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Manchester United hit by ‘sophisticated’ cyber attack but say fan data is safe

Cyber Attack Alert

Manchester United have been hit by a cyber attack on their systems but say they are not “currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers”.

The club, who host West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday, confirmed the hacking on Friday evening and said all systems needed for the match remained secure.

In a statement, United said: “Manchester United can confirm that the club has experienced a cyber attack on our systems. The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimise the ongoing IT disruption.

“Although this is a sophisticated operation by organised cyber criminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this eventuality. Our cyber defences identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data.

“Club media channels, including our website and app, are unaffected and we are not currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers.

“We are confident that all critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational and that tomorrow’s game against West Bromwich Albion will go ahead.”

A spokesman for the club added: “These type of attacks are becoming more and more common and are something you have to rehearse for.”

United have informed the Information Commissioner’s Office and added that forensic tracing is being carried out in an attempt to establish further detail about the attack.

Courtesy of theguardian.com

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

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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

NHS England will move to highest level of emergency alert from midnight tonight

Health Alert_1

The NHS will move to its highest level of emergency alert from midnight tonight in England.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, announced it would move to “level 4” alert as hospitals see an increase in “desperately” sick patients.

The alert level will move from level 3 – which means coronavirus is in general circulation – to level 4, which means that transmission is high or rising exponentially.

Mr Stevens added: “The facts are clear, we are once again facing a serious situation.

“This is not a situation that anybody wanted to find themselves in, the worst pandemic in a century, but the fact is that the NHS is here.

“The public can help us help you so our fantastic staff – our nurses, our doctors, our paramedics – can get on with looking after you and your family there when you need it.”

On vaccines, Sir Stevens told an NHS press conference: “Our expectation is that it will be the start of next year when the bulk of vaccine becomes available assuming that the Phase 3 trials produce positive results.

“We are obviously planning on the off chance that there is some vaccine available before Christmas.”

Some vaccines need to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius he said, adding: “So it’s going to be a combination of what GPs are able to do, what community pharmacists are able to do, but also mass vaccination centres which is one of the purposes we will be using the Nightingale Hospitals for, and other locations as well.

“There will be roving teams who will prioritise care homes and social care staff and other vulnerable groups.

“But the bulk of this is going to be the other side of Christmas but we want to be ready.”

In the press conference from University College Hospital, Mr Stevens said the health service has prepared “very carefully” for the “next phase of coronavirus”.

He said that, for some patients, mortality in hospital and intensive care has “halved since Covid was first known to humanity”.

But he added: “However well-prepared hospitals, the NHS, GP surgeries are, it is going to be a difficult period.”

He said: “We want to try and ensure that the health service is there for everybody, minimising the disruption to the full range of care that we provide, not just Covid but cancer services, routine operations and mental health services.

“And the truth, unfortunately, is that, if coronavirus takes off again, that will disrupt services.

“We are seeing that in parts of the country where hospitals are dealing with more coronavirus patients now than they were in April.”

He added: “The best way we enable the health service to look after all the people who need our care … this, by the way, is what is meant by that slogan ‘Protect the NHS’, what it means, I think, is help us help you by ensuring (we) are able to offer that wider range of care.”

He said that “other lines of defence such as actions individuals are taking to reduce the spread of the virus and the Test and Trace programme” are needed, adding: “The reality is that there is no health service in the world that by itself can cope with coronavirus on the rampage.

“That’s why it is so important that we reduce infections across the country.”

Courtesy of mirror.co.uk

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UK terror threat level raised to ‘severe’ – meaning attack is ‘highly likely’

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The UK’s terror threat level has been raised from “substantial” to “severe”, meaning an attack is now judged to be “highly likely”.

The move follows Monday night’s attack in the Austrian capital Vienna, in which four people were killed.

Last week, three people died after a knife attack in Nice, France, while teacher Samuel Paty was murdered in Paris last month.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the action as a “precautionary measure following the terrible incidents we’ve seen in France last week and the events we saw in Austria last night”.

“The British public should be alert but not alarmed,” Ms Patel said, as she confirmed there would now be “more visible policing across the country”.

She added: “That is right in light of the threat going up, but as I’ve said, the public should not be alarmed – this is a precautionary measure.”

The home secretary urged the public to report anything of concern to police.

The decision to raise the UK’s threat level has been taken by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).

JTAC is based at MI5’s headquarters in London and is made up of counter-terror experts from the police, government and security agencies.

A UK security source told Sky News’ defence and security correspondent Alistair Bunkall that there was no specific threat to the UK but recent attacks in Europe had felt “different in tactic and tempo”, with the raised threat level a response to that.

