Category Archives: Computer

Hundreds Of Schools Sent Malicious Email Threatening Attacks

The police have received a number of calls from schools concerning a malicious email. The emails are believed to have been sent to schools across the country. None of the threats received by schools are believed to be a threat to our communities.

It is the second time in nine days that schools have been targeted by hoax threats.

According to the Mirror, the email allegedly threatened that ‘pupils would be run down’ if they left the building or shot down.

A spokesman for the National Crime Agency said: “We are aware of new reports of threats made to schools and are liaising with partners in law enforcement and the education sector.”

Overview of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This overview highlights the key themes of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to help organisations understand the new legal framework in the EU. It explains the similarities with the existing UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), and describes some of the new and different requirements. It is for those who have day-to-day responsibility for data protection.

This is a living document and we are working to expand it in key areas. It includes links to relevant sections of the GDPR itself, to other ICO guidance and to guidance produced by the EU’s Article 29 Working Party. The Working Party includes representatives of the data protection authorities from each EU member state, and the ICO is the UK’s representative.

The GDPR will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018. The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.

The ICO is committed to assisting businesses and public bodies to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. We acknowledge that there may still be questions about how the GDPR would apply in the UK on leaving the EU, but this should not distract from the important task of compliance with the GDPR.

With so many businesses and services operating across borders, international consistency around data protection laws and rights is crucial both to businesses and organisations, and to individuals. The ICO’s role has always involved working closely with regulators in other countries, and that will continue to be the case. Having clear laws with safeguards in place is more important than ever given the growing digital economy, and we will work with government to stay at the centre of these conversations about the long term future of UK data protection law and to provide our advice and counsel where appropriate.

Further information :-

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Overview Of Sophos Email Appliance Version 4.2.2

The rollout of the Sophos Email Appliance version 4.2.2 has started, this marks first phase in the goal of a single anti-spam engine for all Sophos email solutions. Sophos Email Appliance version 4.2.2 incorporates the latest Sophos Anti-Spam engine as well as improvements to Sophos Delay Queue scanning to improve protection against snowshoe spam.

Full release notes available here


  • The release will be staged with the completion of all upgrades expected to take between 2-3 weeks
  • User experience and any custom settings will be unaffected by the change
  • Systems will not require a reboot following the appliance update
  • As well as improvements to Anti-Spam techniques, this release will also include a change to the Email Appliance update process (HTTPS as opposed to HTTP). To ensure the update functionality of the Sophos Email Appliance, please configure your network to allow access on the new ports highlighted below in red:
Port Function Service Protocol Connection
80, 443 Software downloads HTTP, HTTPS TCP [Required] Outbound from appliance to internet

If you are using a third party web proxy with HTTPS scanning enabled, please exempt the following Sophos URLs from HTTPS scanning. This will prevent any errors when updating the Sophos Email Appliance:

The official Sophos article is available here:

Bing Thinks Manchester United Will Make Three Wins Out Of Three

Manchester United will stay top of the Premier League this weekend by beating Leicester at Old Trafford, Bing has predicted.

Man Utd have an 89% chance of victory, Microsoft’s search engine has said, which comes after their 4-0 win against Swansea last week.

The result against Leicester will keep them at the top of the table with nine points, with West Brom in second place on goal difference following their predicted win against Stoke.

Bing creates its predictions using a complex algorithm that analyses player performance.

Watford, Manchester City and Southampton are all expected to win their matches against Brighton, Bournemouth and Huddersfield respectively, slotting them into third, fourth and fifth places.

Tottenham, who lost to Chelsea last weekend, will go in search of their first win at their temporary Wembley home when Burnley travel to the stadium on Saturday.

Bing gives Mauricio Pochettino’s players a 64% chance of winning, in a match where Harry Kane will be hunting for the goal that will take him to a total of 100 goals for the club in all competitions.

Chelsea look set to continue their title defence with a 56% chance of a win against Everton – although Wayne Rooney’s new-found momentum at the Toffees is sure to pose a challenge for the Blues.

Elsewhere in London, Arsenal’s predicted draw against Liverpool will see them drop to 11th place, while Liverpool’s resulting four-point total will place them in 10th.

Further down the table, Swansea City, Bournemouth, Brighton and West Ham are all expected to fill up the bottom four positions after losing their respective matches, with the Hammers remaining at the very bottom of the league with zero points.

