Tag Archives: cyber

Labour ‘cyber incident’ exposes the party’s own Data Protection breaches

Data theft: the Labour Party has admitted that details of members – and FORMER members, that it handed to a ‘third party’ without telling us, have been stolen. This includes information the party should not have had. Should we take the party to court over it?

The Labour Party has informed This Writer – and many others, it seems – that my data may have been hijacked after it was given to a “third party”.

This is very concerning for several reasons:

Firstly: I am no longer a member of the Labour Party and it should not be holding any information of mine, for any reason at all.

Secondly: I have not given permission for any data held by me to be passed on to any third party, and it is illegal for the Labour Party to have done so.

Next: The Labour Party has not passed on details of the identity of this mysterious third party. Why not? Is it embarrassing? Is it potentially incriminating? I want to know, and I reckon thousands of others will want to know as well.

Finally: Why am I hearing about this on November 4, possibly an entire week after the incident took place – and a day after many other victims were informed? Why were we not all informed at once?

According to Labour’s letter to affected people (which the party is apparently asking us not to share, although that part seems to have been cut from mine), party officers were informed of the incident on October 29.

This implies that the data was hijacked on a still earlier date, meaning that we went uninformed that our illegally-held data had been held by wrong-doers for a longer time than Labour suggests and that we have been vulnerable to cyber crime for all of that period without even knowing about it.

The crime itself seems to be a ransomware incident in which data is rendered inaccessible to a user unless it pays the hijacker some form of remuneration. If such payment is refused, the hijacker may go on to use the stolen data to harm the people to whom it belongs. Labour doesn’t mention this in its email.

Nor are we informed of the nature of the data that was stolen. It may include personal information that could be used for identity theft or blackmail, and/or financial information that could result in plain theft from our bank accounts. We don’t know because Labour hasn’t told us.

The email goes on to say that Labour has reported the incident to authorities including the National Crime Agency (NCA), National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). No doubt those organisations are busy doing very little about it (I have experience of the ICO’s dawdling with regard to Labour Party data breaches; it says it has received so many reports about the party that it is swamped).

And we are told that the Labour Party “takes the security of all personal information for which it is responsible very seriously”, which seems plainly untrue, considering the fact that it should not have had any of my personal information at all.

Members – old and current – are up in arms about this:

We do need to know the identity of the “third party”. For one thing, it might be an organisation we would not want to have any of our information at all.

Skwawkbox has pointed out that

Labour has outsourced projects recently to one company formerly run by Evans and now run by his wife and another run by a ‘friend of a friend’.

I would also be concerned if my information had been handed to the Jewish Labour Movement, the organisation Labour has said it would task with providing training to members on the nature of anti-Semitism and indoctrination against it.

That organisation is highly prejudiced, in the experience and opinion of This Writer, and I would not trust it with my personal details in any event.

One final point: Labour Party members may have no choice on who receives their information because party secretary David Evans and the leadership helmed by Keir Starmer demand that they automatically agree to everything the party does with it, as a condition of membership.

But I am no longer a member.

I think a class action lawsuit on this case may be appropriate, don’t you?

I would certainly be interested in hearing from anybody who feels the same way and is interested in taking the matter forward (although I would not want to be the principal claimant as I am already involved in a highly time-consuming court case, as is well known).

Who’s interested?

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Why are ‘hostile’ states trying to hack into UK coronavirus research? Why not pool resources?

Doesn’t this say everything about the stupidity of our politicians – not just in the UK but across the globe.

Having created an atmosphere of distrust for no particular reason than they don’t like Johnny Foreigner’s politics, now that we should all be working together to beat Covid-19, it seems we’re trying to steal from each other instead.

And if Russia, Iran and China are trying to get into our research systems, what might the UK be trying to steal from them?

Hostile states are attempting to hack British universities and scientific facilities to steal research related to Covid-19, including vaccine development, cybersecurity experts have warned.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the proportion of such targeted cyber-attacks had increased, branding the criminal activity “reprehensible”.

