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    Following last week's Paris attacks, the French National Assembly has today voted to extend the nation's state of emergency for a further three months. It will also amend powers established in the original 1955 legislation in light of technological developments.Despite the murders of 129 victims, and the deaths of the seven terrorists, the state of emergency bill has alarmed civil liberties campaigners, who are concerned about several measures they deem authoritarian, particularly the expansive powers police have been granted to conduct computer searches, net censorship, and curtail the freedom of association.The bill passed through the lower parliamentary house in France this morning with a vote of 551-6. It will be read by the Senate tomorrow, and if it passes would be adopted on Friday afternoon. It is the first ever amendment of the 1955 act.Before the vote, Prime Minster Manuel Valls warned the National Assembly of the dangers the nation faced from terrorists, stating that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons.Valls also announced that the ring-leader of the latest Paris attacks had been killed in a pre-dawn raid, while adding that €400m had been earmarked to further fund the nation's state of emergency crackdown.

    While extending the emergency to three months, the bill will also extend new powers to the police, ostensibly for preventing terrorism through increasing the legal room available for them to make searches and seizures, as well the ability to place citizens under house arrest.French advocacy group La Quadrature du Net described the extension as unjustified by any reason other than to circumvent the principle of separation of powers. Since the beginning of the emergency last Saturday, many searches are conducted for administrative cases under common law, with no connection to the fight against terrorism, and foreshadow a police state that the extension of three months the risk of trivialising.French security forces have conducted over 400 raids since last Friday's terrorist attacks, and have made 60 arrests.Earlier this year, a BBC journalist's laptop was seized by police in the UK under counter-terror legislation. La Quadrature welcomed a modification in the bill which protects journalists from such seizures during the state of emergency.Their equipment is not protected if it is used at home, however, as the bill extends the police's administrative search powers to searching data processing systems. Le Quadrature stated these searches can happen on any equipment, including storage present on the place or reachable 'through a initial system or available for the initial system'.

    La Quadrature spokesperson Adrienne Charmet told The Register: We are hoping certain provisions, especially those allowing the Minister of the Interior to censor websites, are not included in the bill when it passes through the Senate.The principle behind a state of emergency is to make a police state. It is to transfer justice to the police – La Quadrature du Net We are particularly concerned with the police ability to restrict the freedom of association on security ground. If we invite people to a cryptoparty and the police believe cryptography is a security threat then they could force us to disband, added Charmet. Of course we hope it wouldn't be used against us, but there is no protection in the law.Despite the recent surveillance law passed in France, these attacks happened. We don't accept that the population must remain under mass surveillance while terrorists are not being placed under targeted surveillance, said Charmet. The principle behind a state of emergency is to make a police state, she explained. It is to transfer justice to the police.La Quadrature du Net will be calling on citizens to encourage members of the Assembly to launch an inquiry to whether surveillance legislation is fit for duty, following the attacks of last Friday. Cleveland Police in the north east of England allegedly used counter-terrorism powers to hunt down a whistleblower within its ranks. That's according to a complaint filed to the UK's cop watchdog, the IPCC.

    Worryingly, the Cleveland force used the anti-terror powers to access the phone records of three journalists.The complaint was made by the Police Federation, which told The Register it concerns the alleged misuse of a RIPA application by Cleveland Police. IPCC standard practice in these incidents is to immediately forward the complaint to the police force in question, which is then responsible for dealing with it.According to the Echo, the federation alleged that a RIPA application was made in 2012 and listed three journalists from The Northern Echo, a solicitor and two Police Federation representatives. The organisation claimed the application had asked for permission to access data from the mobile phones of these individuals from January to May 2012.The Register understands there was no prosecution of the suspected whistleblower, who had made allegations about institutional racism within Cleveland Police and has since left the force.The use of powers provided under RIPA to target journalists has consistently raised alarm. A revision was made in March this year to RIPA, titled the Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data: Code of Practice which was intended to explicitly force police employees to get a judge's permission to hoover up people's metadata. The application regarding the Echo's journalists was made in 2012.

    However, of the two reported incidents following on from the changes in which no judicial approval was sought, neither police force was named.At the time the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May, stated this was because naming and shaming [might] have the unintended consequence of undermining the open and co-operative self reporting of errors.One force was outed by the journalists' publication in question, however, when the Scottish Sunday Herald accused Police Scotland of committing multiple breaches of the code.Peter Barron, the Echo's editor, said: These allegations are a matter of serious concern – that a police force should apparently go to these lengths to identify the source of a story which was clearly in the public interest. This is surely not what the legislation was intended to do and the fact that Cleveland Police will neither confirm nor deny the allegations adds to our concerns.It follows an incident less than a year ago, when a RIPA request to Vodafone for a journalist's records led to the company spaffing 1,760 journalists' protected records to the Metropolitan Police. Last month, the laptop of a journalist with BBC's Newsnight was lifted by police using an order under the Terrorism Act.Protection for journalists is a touted part of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, as it will be considered a sensitive profession along with medicine and law.The Register has attempted to contact Cleveland Police several times, but they were not answering their phones at the time of publication.

