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Virgin Media down for thousands of customers across the UK

Major Internet Outage

Virgin Media customers across the UK are facing connectivity problems this morning after being hit with an unexpected outage

Reports have accumulated on DownDetector, a website that records outages, as well as on Twitter.

Problems seemingly started to appear for frustrated Virgin Media customers from around 9am and are ongoing in parts of the country.

‘Fibre broadband currently up and down like a fiddler’s elbow Chislehurst,’ one user posted on DownDetector.

Another simply wrote: ‘Liverpool. No internet connection Fibre broadband.’

Virgin Media itself hasn’t issued any form of official notice about the problem but its social media team has been responding to customers on Twitter.

It’s unclear which areas were affected or exactly how many customers are unable to get online.

Virgin Media recently merged with O2 and has rolled out gigabit broadband to over 10 million homes around the UK.

If you’re suffering problems yourself then you may get an answer from the company that way or you can call the service line on 0345 454 1111.

Let us know if you’re a Virgin Media customer experiencing issues in the comments box below.

Courtesy of metro.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/p43j62rt

Cyberattack Strikes T-Mobile and Causes a Major Data Breach Targeting 40 Million Customers

Cyber Attack Alert

More than 40 million T-Mobile customers have been hit by a US data breach, the company has admitted.

It blamed the breach on a “highly sophisticated cyberattack”.

It said it is “taking immediate steps to help protect all of the individuals who may be at risk from this cyberattack”.

The firm said that while criminals stole personal information, no financial details were leaked as a result.

The breach only came to light following online reports last weekend that criminals were attempting to sell a large database containing T-Mobile customer data online.

The US telecom giant confirmed that hackers had gained access to its systems on Monday.

“Late last week we were informed of claims made in an online forum that a bad actor had compromised T-Mobile systems,” it said.

“We immediately began an exhaustive investigation into these claims and brought in world-leading cybersecurity experts to help with our assessment.

“We then located and immediately closed the access point that we believe was used to illegally gain entry to our servers.”

The company said its investigations identified approximately 7.8 million current T-Mobile postpaid customer accounts’ information in the stolen files, as well as just over 40 million records of former or prospective customers who had previously applied for credit with T-Mobile.

It said that approximately 850,000 active T-Mobile prepaid customer names, phone numbers and account PINs were also exposed but that it had reset all of the PINs on the accounts to protect customers.

It added that no phone numbers, account numbers, PINs, passwords, or financial information were compromised in any of the files of customers or prospective customers.

“We take our customers’ protection very seriously and we will continue to work around the clock on this forensic investigation to ensure we are taking care of our customers in light of this malicious attack,” the company said.

“While our investigation is ongoing, we wanted to share these initial findings even as we may learn additional facts through our investigation that cause the details above to change or evolve.”

Hackers previously stole the personal information of 15 million T-Mobile customers and potential customers in the US in 2015.

There is no indication yet that former UK customers of T-Mobile have been hit by the data breach.

The company’s UK operation T-Mobile UK was rebranded as EE in 2012 and sold to BT in 2016 for more than £12bn.

Courtesy of BBC News

https://tinyurl.com/nkvjr9c7

Playstation, Amazon and online banks all down as major internet outage hits users

Major Internet Outage

Users of PlayStation, Amazon and online banks have all reported the services being down in a major internet outage.

Websites of several airlines, banks and technology companies including Amazon’s AWS, Delta Air Lines and American Express were among those facing outages, according to DownDetector.

Websites have not been loading and and have been displaying domain name system (DNS) service errors.

Thousands of gamers are said to be experiencing issues with the PlayStation Network.

PlayStation users took to social media to vent their frustration, reporting receiving messages such as “PlayStation network is currently busy”.

One said: “Gotta love it when the PlayStation servers are down on my day off.”

PlayStation have been advising users to try and use their Fix&Connect tool.

Issues with popular online banking services including HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays have also been reported.

HSBC users have reported issues with the app and internet banking.

