UK Cyber-Threat Agency Confronts Covid-19 Attacks

  • More than a quarter of the incident that the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) responded to were Covid-related, according to its latest annual report
  • The review covers the period from September 2019 to August 2020
  • The pandemic occupied an even higher proportion of the agency’s efforts after the first lockdown began
  • In total there were 723 incidents of all kinds, marking close to a 10% rise on the previous period, of which, 194 were Covid-related
  • Some of the incidents included countering nation/state attacks, but most were criminal in nature, the GCHQ division reported
  • It also disclosed that it had thwarted 15,354 campaigns that had used coronavirus themes as a “lure” to fool people into clicking on a link or opening an attachment containing malicious software
  • Some involved fake shops selling PPE (personal protective equipment), test kits and even vaccines

Neo-Nazi teenager sentenced

  • A high-achieving grammar school pupil who secretly promoted neo-Nazi terrorism online has been sentenced
  • The 18-year-old from south-west London, pleaded guilty to 14 terror offences and two of possessing indecent images of children
  • Passing sentence at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Sweeney said: “You are a dangerous offender”
  • He was sentenced to two years detention in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years
  • The 18-year-old was also ordered to attend a rehabilitation programme
  • The judge said he had lived at home with his family and been an “A* student”, adding none of them knew that from the age of 14 he had been involved with groups on the internet

Baby Shark Becomes Most Watched Video on YouTube

    • Baby Shark, the incredibly catchy children’s rhyme recorded by South Korean company Pinkfong, has become the most-watched video ever on YouTube
    • The song has now been played 7.04 billion times, overtaking the previous record-holder Despacito, the Latin pop smash by singer Luis Fonsi
    • Played back-to-back, that would mean Baby Shark has been streamed continuously for 30,187 years
    • Pinkfong stands to have made about $5.2m (£4m) from YouTube streams alone


    Terenure College Apologises for Failing Victims of Sexual Abuse

    • The private school in Ireland, where former rugby coach John McClean sexually abused 23 schoolboys has ‘apologised unreservedly’ to the victims and abuse survivors for failing them
    • Terenure College, the fee-paying Dublin school where McClean (75) taught for three decades, has also said it was sorry for the “breach of trust” while acknowledging that “no apology can ever be sufficient.”
    • This morning the former teacher pleaded guilty to 27 charges of indecently assaulting the males at Terenure College between 1973 and 1990
    • The charges relate to 23 individual complainants for which McClean entered pleas of guilty before Dublin Circuit Court
    • His sentencing will take place next March over the course of two days, with some of the complainants expected to give victim impact statements