he dies and request him to share whatever knowledge he can. A brute he may be, but he is also a great scholar!”

The obedient Lakshmana rushed across the battlefield to Ravana’s side and whispered in his ears, “Demon-king, do not let your knowledge die with you. Share it with us and wash away your sins.”  Ravana responded by simply turning away. An angry Lakshmana went back to Rama, “He is as arrogant as he always was, too proud to share anything.” Rama comforted his brother and asked him softly, “Where did you stand while asking Ravana for knowledge?” Lakshmana replied: “Next to his head so that I hear what he had to say clearly.”

Rama smiled, placed his bow on the ground and walked to the deathbed of Ravana. Lakshmana watched in astonishment as his divine brother knelt at Ravana’s feet. With palms joined, with extreme humility, Rama said, “Lord of Lanka, you abducted my wife, a terrible crime for which I have been forced to punish you. Now, you are no more my enemy. I bow to you and request you to share your wisdom with me. Please do that for if you die without doing so, all your wisdom will be lost forever to the world.”

To Lakshmana’s surprise, Ravana opened his eyes and raised his arms to salute Rama and said:

If only I had more time as your teacher than as your enemy. Standing at my feet as a student should, unlike your rude younger brother, you are a worthy recipient of my knowledge. I have very little time so I cannot share much but let me tell you one important lesson I have learnt in my life. Things that are bad for you seduce you easily; you run towards them impatiently. But things that are actually good for you, fail to attract you; you shun them creatively, finding powerful excuses to justify your procrastination. This is the wisdom of my life, Rama, my last words, I give it to you.

Ravana then taught Lakshmana that a king who is eager to win glory must suppress greed as soon as it lifts its head, and welcome the smallest chance to do good to others, without the slightest procrastination. Greed arises from attachment to the senses and catering to them. Put them in their proper place; they are windows for knowledge, not channels of contamination. Then he tells him about Politics and Ethics which mainly said:

  • do not be enemy of your charioteer, your gatekeeper, your cook and your brother, they can harm you anytime,
  • do not think you are always a winner, even if you are winning always,
  • always trust the minister, who criticizes you,
  • never think your enemy is small or powerless, like I thought for Hanuman,
  • never disclose your secrets, like I allowed Vibhisana to join Rama with all our secrets,
  • never think you can outsmart the stars, they will bring you what you are destined to,
  • either love or hate God but both should be immense and strong.

With these words, Ravana died.

happy-dussehra-ravan-5

Ravana belonged to an august lineage, having been born as the grandson of Brahma, the creator of the universe, and the son of the sage Vishrava and younger brother of Kubera, the deity of wealth. Ravana was a scholar and connoisseur of arts. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda and political science. His ten heads represent that his knowledge of the six Shastras and the four Vedas.

Rama once addressed Ravana as a “Maha Brahman”. An insatiable, all-consuming ego turned out to be Ravana’s Achilles’ heel that negated all his otherwise divine qualities. Rama was very impressed with Ravana’s knowledge and wisdom which is why after defeating him; he praised Ravana and deputed his brother Lakshmana to seek knowledge from the dying Ravana.

As we burn his effigies today on the occasion of Dussehra, we must try to kill our ego and let Ravana’s golden teachings guide us in our life.

dussehra

Science & Technology, Views & Opinion

Is Google changing our brains?


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Back in the pre-internet days, if someone asked you a tricky question, you had a couple of options. You could see if anyone you knew had the answer. You could pull out an encyclopaedia. Or you could head down to the library to carry out research. Whichever one you opted for, it was almost certainly more complicated and time-consuming than what you’d do today: Google it.

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Thanks to technology – and the internet in particular – we no longer need to depend on our sometimes unreliable memories for random facts and pieces of information. Think about it: when was the last time you bothered to memorise someone’s phone number? And what’s the point in learning the spelling of that long, complicated word when autocorrect will pick it up for you?

But with all the knowledge we could ever need at our fingertips, are we outsourcing our memory to the internet?

We are indeed, according to recent research. The latest study, from academics at the universities of California and Illinois, found that our increasing reliance on the internet is transforming the way we think and remember.