    Blackhat Europe Synopsys security boffin Ian Haken says un-patched PCs in enterprises are at risk of having user accounts popped and Bitlocker bypassed, in an attack he describes as trivial to perform.The attack vector, sealed off in the latest round of Redmond patches (MS15-122), affect those Windows machines that are part of network domains, notably those in enterprise fleets.Only sadistic sysadmins whose users suffer having to enter pre-boot passwords are immune, Haken says.Haken says attackers with access to a lost or stolen laptop can spoofing the relevant network domain, to set up a fake user account which matches the username for the victim's computer.The fake account needs to be set with a creation date in the past. The password set does not matter.Once the victim machine connects to the spoofed domain, Windows will throw a password reset prompt that will change the credentials in the computer's local cache.The laptop could then be disconnected from the spoofed domain and accessed using the changed credentials.Haken says in the paper Bypassing Local Windows Authentication to Defeat Full Disk [pdf] presented at BlackHat Europe the attack is not foiled by Redmond's Trusted Platform Module. Here's a sample of his thinking:

    ... the domain controller is remote, and since the attacker has physical control of the machine, the attacker also has control of network communication and can direct communication to an attacker-controlled mock domain controller. Since a machine with passwordless BitLocker will transparently retrieve the decryption key and boot to the Windows login screen, Windows authentication becomes the attack surface for defeating BitLocker.There is no easy fix without Microsoft's patch. Those admins who do not or cannot apply the patches can disable local credential caching, but that means users cannot login offline. Apple CEO Tim Cook is telling customers not to expect a Mac answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro any time soon.The Apple boss said in an interview with Ireland's Independent that the Cupertino giant has no desire to merge its iOS mobile operating system and its Macintosh desktop and notebook lines with a hybrid tablet that would run OS X.

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    Entsprechend dem Flaggschiff-Anspruch trumpft das Huawei P8 mit einer Ausstattung auf gehobenem Mittelklasse-Niveau auf, die in einem hochwertigen Metallgehäuse verpackt ist. Zu seiner Ausstattung gehört etwa ein 5,2 Zoll großes FullHD-Display (Auflösung: 1080 x 1920 Pixel) der 64-Bit-Octa-Core-Prozessor HiSilicon Kirin 930 (max. Taktung: 2,0 GHz), 3 GB RAM, eine 13-Megapixel-Hauptkamera sowie eine 8-Megapixel-Frontkamera.Ein 2.680 mAh Akku ist beim P8 eingebaut, der sich jedoch nicht wechseln lässt. Das 144 Gramm schwere Huawei P8 (Test) kommt zunächst in den Farben Champagner und Grau nach Deutschland und wird mit einer Preisempfehlung von 499 Euro angeboten. Das Huawei P8 Lite ist mit seinem 5-Zoll-Display nur etwas kleiner als das P8, verzichtet aber auf das Metallgehäuse und eine so hochwertige Ausstattung. Zwar ist beim P8 Lite ebenfalls ein Octa-Core-Prozessor im Einsatz, doch die acht Kerne im HiSilicon Kirin 620 sind mit 1,2 GHz nicht ganz so schnell getaktet wie beim Schwestermodell. Der 64-Bit-Prozessor wird von 2 GB RAM unterstützt. Als Betriebssystem ist Android 5.0 installiert.Das 5-Zoll-Display bietet mit 720 x 1280 Pixel eine akzeptable Auflösung. Das P8 Lite hat einen 16 GB Flashspeicher sowie eine 13-Megapixel-Hauptkamera und eine 5-Megapixel-Frontkamera mit LED-Blitz. Ein 2.200 mAh Akku sorgt für die Ausdauer.

    Huawei liefert das P8 Lite in Schwarz und Weiß aus. In Deutschland kommt eine Single-SIM und eine Dual-SIM-Version des Smartphones in den Handel, als Preisempfehlung gibt Huawei 249 Euro an.Beide Neuheiten sind seit heute im Handel zu finden. Bei den Preisen hat sich noch nicht viel getan. So ist das Huawei P8 im Onlinehandel zurzeit ab 480 Euro zu finden. Für das Huawei P8 Lite werden aktuell mindestens 249 Euro verlangt.Das Huawei Ascend Y550 ist top verarbeitet, die Rückseite ist glatt und fällt nur zu den Rändern hin leicht ab. Weil der Kunststoff glänzend beschichtet wurde, liegt das Huawei nicht so gut und rutschfest in der Hand wie matt beschichtete Phones wie etwa das preislich vergleichbare Moto E LTE (Test).Beim Ascend Y550 kann man die Rückseite komplett abziehen; darunter liegen die Steckplätze für Micro-SIM und Micro-SD und der 2000 mAh starke Akku. Die Karten lassen sich allerdings nur austauschen, wenn man den Stromspeicher herausnimmt.Das Display ist 4,5 Zoll groß, bietet eine Auflösung von 854 x 480 Pixel und ist mit 295 Candela nicht besonders leuchtstark. Beim Prozessor setzt Huawei setzt auf den 64-Bit-Chipsatz Snapdragon 410 mit 1 GB RAM, als Betriebssystem ist allerdings nur Android 4.4 installiert, das 64 Bit noch nicht unterstützt. Das System kann die Möglichkeiten der Hardware also gar nicht voll ausreizen.