One tweeted: “My mobile app has stopped working and the hsbc page online is down, are there problems ?? I needed to transfer money 20 minutes ago.(sic)”

Courtesy of mirror.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/dtnbp6cu

Sky broadband down leaving hundreds of UK customers without internet as service crashes

Sky email down: Why are Sky emails not working? What is wrong with Sky? |  Express.co.uk

Frustrated Sky internet users have reported outages today, leaving them unable to get online.

Website Downdetector said nearly 800 people had reported issues from around 11am.

The number dropped sharply within 90 minutes, however.

London, Nottingham and Manchester appeared to be experiencing the worst issues, with 93 per cent of people saying their problem was with the internet.

Only a small proportion – 5 per cent – were experiencing problems with their TV.

A frustrated user posted on Twitter: “My wifi seems to be down and when I run your test thing it says it seems to be down at the moment.

“Issues in Sheffield S35 area?”

Another tweeted Sky asking: “my internet doesn’t seem to be working is it currently down? Doncaster dn6 area?”

However the internet provider says there are currently no known issues with its service.

Sky has more than six million internet customers in the UK, The Sun reports, while 30 per cent of UK workers are estimated to be working from home.

Courtesy of mirror.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/y2fds4jj

Vodafone are offering FREE data for 250,000 school children in the UK

Vodafone Image

We all know how important education is, but there are too many children and families struggling to stay connected digitally to their schools.

That’s why, as part of our schools.connected plan, we’re offering up to 250,000 free data SIMs – with 30GB data for 90 days – to children in primary and secondary schools across the UK, so they can #KeepConnecting and learning at home.

Courtesy of Vodafone.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/yy3wmq7t

Majorca suffers severe damage after ‘golf ball’ hail and tornado sweep island #Hailstorm #Tornado #Majorca #Spain

Tornado Alert

A violent storm and tornado have swept across Majorca, leaving a trail of destruction across the tourist hotspot in its wake.

Giant hailstones measuring up to two centimetres pelted down on the island mid-morning, bringing down hundreds of trees and causing power outages, after the storm arrived in the town of Banyalbufar on Saturday, August 29.

The damage was of such high magnitude it left Banyalbufar’s council considering whether to declare a “disaster area”.

The mayor, Mateu Ferra, expressed his concerns, saying the landscape “will take years to recover”.

He added that while there were no serious injuries, many residents “are going to need help”.

Several witnesses captured and shared footage of the storm on social media.

Some mentioned that hail the size of golf balls fell from the sky.

Motorists said strong gusts of wind had caused pine trees to fall and block the roads, preventing them from advancing.

A couple of elderly people and their daughter had to be rescued after after a fallen pine tree left them trapped inside their home, according to the Civil Guard.

Majorca firefighters, Civil Guard teams with Special Mountain Intervention Rescue Groups went to the disaster area and are still working to quantify the extent of the damage, a process which Ferra claims will be “endless”.

Hundreds of people have been left with no fresh water, according to the Majorca Daily Bulletin.

Community manager of electric company Endesa, Magdalena Frau, says staff have been working non-stop since noon on Saturday to restore electricity supplies through alternative routes.

The company has been forced to install temporary generators in the area. but locals still remain without Internet service and telephone coverage.

Frau explained it could take some time for normal services to resume due to the damage caused to the lines.

Courtesy of dailystar.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/y2emz9fw

BT Group board on alert for £15bn takeover approach #BT #BritishTelecom #Telecom #Takeover

Telecoms Alert

The board of BT Group is preparing to defend it against takeover approaches from industry rivals and buyout firms after the suspension of its dividend prompted its shares to slump to their lowest level in more than a decade.

Sky News has learnt that Britain’s biggest telecoms group, which now has a market capitalisation of just £10.1bn, has asked bankers at Goldman Sachs to update its bid defence strategy in recent weeks.

Robey Warshaw, a boutique headed by two of the City’s leading investment bankers and a long-standing adviser to Vodafone, may also be asked by BT to play a role, according to insiders.

Sources said this weekend that BT had not yet received a formal approach from any potential suitor.

Any such overtures would, if they materialised, be regarded as politically explosive, with BT having committed to funding a £12bn investment programme to roll out superfast fibre broadband to 20 million premises across Britain by the end of the decade.