In the study, two groups of people were asked to answer a set of trivia questions. Those in the first group were told to use only their memories, while the others had to look up the answers online. Both groups were then asked a set of easier questions and given the option of using the internet. Those who had used the internet the first time round were much more likely to do so again.

Not only were they more likely to refer to the internet, they were quicker to do so, making very little attempt to figure out the answer themselves, even when the questions were relatively simple.

All of this is evidence of a trend the researchers refer to as “cognitive offloading”. It has become so easy to just look something up online, we’re giving up even trying to remember certain things.

The more important question, then, is whether or not this is a good thing. The opinion seems divided as to whether this is a positive or negative development.

Some argue that by removing the need for rote learning – a system under which we were forced to memorise dates, names and facts – the internet has helped free up cognitive resources for other, more important things.

By relying on the internet as an external hard drive for our memory, we are losing the ability to transfer the facts we hear and read on a daily basis from our working memory to our long-term one, which is essential to the creation of knowledge and wisdom.

While much more research into the consequences of this remains to be done, perhaps the change isn’t as significant as we might think. After all, as technology we’ve actually been outsourcing our memory for a long time.

Humanity has always relied on coping devices to handle the details for us. We’ve long stored knowledge in books and on paper and post-it notes. It’s just that today, we turn to more sophisticated tools for that helping hand. I think the internet (and technology, more generally) is going to greatly expand the capabilities of the human mind.

H/T: Stéphanie Thomson/WEF

Event & Festival

Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra (PBK) — Non-Resident Indian Centre — in New Delhi today on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, as an institution to help engage with India’s vast diaspora and commemorate their trials, tribulations and achievements. Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj was also present at the event. Indian embassy organised live webcast of inauguration of PBK and invited us to attend the show.

PBK is a tribute to the overseas Indian community and commemorates their migration to various parts of the world, the challenges they faced abroad, their achievements and contributions. One of the important components of the PBK is a Diaspora Museum, to highlight the experience of overseas Indians in diverse parts of the globe. The museum will depict the history of migration of the overseas Indian community; their experience and contributions. It would be curated by a professional curator, and contain artefacts, documents and photographs, etc. relevant to the diaspora.

pm-modi

Over time, the Kendra is expected to develop into a hub of activities for sustainable, symbolic and mutually rewarding economic, social and cultural engagement between India and its diaspora. Activities, seminars, events, workshops pertaining to the Indian diaspora are expected to be organised in PBK.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on January 9 each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on January 9, 1915.

Nature & Environment, Science & Technology

Ophiuchus, the 13th Zodiac sign


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While most people probably make their important life decisions based on, oh I don’t know, common sense and things like that, there are a whole lot of people around the world who do take their star signs and horoscopes seriously, and with more than 25 percent of respondents in a recent survey calling astrology “very scientific”, there’s a big problem here.

NASA did some new calculations and determined there are actually 13 zodiac signs instead of 12, meaning that 86 percent of all people were actually born under a different sign! The 13th zodiac sign is Ophiuchus. It’s pronounced “oh-FEW-kuss.” Ophiuchus has been used in sidereal and Vedic astrology, but is not commonly practiced in the western astrology.

NASA clarifies on their blog that they study astronomy, not astrology. They didn’t change any zodiac signs, they just did the math. Astronomy is the scientific study of everything in outer space. Astronomers and other scientists know that stars many light years away have no effect on the ordinary activities of humans on Earth.

The Babylonians lived over 3,000 years ago. They divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts – like cutting a pizza into 12 equal slices. They picked 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 “slices.” So, as Earth orbits the sun, the sun would appear to pass through each of the 12 parts of the zodiac. Since the Babylonians already had a 12-month calendar (based on the phases of the moon), each month got a slice of the zodiac all to itself.

But even according to the Babylonians’ own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. So they picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn’t fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and crossed over into the next one.

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When the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of zodiac, a birthday between about July 23 and August 22 meant being born under the constellation Leo. Now, 3,000 years later, the sky has shifted because Earth’s axis (North Pole) doesn’t point in quite the same direction.

marc_astrology-enThe constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one. The line from Earth through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days.  To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time.

