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Hackers Send Fake Census Form Alerts to UK Respondents

 


The United Kingdom, like every other country, runs a census every ten years. The census asks residents a number of questions regarding the address of individuals, their age, name, nationality, employment, health, education, and language. (The census here is mandatory and participants are obliged to provide answers)
 
The census happens in the year that ends with number-1, except Scotland, the census is postponed until 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the respondents are filling their services online, they are getting a unique 16 digit access code from the government to each resident via snail-mail. The participant can go to the official government census website, enter the 16 digit login code, saving him the arduous work of filling the form by hand, and snail-mail it back. If the participant fails to fill the census form before 21-03-2021, the government will send a chain of warning notifications with a unique 16 digit code, requesting the participant to fill the form and also fining €1000 if he fails to do so.
 
Naked Security reports, "the criminals did make some grammatical mistakes in their forms that a native speaker of English might notice, and these would be another giveaway, along with the fake domain name, but the crooks have cloned the UK Office for National Statistics “look and feel” very believably."
 
Stay alert of forged forms-
 
If the participant hasn't filled the form yet but may soon do it, he/she should stay wary of fake "census reminders" that are sent by the hackers. And if you've already filled your form, be on alert if you think there have to be some modifications in the details. The hackers are trying to take advantage of the online census by luring the participants into phishing attacks and stealing their data.
 
The fake form may ask for your postcode instead of your 16 digits unique code (the hackers could've also sent a fake 16 digit code but they chose not to), after that, the hackers will ask you similar questions that you may answer while filling out the original forms. However, in the fake form case, you end up exposing your personal details to the hackers, instead of sending your details to Office for National Statistics.

 
How to stay safe?

 
1. Check the Domain name before filling the form on the official website.
 
2. Don't open links that you may receive via SMS or e-mail.
 
3. Stay alert of the text messages that you may receive, please go through the message before filling the form.
 

Great Britain named Russia as the main threat in cyberspace

 Lindy Cameron, executive director of Britain's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), said on Friday that the Russian Federation poses the greatest threat to Britain in cyberspace.

According to her, as in any other area related to security, in cyberspace, Russia poses the most acute and urgent threat to the United Kingdom.

"We need to look carefully at China's ambitions for technological development. China will change the world we live in in a much more fundamental way than Russia," said Cameron.

Against the backdrop of the current world situation, she urged against complacency, complaining that cybersecurity is still not getting the attention it deserves. She also cited incidents involving cyberattacks against IT company SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange service.

E Hacking News reminds that the NCSC is in charge of the Government Communications Center, the British intelligence agency responsible for conducting electronic reconnaissance and ensuring the protection of government and military information. The NCSC, in turn, works with the public and commercial sectors to respond to cyberattacks and to protect private and public information networks.

In December 2020, U.S. media reported that hackers linked to a foreign government hacked systems belonging to the U.S. Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), as well as networks at the Pentagon, Department of Energy and NNSA's nuclear safety agencies. A number of U.S. officials said the hacker group APT29 or Cozy Bear, allegedly linked to Russian intelligence, was likely behind the cyberattacks.

Later it became known that the cyberattack targeted SolarWinds, an IT company based in Austin, Texas. The hackers took advantage of the updates released by the company between March and June last year for its Orion software.

In March of this year, Microsoft warned that a hacker group allegedly backed by the Chinese government was exploiting security vulnerabilities in its Exchange Server messaging software, which is popular with U.S. agencies and companies.

UK Police's Forensic firm targeted in cyber attack









An investigation has been launched after a ransomware attack targeted the UK’s largest private forensics provider, which is widely used by forces across the country. 

The firm Eurofins scientists detected a breach of its systems on June 2. After following the report, police have suspended all its work with the company. The company carries out DNA analysis, toxicology, ballistics and computer forensics work.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council, Chief Constable James Vaughan, said in a statement: “We have put our national contingency plans in place, which will see urgent submissions and priority work diverted to alternative suppliers to be dealt with as quickly as possible.’’

“It is too early to fully quantify the impact, but we are working at pace with partners to understand and mitigate the risks. We will share more information as soon as we can.”

The company has been told to return the casework that had not been started. They deal with more than 70,000 cases ever year, including murders and terrorism.  


WikiLeaks‘ founder Assange arrested after seven years hide out inside Ecuador embassy







British police has finally arrested the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after Ecuador government withdrew asylum citing his bad behavior. 

The arrest has closed the seven year long dramatic stint which could end up in landing in a United States prison as he is facing  a hacking conspiracy charge.

According to an indictment Assange conspired with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal, and publish classified documents. 

Soon after his arrest, Assange appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where District Judge Michael Snow found  him guilty for breaching his bail conditions, flatly rejecting his assertion that he had not had a fair hearing and a reasonable excuse for not appearing.

“Mr. Assange’s behavior is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests,” Snow said. “He hasn’t come close to establishing ‘reasonable excuse.’”

While, Assange waved to the public from the gallery as he was taken to the cells. His next appearance would be on May 2 via prison video-link for his extradition case.

Whereas his attorney, Jennifer Robinson, said he will fight any extradition to the U.S.

“This sets a dangerous precedent for all journalist and media organizations in Europe and around the world,” she said. “This precedent means that any journalist can be extradited for prosecution in the United States for having published truthful information about the United States.”

UK : Social Media Executives To Be Held Accountable For Destructive Content!



Reports have it, that according to a recent proposal of the UK authorities, social media executives shall be personally blamable for the harmful content on their platforms.
The freshly published paper in which the details were mentioned is just a tactic to restrict the spread of violent and detrimental content related to suicides and cyber bullying.
Disinformation, is another theme eluded upon along with the rising need for companies to hold their ground against terroristic, child abusive, and sexually abusive content.
The regulations and guidelines in the aforementioned paper also mention the requirement for every individual regulator to impose the rules.
Its’s high time, the online companies took responsibility for what content their platforms displayed, in an attempt to reinstate trust in technology within the society.
Files hosting sites, chat forums, messaging services, search engines and social media platforms alike will come under the belt of the aforementioned measures.
If not adhered to, the policies also mention within them strong punishments for companies including substantial fines and blocking access.
This is a great action which has potential to bring change. The implementation although could not be as simple as it all sounds.
The above-mentioned set of guidelines would provide for a stable code of conduct for everyone on the social media which if complied to, will lead to safer platforms.
But, the implementation, is still in question along with other questions like, Will the regulatory approach be different for smaller companies?
Social media regulation and the improvements it requires is on everyone’s mind, of late because of the mosque shooting in New Zealand.
The shooting was live streamed on Facebook and other social media sites like Instagram, YouTube and etc. were rushed to block and delete the copies of the video which has instantly gone viral.
A legislation not very different from the one in UK that was discussed above was passed in Australia meaning to hold the executives responsible for whatever is posted on their platforms.