It also occupies a critical role in constructing the 5G network in which Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer, was last month banned from involvement.

The government does not own a golden share in BT, although the possibility of a takeover occurring on anything other than a friendly basis is remote.

Ministers have promised to introduce a bill in the autumn that will shape the UK’s approach to national security and foreign investment, and BT’s role in defence and critical national infrastructure networks means a deal would require government approval.

Any buyer of the company would also be forced to make legally binding commitments about investment, jobs and future ownership.

BT’s stock has fallen so far that its equity is now capitalised at just half what many analysts believe its Openreach broadband infrastructure arm alone is worth.

On a discounted cashflow basis – a key measure which assesses the value of a company’s future cashflows – many bankers believe BT is worth at least 200p a share.

Its shares have suffered in recent years amid troubles at its Global Services division and rising forecasts of the scale of investment required to roll out full-fibre broadband and modernise the company.

Last month, BT warned that the pandemic would trigger sharp falls in revenues and profits for the full year, with the dearth of sport during the lockdown and reduced activity from business customers impairing its performance.

Philip Jansen, the chief executive, promised in April not to make any BT employees redundant for reasons related to the COVID-19 crisis for at least three months.

He also donated his own salary to charity for six months and, along with finance chief Simon Lowth, waived his entitlement to cash bonuses for two years.

BT’s decision to suspend its dividend for the first time since its privatisation more than 30 years ago made it one of scores of blue-chip corporate names – including BP and Rolls-Royce Holdings – to cut or halt shareholder payouts amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Some shareholders now believe, however, that BT’s traditional “poison pills” – its mammoth pension deficit and regulatory costs associated with various aspects of Ofcom’s oversight – are now outweighed by the scale of the decline in the company’s value.

Sources said this weekend that a number of large private equity firms had begun exploring the possibility of a joint bid for the whole of BT Group.

Mr Jansen made handsome returns for the buyout funds Advent International and Bain Capital – as well as himself – during his successful stint as chief executive of the payments processor Worldpay, although it was unclear whether they were among the firms looking at BT.

Factoring in a conventional takeover premium of between 30% and 50% could make any offer for BT’s shares worth more than £13bn, along with net debt of more than £11bn.

Some believe that taking BT private would enable Mr Jansen to implement a modernisation plan more swiftly than is possible in the public markets.

Its other immediate options for halting the slide in its share price appear limited.

In May, the company denied a Financial Times report that it was in talks with the Australian bank Macquarie about the sale of a stake in Openreach.

Most analysts regard the division, which is a legally separate company that is wholly owned by BT, as being worth between £14bn and £20bn on a standalone basis.

The Sunday Telegraph reported recently that BT may hand a stake in Openreach to its pension scheme as it grapples with a deficit estimated to be just shy of £10bn.

A separate transaction to offload a stake in the division to crystallise value is plausible in the medium term, analysts and shareholders believe.

The other logical bidder for BT would be Deutsche Telekom, which already holds a 12% stake in BT following the sale of the EE mobile network to the British company in 2015.

Shares in BT are now worth less than a quarter of the 441p they traded at on the day the EE deal was agreed, and are down by 37% over the last year.

The German group has previously sought to play down speculation that it would seek to buy BT, and on an earnings call earlier this month, its executives were non-committal about the prospects for further consolidation in Europe’s telecoms industry.

This year’s biggest domestic deal to date in the sector was the £31bn merger of Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, and O2, the mobile network owned by Telefonica.

BT, which competes with Sky News’ immediate parent company in the provision of telecoms, broadband, mobile and pay-television services, was privatised in 1984.

Board members are understood to be frustrated that the stock market has failed to recognise the scale of the investment required to modernise BT, leaving it vulnerable to a takeover approach.

The company’s chairman, Jan du Plessis, is an experienced hand in dealing with bids, having chaired SABMiller, the brewer that was sold to AB InBev in 2016 for £79bn, and Rio Tinto, which was briefly targeted by rival miner Glencore.

City bankers believe the coronavirus crisis has exposed the financial frailty of many of Britain’s most important companies, and anticipate a string of bids for them during the months ahead.