While this explanation should clear up any remaining confusion, NASA stresses one major point: Astrology is something else. It’s not science.

Zodiacal signs are of equal length whereas the zodiacal constellations are not equal in length. Whether or not you believe horoscopes are worthwhile, it seems Ophiuchus won’t be disrupting our astrological zodiac any time soon.🙂

Business & Finance

Social Impact Bonds — an innovative approach


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Now making waves in public finance circles are Social Impact Bonds (SIBs). It’s an innovative approach to finance social service programs that combines outcome-based payments and market discipline. They are designed to raise private capital for intensive support and preventative programs which address areas of pressing social need. It is a financial mechanism in which investors pay for a set of interventions to improve a social outcome that is of social and/or financial interest to a government. These are not bonds in the traditional sense. Investors are repaid, based on the level of success that the organization receiving the funding is able to achieve.

The funding concept is a type of “Pay For Success” (PFS) model where private investors invest capital and manage public projects, usually aimed at improving social outcomes for at-risk individuals, with the goal of reducing government spending in the long-term. Because payment is based on results rather than process, there is more room for innovation and greater freedom to demonstrate solutions that work.

The catch is that private investors front all the costs and will be paid back a financial return by the government if and only if social outcomes are improved based on some standard measurement. The profit-motivating component comes from the fact that some of the savings from reduced costs for the government can be used to pay back the investor contingent upon their success. If the social outcome improves, the government repays the investors for their initial investment plus a return for the financial risks they took. If the social outcomes are not achieved, the investors stand to lose their investment.

According to a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco paper, although PFS contracts have received widespread attention, there is nothing fundamentally new about governments paying for outcomes. What makes recent PFS initiatives distinctive is that they are focused not simply on creating additional financial incentives for contractors to produce better outcomes, but more broadly on overcoming the wide set of barriers that are hindering the pace of social innovation. For sure, these barriers include a lack of performance focus and outcome measurement, but they also include political constraints that prevent government from investing in prevention, the inability of nonprofits to access the capital needed to expand operations, and insufficient capacity to develop rapid and rigorous evidence about what works.

Under the most common SIB model, the government contracts with a private-sector intermediary to obtain social services. The government pays the intermediary entirely or almost entirely based upon achievement of performance targets. Performance is rigorously measured by comparing the outcomes of individuals referred to the service provider relative to the outcomes of a comparison or control group. If the intermediary fails to achieve the minimum performance target, the government does not pay. Payments typically rise for performance that exceeds the minimum target, up to an agreed-upon maximum payment level. Payments are funded at least partially by the cost savings to government achieved through the improvement in outcomes.

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The intermediary obtains operating funds by raising capital from independent commercial or philanthropic investors who provide up-front capital in exchange for a share of the government payments that become available if the performance targets are met. The intermediary uses these operating funds to contract with service providers to deliver the interventions necessary to meet the performance targets.

In 2010, Social Finance UK launched the first Social Impact Bond in the United Kingdom — targeting reducing reoffending. By linking a social target to financial success, the Peterborough pilot generated worldwide interest in whether innovative finance can make an impact on the world’s most difficult challenges.

Following the announcement of the world’s first SIB in the United Kingdom in 2010, countries as varied as the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Columbia, India, Ireland, and Israel have started exploring SIBs. Proposed projects target social problems ranging from recidivism to homelessness, unemployment, youth outcomes, and early childhood education. 60 SIBs have launched in 15 countries, raising more than $200m in investment to address social challenges, as of June 2016. 4 projects have fully repaid investor capital.

Why do Social Impact Bonds resonate so widely? Social Finance thinks that it is the values of partnership and collaboration, flexibility and responsiveness, and a focus on data, outcomes, and measurement which all stand at the heart of the model. Investors, whose interests are aligned with other partners to achieve outcomes, play a key role. It is exciting to see an idea move from conception, to exploration, to implementation so quickly and so broadly. Most importantly, it’s making positive impacts.