Early release to be scrapped for violent and sexual offenders – Security news

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  • Justice secretary rejects claims tougher sentences politicise London Bridge attackSerious violent and sexual offenders will no longer automatically be released halfway through their sentences under government plans introduced on Wednesday.A greater focus has been placed on automatic release since last November’s London Bridge attack, which was carried out by a convicted terrorist out on licence.Victims tell me they feel let down Continue reading…



  • Lie-detector tests for terrorist convicts are just a Hollywood stunt | Letter

    Michael Attwood says there is no scientific basis whatsoever for polygraph tests – all they measure is anxietyLie-detector tests don’t work (Terrorist convicts to face lie detector tests after release, 21 January). Not only is there no scientific basis for conducting the tests, there is also no evidence the results are reliable. This is the official position of the American Psychological Association. Rather, the lying is inferred by the human operator, based on observing physiologica

  • Counter-terrorism policy is a threat to democracy | Letters

    Campaign groups including CND and Greenpeace UK call for the rescinding of an anti-extremism briefing document in which they were named, while Joe Sim says branding activism as subversive is nothing new. Plus, letters from Andrew Gold and Lisa BattyeWe are deeply concerned at the inclusion of peaceful campaigning organisations in a counter-terrorism police document distributed to NHS trusts, schools and safeguarding boards (Report, 18 January). The suggestion that campaigning for peace, environm

  • Surge in Ships Seeking Cybersecurity Classification A leading offshore safety and verification body has reported a rapid rise in the number of ships seeking to gain a cybersecurity classification. Ship classification society Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore (BV) says it has seen a surge in the number of ships applying for its “Cyber Managed” notation. The notation is based on BV’s rule NR659 on cybersecurity for the classification of marine units, which was co-developed with marine



  • US Cybersecurity Firm Founder Admits Funding DDoS Attacks An American businessman who co-founded a cybersecurity company has admitted to hiring criminals to carry out cyber-attacks against others.Tucker Preston, of Macon, Georgia, confessed to having paid threat actors to launch a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks between December 2015 and February 2016. DDoS attacks prevent a website from functioning by bombarding it with so much junk internet traffic that it

  • Scottish Police Deploy Tech That Extracts Data from Locked SmartphonesPolice Scotland has announced plans to establish “cyber kiosks” that will allow officers to scan locked smart devices for evidence. The 41 new kiosks will be located in police stations across local policing divisions, where they will be operated by over 400 specially trained officers.Each kiosk is essentially a desktop computer capable of performing data extraction, transfer, and analysis. The extraction devices

  • Polygraph’s revival may be about truth rather than lies

    The science is shaky on lie detecting but there is evidence polygraphs have another useLie-detector tests planned for freed terroristsTelling lies is stressful. That’s the basic logic of a polygraph test: that the stress of deceiving others will manifest itself through fleeting physical responses that may be imperceptible to another person but can be measured by a machine. Typically, a polygraph records blood pressure, galvanic skin response (a proxy for sweat), breathing and pulse rate.Th

  • Visa's acquisition of Plaid throws up data reuse concerns

    What happens when a service you shared your personal data with is acquired by a giant corporation?



  • Hong Kong Looks to GDPR as it Strengthens Privacy Laws Hong Kong is set to follow the lead of European regulators in applying tougher penalties for data protection infractions, following a serious breach at airline Cathay Pacific in 2018.Proposed amendments to the regional government’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, which cited the GDPR, would see fines levied as a percentage of global turnover, according to reports.The privacy commissioner may even be given powers to levy fines immedi

  • UK Gov Database Leak Exposes 28 Million ChildrenThe UK government is facing urgent questions after it was revealed that betting companies were given access to a Department for Education (DfE) database containing personal information on 28 million children.Known as the Learning Record Service, the database stores information on students in England, Wales and North Ireland choosing to take post-14 qualifications like GCSEs.However, according to a report in The Sunday Times, a data intelligence fir

  • Justice secretary denies government is rushing in new anti-terror laws

    Robert Buckland rejects claims tougher sentences politicise London Bridge attackThe justice secretary, Robert Buckland, has claimed the government is not politicising the death of the London Bridge terror attack victims by unveiling tougher prison sentences for the most serious offenders.Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed in November 2019 in an attack at Fishmongers’ Hall in central London by Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist who had been released halfway through his jail sentence.