A BT spokesman declined to comment on Saturday.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/yyjj47hd

Massive Power Outage Briefly Knocks Out Northern Manhattan, Then Queens Goes #PowerOutage #Manhattan #NewYork #USA

Power Outages Alert

A massive power outage struck Friday morning in the upper part of Manhattan, knocking out not only lights but also cellphone service, and a short time later power went out in a large chunk of Queens as well.

At one point it was pitch black as far as the eye could see along Broadway north of 73rd Street on both the east and west sides of Manhattan.

Power came back on after around 20 minutes for parts of the Upper West Side, though some spotty outage reports lingered thereafter.

“We are investigating a problem on our transmission system that caused three networks in Manhattan to lose their electric supply at about 5:13 this morning. The supply has been restored to those networks on the Upper West Side, Harlem and the Upper East Side,” Con Ed said in a statement.

About 90 minutes later, though, power went out in the Middle Village section of Queens, and the LIRR said it was experiencing signal-related delays.

Con Ed’s outage map showed about 140,000 customers without power in Manhattan as of 6 a.m., but that was down to 42,000 by 6:30 a.m. — likely remnants of the damage from Tropical Storm Isaias last Tuesday.

But the same map then showed about 27,000 customers out in Queens as of 7:30 a.m., potentially linked in part to the new outage.

Courtesy of nbcnewyork.com

https://tinyurl.com/y2jmtstf

BT and TalkTalk are down leaving customers unable to access internet #BT #TalkTalk #Outage #UK

Telecoms Alert

BT and TalkTalk both appear to be experiencing issues this morning.

According to DownDetector, the issues with BT started at around 12:24 BST, while the problems with TalkTalk started at 12:25 BST.

While the reason for the outage remains unclear, of those who reported issues with BT, 91% said they couldn’t access the internet, 6% were having problems with their phone, and 1% with email.

Meanwhile, of those who reported problems with TalkTalk, 94% said they couldn’t access the internet, 3% were having phone problems, and 2% said they had no network or reception.

Mirror Online has contacted BT and TalkTalk for comment.

Several frustrated customers have taken to Twitter to discuss this morning’s issues.

One user said: “I don’t seem to have a broadband connection. My WiFi is accessible but no internet access when ive checker router. Is the service down? (North East England)”

Another added: “What is happening with talk talk internet at the moment, nothing seems to ever run smooth with this company internet is always down, how are you going to rectify this as people have to work from home and depend on your service.”

And one wrote: “hey BT internet is down across the whole of the Eden valley Cumbria. Not ideal when I have a dissertation to write, please sort it out.”

This isn’t the first time that one of the major networks has experienced issues in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, Sky Broadband crashed in the Yorkshire and Humber area, leaving frustrated users unable to get online.

Courtesy of mirror.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/y2xerdcc

Man faces jail after admitting setting fire to Vodafone’s phone mast in Liverpool, UK #Vodafone #PhoneMast #Liverpool #UK

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 04: A 5G mobile phone mast on April 04, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. There have been isolated cases of 5G phone masts being vandalised following claims online that the masts are responsible for coronavirus. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 70,000 lives and infecting over 1 million people. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Phone Mast Illustration

A number of attacks on phone masts across the UK are thought to be linked to false claims the 5G network is spreading coronavirus.

A man has been warned he is facing jail after admitting setting a telephone mast on fire in Merseyside.

A number of attacks on phone masts across the country are believed to be linked to false claims that the 5G network is spreading coronavirus.

Emergency services were called to Coopers Lane, Kirkby, on 5 April following reports the Vodafone-owned telephone mast was on fire.

Nobody was injured, but the structure was damaged.

Michael Whitty, 47, pleaded guilty to arson at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday via videolink from HMP Altcourse.

Andrew Alty, defending Whitty, of Kirkby, asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared to provide further details of his client’s reasons for committing the offence.

He said: “There is more of an explanation behind this that he would like to give.”

The court heard material from the defendant’s mobile phone was being assessed by the prosecution.

Judge Andrew Menary QC adjourned the case until 8 June and warned Whitty: “You must recognise that it is inevitable there will be a custodial sentence in this case.”

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/y8o2xk9y