UK gears up for cyberwarfare offensives
The informal money transfer system, known as Hawal, is used throughout the world mostly by South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern expatriates to get much-needed cash to relatives in their native lands. On this day, more than 30 customers crowd the small remittance shop, with many forced to wait on the pavement outside for their turn. Nearly two dozen such shops in the area serve about 400 customers every day. Somalis rely heavily on remittances from around the world [EPA] But most of these informal banks may soon become a thing of the past. Barclays – the last remaining UK bank that these money-transfer shops can go through – is eager to shut down these accounts amid fears cash could be earmarked for terrorists and criminals. About 250 remittance companies in the UK would be closed if Barclays pulls the plug. The UK banking giant was expected to announce on Monday it had closed the account of one of the main Somali money-transfer operators, Dahabshiil. But in a last minute move, the bank extended its decision on the closure until October 16, after acourt injuction was filed by Dahabshiil’s lawyers. A court ruling is expected before the extension expires. Three other money transfer organisations still face account closures with the UK bank, however. “Barclays’ eleventh hour decision offers a brief respite but more needs to be done to allow Somalis living in the UK to continue supporting their loved ones,” said Ben Phillips from Oxfam. “Barclays needs to keep all accounts open until a long term answer is found.” However, a spokesperson for Barclays said in a statement:”We believe this case is baseless and the hearing has been adjourned to a date when the court can consider the issues fully. Barclays has given Dahabshiil a short extension during which time we hope it can finalise alternative banking services.
UK-GBC and Ecobuild Enter New Partnership
by Charlie Osborne September 30, 2013 8:08 AM PDT The UK government is planning to recruit hundreds of computer specialists to defend core infrastructure against cyberthreats, Conservative Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Sunday. Speaking at the annual Conservative party conference, Hammond said the United Kingdom was dedicating additional resources and funds to building a strong cyber intelligence and surveillance network, according to Reuters . As cybercrime continues to prove a lucrative way for hackers to steal valuable data for profit or as part of state-sponsored jobs — and many governments struggle to catch up and protect networks adequately against rising attacks — defense budget funds now need to not only consider physical threats, but digital warfare as well. Hammond commented: “Last year our cyber defenses blocked around 400,000 advanced malicious cyber threats against the government’s secure internet alone, so the threat is real. But simply building cyber defenses is not enough: as in other domains of warfare, we also have to deter. Britain will build a dedicated capability to counterattack in cyberspace and if necessary to strike in cyberspace.” In February, the National Audit Office named “addressing the UK’s current and future ICT and cybersecurity skills gap” as a “key challenge.” The NAO report was published as part of the UK’s 650 million pound ($1.09 billion) Cyber Security Strategy scheme, and said it could take “20 years” to address the skills gap at all levels of education. Not only could a dedicated task force of offensive security experts deter hackers in the future, but the Defence Secretary told the Mail on Sunday that cyberstrikes could work “alongside conventional weapons in future conflicts,” disabling communications, nuclear weapons, ships and critical hardware. To establish the new cybersecurity force, the UK will recruit experts in their hundreds from a number of fields. The recruitment drive will include civilian computer experts who will be part of the “Joint Cyber Reserve,” and their role will be to work alongside members of the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ to protect critical infrastructure and prevent data theft. The cost of the program was not disclosed, but recruitment is due to begin in October. Hammond commented : “Increasingly, our defense budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe. The cyber reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyber-space. This is an exciting opportunity for Internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.” The UK is also seeking ways to train the next generation of cyberspecialists. In May, two UK universities — Oxford and Royal Holloway — were granted 7.5 million pounds in funding to help develop the country’s skills in online security. Apprenticeships in cybersecurity are also due to be offered this year by E-Skills, the UK’s sector skills council for business and information technology.
Conference sessions including high profile debates on key policy issues will be hosted in two major arenas, while six seminar zones will focus on topics such as building products and design, building performance and BIM, refurbishment and retrofit, future cities, and green infrastructure and energy. Ecobuild is also actively supporting the work of UK-GBC to raise awareness and understanding of sustainability in the built environment as a founding sponsor of Pinpoint ( http://www.pinpoint.org.uk ), UK-GBC’s online platform for sustainability resources, and the Green Building Series education programme ( http://www.ukgbc.org/education ). “This partnership marks the start of a new and exciting chapter in our close relationship with Ecobuild, an event which has firmly placed sustainable construction on the UK and international agenda over the past ten years,” said Paul King. “We look forward to working with the organisers and industry to ensure that the programme of events and line-up of speakers make 2014 the best Ecobuild yet.” Alison Jackson, UBM’s newly appointed Director of Sustainability and Construction, added: “We are delighted to be working more closely withUK-GBC. Their expertise in leadingindustry action, building capability through knowledge and green transfer, and the commitment and passion of the organisation is exemplary. The partnership encourages a year round collaboration and we are delighted that UK-GBC will be the lead partner of the Ecobuild brand.” Ecobuild is also focusing on minimising the environmental impact of the event itself by implementing the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System, which addresses materials use, waste reduction and carbon mitigation. A sustainable procurement process will also be put into place for all key suppliers and environmental issues promoted to all stakeholders in the run up to the show. As part of this initiative Ecobuild will be working closely with UK-GBC on the Sustainable Stands Awards. 2014 will mark the fourth year UK-GBC will be running the Sustainable Stand Awards at Ecobuild. The competition is based on the sustainable design and responsible sourcing of materials for the stands, and how energy, waste and recycling have been considered during their construction. Ecobuild takes place from 4 to 6 March 2014 at ExCeL London. http://www.ecobuild.co.uk About UBM Live Built Environment – organiser of Ecobuild: UBM Live Built Environment, organiser of Ecobuild, is a specialist events, data and media solutions business focussed on the construction, property, architecture and interiors communities worldwide. UBM Live Built Environment’s award-winning brands are widely acknowledged as some of the most iconic brands in the built environment including Ecobuild, Interiors UK, Sleep Europe, RESI, Building, Property Week, Building Design and Barbour ABI. @yahoofinance on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook Related Content Chart Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the “Enter symbol/company” at the bottom of this module.