  • Zero-Day IE Bug is Being Exploited in the WildBoth Microsoft and the US government are warning computer users of a critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in Internet Explorer, which is currently being exploited in the wild.The zero-day bug, CVE-2020-0674, exists in the way the scripting engine handles objects in memory in IE, according to a Microsoft advisory updated over the weekend.Attackers could send phishing emails to victims, tricking them into visiting a specially crafted

  • Should a teacher report a pupil for Extinction Rebellion activism?

    Teachers respond to police Prevent guidance requiring them to do soCounter-terror police issued guidance requiring teachers to report members of Extinction Rebellion to the authorities under the Prevent powers. The guide was recalled after the Guardian revealed its existence, but later another list emerged citing the group, as well as Greenpeace and Stop the Badger Cull.Continue reading…

  • The trial of Harvey Weinstein

    Ed Pilkington looks ahead to Weinstein’s court battle where he faces charges of rape and sexual assault, which he denies. And Jamie Grierson on why counter-terror police have listed Extinction Rebellion as a ‘key threat’The film producer Harvey Weinstein will stand trial this week in New York City accused of five charges, including rape and sexual assault. Weinstein denies all allegations. The trial, expected to last about six weeks, will focus on the witness accounts of two al

  • Lie-detector tests planned for convicted terrorists freed on licence

    Monitoring and reporting requirements tightened in wake of London Bridge attackConvicted terrorists will face lie-detector tests under a raft of measures drawn up in the wake of the most recent London Bridge attack to toughen up the monitoring of offenders in the community.The number of counter-terrorism specialist probation officers will double and they will work to a set of updated national standards for managing terrorists on licence, with closer monitoring and reporting requirements includin

  • US Could Appoint a Cybersecurity Leader for Each StateThe USA is considering legislation that would protect local governments by requiring the appointment of a cybersecurity leader for each state.Backers of the Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act of 2020 say the proposed law will improve intelligence sharing between state and federal governments and speed up incident response times in the event of a cyber-attack.Under the legislation, the director of the Department of Homeland Security

  • Possessing Ransomware Could Become Illegal in MarylandLawmakers in the state of Maryland are considering making it a criminal offense to be in possession of ransomware. A bill was introduced on Tuesday, January 14, that seeks to penalize Marylanders who knowingly possess the malware and intend to use it to cause harm. The bill also grants victims of a ransomware attack the right to sue the hacker for damages in civil court. The state has already outlawed the use of malicious technology

  • Mitsubishi Electric Discloses Information LeakJapanese company Mitsubishi Electric has today disclosed an information leak that occurred over six months ago. The century-old electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing firm announced the breach by issuing a brief statement on its website.An official internal investigation was launched after suspicious activity was observed taking place on June 28, 2019. The company said that upon noting the unusual behavior on the network, m

  • €114m in Fines Imposed by Euro Authorities Under GDPRData protection regulators have imposed €114m ($126m/£97m) in monetary fines under the GDPR for a wide range of infringements, according to new findings from DLA Piper.Whilst not all fines were related to data breach infringements, DLA Piper’s latest GDPR Data Breach Survey found that more than 160,000 data breach notifications have been reported across the 28 European Union Member States since the GDPR came into for

  • Travelex Begins Reboot as VPN Bug PersistsUnder-fire foreign currency firm Travelex has claimed its first customer-facing services in the UK have gone live after a crippling ransomware attack in December, with experts suggesting an unpatched VPN bug may have been to blame.The London-headquartered business has been slammed by customers after the suspected Sodinokibi (REvil) ransomware struck on December 31, forcing it to take systems offline as a precautionary measure.Several complained that the

  • London Councils Lose Nearly 1300 Devices Over Three YearsThe number of London councils reporting lost or stolen mobile computing devices has more than doubled over the past three financial years, according to new Freedom of Information (FOI) data.Think tank Parliament Street compiled responses from 23 out of the 31 local borough councils that operate across the UK capital.It found that a total of 1293 devices were lost or stolen over the three financial years from 2016, including laptops, m