It is understood that nations including Iran and Russia are behind the hacking attempts, while experts have said China is also a likely perpetrator.

There are thought to be dozens of universities and institutions with biomedical capacity working on Covid-19 research, ranging from new diagnostic and antibody tests to experimental treatment.

However, it is understood there have been no successful attacks on universities or research institutions to date.

Saving lives is more important than international rivalries – to anybody who isn’t a jingoistic sabre-rattling fool.

The best thing to do is make all our research freely available – because then nobody will have to cover the same ground – and tell those foreign powers they didn’t need to go to the trouble of trying to steal it.

Source: Hostile states trying to steal coronavirus research, says UK agency | Espionage | The Guardian

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Sh*t show MP is a part-timer: Mercer makes £85,000 on the side

The two faces of Johnny Mercer: Outspoken MP up front – shadowy security firm director in the background.

Why all the fuss about Tory misery Johnny Mercer?

The Plymouth Moor MP earned plaudits from a certain element of the electorate for calling his own party a “sh*t show” and saying he wouldn’t vote Conservative if he wasn’t a Tory MP.

Here‘s PoliticsHome: “Johnny Mercer has said he would not vote Conservative if he was not already an MP for the party.

“The backbencher also suggested his values are no longer aligned with the party and said there would be “absolutely no chance” he would be a Conservative candidate now.

“The Plymouth Moor View MP, seen as a rising star in the Tory ranks, also branded Theresa May’s government a “shit show” and said he would not join her administration if he was offered a job.”

But how can anyone support his attack, now we all know he isn’t even a full-time MP?

He doesn’t have time to join her “sh*t show” of a government because he’s too busy being a “non-executive” director of a cyber-security firm.

Here‘s PlymouthLive: “Plymouth Moor View MP Johnny Mercer has landed a second job at a ‘cyber security’ firm earning £85,000 a year.

The ex-soldier has secured the role of ‘non-executive director’ for military veterans support company Crucial Academy Ltd.

The Tory backbencher will be paid £85,000 a year in return for working 20 hours a month – equivalent to £354 an hour.

That’s on top of his paycheck as a member of parliament – £77,379 – taking his total annual earnings to £162,379.

So: Loadsamoney and no responsibility. How is that different from Theresa May’s government of ignorant toffs?

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Could Joel Dommett’s Skype sex confession halt rise in blackmail-related suicides over ‘sextortion’?

Joel Dommett admitted he had been made to look like a turkey for following his heart, not his head [Image: ITV].

Joel Dommett admitted he had been made to look like a turkey for following his heart, not his head [Image: ITV].

The revelation that online ‘sextortion’ is on the rise reminds me very much of comedian Joel Dommett’s story about being induced into cybersex on Skype.

He revealed that he had been “catfished” – lured into a relationship by someone who had adopted a fictional online persona – during the current series of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, on ITV1.

He was encouraged into carrying out certain private activities on a Skype call with this imposter, who then posted it on the Internet immediately before the comedian went into the jungle.

As a result of his confession, Google searches for the clip skyrocketed – but at least Mr Dommett had taken possession of the incident. By admitting what had happened, and his own stupidity in participating, he had ensured that the villain could not blackmail him.

As he admits, though, it’s still a very stupid thing to do.

Perhaps there should be a new strand of sex education in school – teaching youngsters the common-sense fact that sexting someone you’ve never met is extremely silly and may lead to similar situations.

They could use Mr Dommett’s confession in the lessons. Would that – at least partially – cut down on these incidents and their tragic consequences?

Four men killed themselves in the last year after being blackmailed as part of an increasing cyber “sextortion” racket.

International gangs of organised criminals are targeting more and more young men by luring them into potentially compromising positions, the National Crime Agency said.

The number of people reporting financially-motivated cyber enabled blackmails more than doubled from 385 in 2015 to 864 up to November 2016.

This number has risen from nine in 2011.

Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to befriend victims online – using websites such as Facebook, Skype or Linkedin – before persuading them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam.

Source: Sextortion: Rise in blackmail-related suicides over sexual images shared online | The Independent

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