Bing is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft.

Story via Microsoft

Almost Half Of UK Firms Hit By Cyber Breach Or Attack In The Past Year

Nearly seven in ten large companies identified a breach or attack, new Government statistics reveal.

  • Firms holding personal data more likely to be attacked
  • Most common attacks were fraudulent emails, followed by viruses and malware

Businesses large and small are being urged to protect themselves against cyber crime after new Government statistics found nearly half of all UK businesses suffered a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 reveals nearly seven in ten large businesses identified a breach or attack, with the average cost to large businesses of all breaches over the period being £20,000 and in some cases reaching millions. The survey also shows businesses holding electronic personal data on customers were much more likely to suffer cyber breaches than those that do not (51 per cent compared to 37 per cent).

The most common breaches or attacks were via fraudulent emails – for example coaxing staff into revealing passwords or financial information, or opening dangerous attachments – followed by viruses and malware, such as people impersonating the organisation online and ransomware.

Businesses also identified these common breaches as their single most disruptive breach, and the vast majority of them could have been prevented using the Government-backed, industry supported Cyber Essentials scheme, a source of expert guidance showing how to protect against these threats.

These new statistics show businesses across the UK are being targeted by cyber criminals every day and the scale and size of the threat is growing, which risks damaging profits and customer confidence.

The Government has committed to investing £1.9 billion to protect the nation from cyber attacks to help make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

Business also has a role to play to protect customer data. The government offers free advice, online training and Cyber Essentials and Cyber Aware schemes.

The survey also revealed:

Of the businesses which identified a breach or attack, almost a quarter had a temporary loss of files, a fifth had software or systems corrupted, one in ten lost access to third party systems they rely on, and one in ten had their website taken down or slowed.

Firms are increasingly concerned about data protection, with the need to protect customer data cited as the top reason for investing by half of all firms who spend money on cyber security measures.

Following a number of high profile cyber attacks, businesses are taking the threat seriously, with three quarters of all firms saying cyber security is a high priority for senior managers and directors; nine in ten businesses regularly update their software and malware protection; and two thirds of businesses invest money in cyber security measures.

Small businesses can also be hit particularly hard by attacks, with nearly one in five taking a day or more to recover from their most disruptive breach.

Areas where industry could do more to protect itself include around guidance on acceptably strong passwords (only seven in ten firms currently do this), formal policies on managing cyber security risk (only one third of firms), cyber security training (only one in five firms), and planning for an attack with a cyber security incident management plan (only one in ten firms).

All businesses which hold personal data will have to make sure they are compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation from May 2018. This will strengthen the right to data protection, which is a fundamental right, and allow individuals to have trust when they give their personal data.

The Cyber Breaches Survey is part of the Government’s five-year National Cyber Security Strategy to transform this country’s cyber security and to protect the UK online. As part of the strategy, the Government recently opened the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ.

One of the key objectives of the NCSC is to increase the UK’s cyberspace resilience by working with and providing expert advice tailored to organisations and businesses in every sector of the UK economy and society.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, said:

UK businesses must treat cyber security as a top priority if they want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the UK’s vibrant digital economy.

The majority of successful cyber attacks are not that sophisticated but can cause serious commercial damage. By getting the basic defences right, businesses of every size can protect their reputation, finances and operating capabilities.

Cyber Essentials, technical advice on CiSP and regularly updated guidance on the NCSC website offers companies, big and small, simple steps that can significantly reduce the risk of a successful attack.

Digital Economy Bill: Codes of Practice

Codes of Practice to accompany data access measures in the Digital Economy Bill.

Changing technology provides the opportunity to deliver better public services. That is why through the Digital Economy Bill, government is improving services to benefit citizens, reduce fraud and debt, and deliver world class research and statistics.

The Digital Economy Bill contains a host of measures that will support the digital transformation of government, ensuring the delivery of better public services through world leading research and statistics. For example, it will allow the Government to identify those in fuel poverty and provide financial support to those most in need. It will also clamp down hard on benefit fraud.

To ensure that departments, local authorities and the wider public sector understand what safeguards are in place and need to be followed, the Government has published four codes of practice to give clarity and transparency over how the powers in the Bill will operate. They cover:

  • A code of practice on Public Service Delivery, Fraud and Debt;
  • A code of practice for civil registration officials;
  • A code of practice and accreditation criteria for access to data for research purposes; and
  • A statement of principles and procedures and code of practice for changes to data systems.