    Im Alltag merkt davon kaum etwas, denn das Ascend Y550 reagiert schnell und flüssig auf Eingaben. Im direkten Vergleich spürt man aber doch, dass beispielswesise das Moto E LTE einen Tick geschmeidiger läuft. Liegt das auch daran, dass Motorola ein schlankes Android einsetzt, während Huawei sein mit Extras angereichertes Emotion UI (Version 2.3) darüberstülpt? Immerhin überzeugt die Huawei-Oberfläche mit einem Design und einer Bedienlogik, die stark an Apples iOS angelehnt sind, und mit sinnvollen Zusatzanwendungen.Aber eine so umfangreiche Benutzeroberfläche kompliziert den Update-Prozess, weshalb es fraglich ist, ob Huawei ein Update auf Android 5 für seinen Einsteiger veröffentlichen wird. Auch verbraucht Emotion UI viel Platz, denn von den 4 GB Speicher, die das Y550 auf dem Papier hat, stehen dem User nur 1,4 GB zur Verfügung - ohne Speicherkarte kommt man also nicht weit.Die Kamera im Huawei Ascend Y550 ist, für diese Preisklasse typisch, nur bei gutem Licht halbwegs zu gebrauchen. Zwei Vorteile bietet das Y550 aber im Vergleich zu vielen ähnlich günstigen Smartphones: Die Hauptkamera auf der Rückseite wird von einem LED-Blitz unterstützt, und die Frontkamera bietet mit 2 Megapixeln. Beides Pluspünktchen, von denen man allerdings nicht irrsinnig viel erwarten sollte.

    Wichtiger sind da die Messergebnisse im Labor. Hier überzeugen vor allem die Funkleistungen inklusive LTE. Bei der Ausdauer ist das Y550 dagegen nur Durchschnitt und hält bei Dauernutzung 6:06 Stunden durch.Ab sofort ist das Dual-SIM-Smartphone Archos 52 Platinum in Deutschland erhältlich. Das Android-Phone mit dem 5,25 Zoll großen HD-Display (Auflösung: 720 x 280 Pixel) wird von einem einfachen 32-Bit-Quad-Core-Prozessor mit 1,3 GHz Taktung (Mediatek MT6582) angetrieben, dem 1 GB RAM und ein per MicroSD-Karte erweiterbarer 8-GB-Speicher zur Verfügung stehen.Eine 8-Megapixel-Hauptkamera sowie eine 2-Megapixel-Frontkamera sind in dem 161 Gramm schweren Smartphone integriert. Als Betriebssystem wird Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) ausgeliefert. Ob Archos ein Update auf das aktuelle Android 5 plant, ist bislang nicht bekannt.

    Das 8,8 Millimeter dicke Archos-Smartphone verfügt über zwei Steckplätze für SIM-Karten. Es verwendet einen 1750 mAh Akku und kommt jetzt zum UVP-Preis von 160 Euro in die Shops.Samsung startet die neue Tablet-Serie Galaxy Tab A. Das einfach ausgestattete Galaxy Tab A hat ein 9,7-Zoll-Display im 4:3-Format. Ende April kommt es auf den Markt zu Preisen ab 300 Euro.Samsung hat sein großes Einsteiger-Tablet Galaxy Tab A mit 9,7-Zoll-Display vorgestellt. Das 7,5 Millimeter dünne Android-Tablet verfügt über einen Bildschirm im 4:3-Displayformat, der mit 1024 x 768 Pixel Auflösung aber nur eine sehr bescheidene Schärfe bietet. Samsung hebt beim neuen Display seine Lesefreundlichkeit bei der Darstellung von E-Books hervor.