The source added the UK has been operating at the top of “substantial” for some time and it wasn’t going to take much to nudge the UK into the “severe” category, with Vienna being that nudge.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “This decision should not cause undue alarm but shows the importance of people continuing to be vigilant.

“Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police or the anti-terrorism hotline.”

The terror threat level had been at “substantial” since November last year, when it was lowered from “severe” for the first time in five years.

The “severe” level is the second-highest level, with only “critical” above it – which was reached in May 2017 after the Manchester Arena bombing.

Following Monday night’s attack in Vienna, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked”.

He added on Twitter: “The UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria – we stand united with you against terror.”

The five terror threat levels are:

Low – an attack is highly unlikely
Moderate – an attack is possible, but not likely
Substantial – an attack is likely
Severe – an attack is highly likely
Critical – an attack is highly likely in the near future

This decision is a sobering indication of just how concerned intelligence officials are about the possibility a wave of terror attacks across Europe could spread to Britain.

The threat level now stands at ‘severe’, meaning a terror attack is highly likely.

It had previously been reduced to ‘substantial’ in November 2019.

This came after intelligence analysts assessed the threat to the UK from international terrorism was still significant, but had reduced enough to suggest planned attacks were no longer highly likely.

Now, the ongoing threat facing European nations has been rapidly reassessed following multiple attacks against French interests and Monday’s marauding gun attack in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The motivation for the latest attack is still not entirely clear, but the gunman, who was shot dead by police, has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State terror group.

The group has already called for attacks against French interests because of the French government’s robust defence of the right to publish caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.

The stance has angered many in the Muslim world, who see such depictions of their most revered prophet as grossly offensive.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/yyffmmq3

Sir Sean Connery: James Bond actor dies aged 90

(Original Caption) Waist-up portrait of Sean Connery, as James Bond, caressing the barrel of a gun against the side of his face. Connery is wearing a tuxedo and bow tie and smiling slightly.

Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, his family have said.

The Scottish actor was best known for being the first actor to play James Bond on the big screen, taking the role in 1962 and going on to star in seven of the films.

He also starred in The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and The Rock in a career that spanned 50 years.

He won an Oscar for his role as a Chicago cop in the 1987s The Untouchables, two Bafta awards and three Golden Globes.

He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000.

He celebrated his 90th birthday in August.

He won legions of fans as Bond, often coming top of fan-voted polls thanks to his debonair manner and wry humour.

His performance in Dr No in 1962 set the jobbing actor and former milkman on a path to Hollywood stardom.

Courtesy of Sky News

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France raises national terror alert system to MAXIMUM level after Nice church attack

The French government has placed the entire nation on high alert after three people were killed in a suspected terrorist attack in Nice. Police in Avignon later gunned down an assailant in a separate incident.

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday that the country’s Vigipirate national security alert system would be set at “attack emergency,” the highest level of the security protocol. The alert system was raised from “enhanced security – risk of attack,” French media reported.

Vigipirate is a French acronym for “vigilance and protection of installations against the risk of terrorist bombing attacks.”

Three people were killed hours earlier at a church in Nice. The suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he used a knife to attack the congregation. Later, French media reported that a knife-wielding man was shot and killed after attempting to attack police in the city of Avignon.

Castex condemned the “cowardly” and “barbaric” attack in Nice, and said that the whole country was mourning for those who were killed.

The incidents occurred just one day after the French interior minister warned that the terrorist threat in the country is “very high.” The French government has vowed to rein in Islamic extremism after a schoolteacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded by a radicalized Chechen refugee earlier this month. Paty’s murder was thought to have been provoked by his decision to show caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed to his students during a lecture about freedom of speech.

Courtesy of rt.com

https://tinyurl.com/yy8qbeby

Floods, landslides affect 3.6M people in E. Africa

Disaster Alert

At least 3.6 million people were affected by floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains across East Africa since June, the UN humanitarian agency said in a report Saturday.

“Water levels of several lakes in Kenya and Uganda are rising, impacting thousands of people,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Some 856,000 people were affected by floods in South Sudan since June, including roughly 400,000 who have been displaced, it said.

The floods compounded an already difficult situation for people across the region, many of whom were already faced with conflict, violence, the desert locusts and COVID-19.

In South Sudan’s Jonglei area, which witnessed devastating violence earlier this year, was among the areas which were badly hit by floods.

According to the report, about 1.1 million people in Ethiopia have been affected by floods, with more than 313,000 of them were displaced.

Meanwhile, in Kenya, the water levels of several Rift Valley lakes, especially Baringo and Naivasha “are historically high,” following the highest seasonal rains which pounded the area from October to December 2019, the UN agency said.

The area also received above-average rains in 2020, displacing thousands of people and impacting livelihoods, schools and health facilities, according to the UN.

Courtesy of aa.com.tr

https://tinyurl.com/y479gwzz

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