  • Citrix Patches ADC Bug as Attacker Hoards AccessCitrix has begun issuing patches for a serious vulnerability in its Application Delivery Controller (ADC) product which experts have warned is being exploited in the wild.The tech giant revealed the CVE-2019-19781 bug in ADC and its Citrix Gateway back in December. If successfully exploited, it could allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform arbitrary code execution.Although the firm announced a series of mitigations to help protect custome

  • Boris Johnson urged to publish report on Russian meddling

    Exclusive: Report on Russian interference depends on prime minister appointing committeeThe SNP’s leader at Westminster has written to Boris Johnson demanding that he take immediate steps to allow the suppressed report into Russia’s interference in the British political system to be published.Ian Blackford, the leader of the third-largest party in the Commons, called on the prime minister to begin appointing members of parliament’s intelligence and security committee, necessary

  • Extinction Rebellion listed as 'key threat' by counter-terror police

    Awareness training across London led to ‘intelligence’ tip-offs, according to reportA police force in London labelled Extinction Rebellion one of its “key threats” in a counter-terrorism assessment and provided awareness training on the climate crisis group across the capital, resulting in “intelligence” tip-offs, the Guardian can reveal.City of London police grouped the environmental protest group alongside “far-right organisations” in an assessme

  • Islamists get longer jail terms than far-right extremists

    Study shows disparity in sentencing for similar online offencesIslamist offenders convicted of online extremist crimes received prison sentences three times longer than those of their far-right counterparts, according to new analysis.Researchers found that Islamists received on average 73.4 months compared with 24.5 months for far-right offenders, despite the government’s ambition to treat both strains of extremism in the same way. Continue reading…

  • Fidelis Cybersecurity Acquired by Skyview CapitalAn American company dedicated to thwarting cyber-attacks has been snapped up by a global private equity firm. Skyview Capital, LLC announced its acquisition of Fidelis Cybersecurity, Inc yesterday. Fidelis is located in the Maryland town of Bethesda, which a 2015 NerdWallet survey found to be the most educated place in America. Fidelis Cybersecurity is a leading provider of network traffic analysis and of digital forensics

  • NortonLifeLock Puts Silicon Valley Real Estate Up for SaleNortonLifeLock, formerly known as Symantec, has put ten large commercial buildings in California’s Silicon Valley on the market. The cybersecurity company is seeking a buyer for the properties, which are all based in the Mountain View area, close to the Google Quad Campus. The ten buildings on the market are grouped into three separate campuses, not more than a few minutes’ drive from one another. Commercial real estate fi

  • Teen Charged Over $50m SIM-Swapping Scam on Blockchain ExpertsA teenager from Montreal is facing four criminal charges in connection with a $50m SIM-swapping scam that targeted two renowned Canadian Blockchain experts. Eighteen-year-old hacker Samy Bensaci is accused of being part of a crime ring that stole millions of dollars in crypto-currency by gaining unauthorized access to the cell phones of crypto-currency holders in America and Canada. Spokesperson for the Canadian police

  • Greenpeace included with neo-Nazis on UK counter-terror list

    Exclusive: Extinction Rebellion and Peta also named in anti-extremism briefing alongside Combat 18 and National Action
    A counter-terrorism police document distributed to medical staff and teachers as part of anti-extremism briefings included Greenpeace, Peta and other non-violent groups as well as neo-Nazis, the Guardian has learned.The guide, produced by Counter Terrorism Policing, is used across England as part of training for Prevent, the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at

  • Oracle Issues Record CPU with 334 PatchesOracle has hit an all-time record for number of security fixes issued in a critical patch update (CPU), providing sysadmins with over 330 in its first quarterly release of the decade.The enterprise software giant issued 334 patches in total across more than 90 products this week. As such, January 2020 easily beats the previous largest CPU, consisting of 308 fixes in July 2017.Oracle strongly urged firms to apply the patches as soon as possible, claiming t



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