The proposals in the Bill have been widely consulted on for over two years, working with a range of civil society and public sector representatives.

Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution, said:

New and emerging technology provides us with a great opportunity to provide public services more effectively and efficiently. The measures in the Digital Economy Bill will support people to access services they need, transforming the relationship between people and the government.

The measures are a highly positive step towards helping the most vulnerable in society on a range of measures, including the warm home discount and helping with managing debts.

These codes of practice will ensure departments, local authorities and the wider public sector understand their obligations to use the powers responsibly.


The codes of practice are drawn from, and should be read in accordance with, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) code of practice on data sharing, which provides the framework for how the Data Protection Act applies.

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CMA Secures Better Cloud Storage Deals

Cloud storage users can expect fairer deals from 4 companies which are improving their terms and conditions, following action taken by the CMA.

BT, Dropbox, Google and Mozy have worked with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to ensure that cloud storage users are made aware of changes to the service they are offered and can decide what to do in response. Each company has given commitments to make individual improvements to address concerns in one or more of the following areas:

  • guaranteeing adequate notice is given before any significant adverse changes are made to the price, service or contract
  • ensuring customers are given clearer information about how they can cancel if they don’t want to accept proposed changes, and when and how they can get refunds
  • limiting the circumstances in which companies can suspend or cancel the service
  • increasing transparency and giving notice before companies automatically renew fixed-term contracts

Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director for Consumer Enforcement, said:

People increasingly rely on cloud storage as a safe and convenient place to keep family photos, music and important documents, so it is vital that they are treated fairly and are not hit by unexpected changes to price or storage levels.

We are pleased that these 4 companies have followed the 3 others which agreed commitments earlier this year to improve their terms and conditions, providing a better service for their customers. We want to ensure that companies treat their customers fairly and comply with consumer law; those that don’t, are at risk of enforcement action.

Cloud storage is a system for storing data such as music, films and photographs on remote servers. In a report published in May 2016, the CMAfound that around 3 in 10 British adults use cloud storage in a personal capacity. The majority currently benefit from free services that come with their devices such as smartphones and tablets and consumers are generally satisfied with their services. However, in its initial review, the CMA also found some contract terms and practices which could breach consumer law.

Following that review, the CMA has been working with companies in the cloud storage sector to improve their terms and practices, and has secured improvements from 7 companies.

The CMA is still working with other companies in the cloud storage sector to improve compliance with consumer law and ensure a better service for users.

The CMA has also published an open letter to businesses advising them of their obligations, as well as a short video and a 60-second summary for consumers on choosing the right service.

In October the CMA launched a new campaign, consisting of simple videos and guides, to help businesses understand how to avoid including unfair terms and conditions in their contracts with consumers.

About the CMA

The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.

Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage

Youngsters More Likely To Be Scam Victims When On Line

Youngsters More Likely To Be Scam Victims When On Line

Microsoft has just published a report that shows that young people are more likely to fall victim to online scams than pensioners because they are more trusting while using the internet, new research has revealed.

While those aged 18 to 34 often believe they more experienced with technology than older people, this also means they can be lured into a false sense of security, with scammers tricking them into clicking links in emails and pop-up windows that allow access to devices and expose personal information.

Around 13% of 18 to 24-year-olds across the world have lost money to online and telephone scams over the past year, rising to one-in-five people in the 25 to 34 age group, according to Microsoft’s study, which looked at 12,000 people in 12 countries and was released as part of Cyber Security Awareness Month. This compares with just 3% of people aged over 65.

Fraudsters are increasingly using so-called “tech support scams” to extract money from victims, which falsely warn people that their computer or device has a problem that needs to be fixed. Internet users then download software, visit a scam website, give the fraudsters remote access to their device or provide credit card information or another form of payment.

However, British internet users are much more security conscious than most countries. While 69% of people in this country experienced a tech support scam over the past year, just 2% of them lost money.

In India, 80% of people had come into contact with a tech scam, with 22% of those losing money. The US was almost as bad, with 79% of people reporting they had come across a scam, and 21% of them saying they were out of pocket as a result.

Germany emerged as the best country for tackling cyber scams, with 49% of people reporting that they had never been contacted by a fraudster via telephone or online.

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