    Angetrieben wird das 450 Gramm schwere Tablet von einem einfachen 1,2 GHz schnellen Quad-Core-Prozessor. Ein per MicroSD-Karte erweiterbarer 16 GB-Speicher ist eingebaut, Android 5.0 ist als Betriebssystem vorinstalliert. Das Galaxy Tab A verfügt über einen 6000 mAh Akku sowie eine 5-Megapixel-Kamera auf der Rückseite. Eine 2-Megapixel-Frontkamera für Selfies und Videogespräche ist auch eingebaut.Samsung bietet das Galaxy Tab A als WLAN-Modell und als LTE-Version an. Diese Varianten unterscheiden sich außer beim Mobilfunk-Modul auch beim Arbeitsspeicher (WiFi-Version: 1,5 GB; LTE-Version: 2 GB), beim Gewicht (WiFi: 450 Gramm; LTE: 453 Gramm) und beim Preis.Der liegt beim Galaxy Tab A WiFi bei 299 Euro (UVP), die LTE-Version soll 349 Euro kosten. Ab Ende April sind die neuen Tablets im Handel.Das HTC Desire 320 ist ein top aktuelles HTC-Smartphone mit einem 4,5 Zoll großen Bildschirm, Android 4.4 und einer Ausstattung auf Einsteigerniveau. Das 145 Gramm schwere Smartphone wird von einem Quad-Core-Prozessor von MediaTek angetrieben, der seine vier Kerne auf maximal 1,3 GHz beschleunigt. 512 MB RAM und 8 GB interner Speicher sind eingebaut, wobei nur 4,9 GB des internen Speichers frei nutzbar sind. Per Speicherkarte ist dieser Speicher um maximal 32 GB erweiterbar.

    Das 4,5-Zoll-Display bietet mit 480 x 854 Pixel eine Standard-Auflösung. Eine 5-Megapixel-Hauptkamera und eine 0,3-Megapixel-Frontkamera sind eingebaut. Aldi-Nord bietet das HTC-Phone in den Farben Anthrazit und Weiß zum Aktionsangebot von 129 Euro an. Im Preis enthalten ist auch ein Aldi Talk Starter-Set mit 10 Euro Startguthaben.Das HTC Desire 320 wurde auf der CES im Januar vorgestellt und ist somit ein brandneues HTC-Modell, das jedoch sehr einfach ausgestattet ist. Sein Display bietet nur eine Standardauflösung (480 x 854 Pixel) und sein Arbeitsspeicher (512 MB) fällt dürftig aus. Die Kameras (5-Megapixel und 0,3-Megapixel) bieten allenfalls nur Standardkost. Android 4.4 ist vorinstalliert, eine Update auf Android 5 ist aufgrund des knapp bemessenen RAM-Speichers eher unwahrscheinlich.Der Aldi-Aktionspreis von 129 Euro inklusive Aldi Talk Starter-Set ist deutlich günstiger als der Preis bei anderen Händlern. Dennoch drängt sich das Angebot nicht auf - es gibt attraktivere Alternativen zum Desire 320. Beispielsweise das Motorola Moto E (2. Generation) oder das Honor Holly, die zum gleichen Preis deutlich mehr bietet.

    Das Motorola Moto E (2. Generation), kurz Moto E2 (Test), wird von dem modernen 64-Bit-Prozessor Snapdragon 410 angetrieben, der auf mehr Arbeitsspeicher (1 GB RAM) sowie 8 GB internen Speicher zugreifen kann. Das Moto E2 hat ebenfalls ein 4,5-Zoll-Display, das jedoch im Vergleich zum Desire 320 eine höheren Auflösung bietet (540 x 960 Pixel).Als Betriebssystem nutzt das Moto E2 das aktuelle Android 5.0. Wie beim HTC Desire 320 ist eine 5-Megapixel-Hauptkamera und eine 0,3-Megapixel-Frontkamera eingebaut. Das Moto E 2 ist seit Februar im Handel. Sehr viele Händlern verkaufen es zurzeit für 129 Euro. Im ersten Test hinterließ es einen guten Eindruck.Das Honor Holly (Test) ist sogar noch etwas günstiger als das HTC Desire 320 und das Motorola Moto E2 - und besitzt dennoch eine zum Teil bessere Ausstattung. Zu seinen Highlights gehört das größere Display (5-Zoll) mit einer Full-HD-Auflösung (720 x 1280 Pixel). Außerdem ist es mit einer 8-Megapixel-Hauptkamera und einer 2-Megapixel-Frontkamera ausgestattet.

    Das Honor Holly wird von einem 1,3 GHz schnellen Quad-Core-Prozessor von Mediatek angetrieben, dem 1 GB RAM zur Verfügung steht. Mit 16 GB fällt sein (erweiterbarer) Speicher sogar größer aus als beim Moto E2 und beim Desire 320.Das Samsung GalaxySchnäppchen bei Media Markt? Hier geht's lang! A3 markiert den Einstieg in die neue Welt der Samsung-Smartphones im Metallgehäuse. Es geht mit einer schmalen Preisempfehlung von 299 Euro an den Start, im Test ist der günstige Preis dann auch erkennbar.Wie der große Bruder steckt auch das Galaxy A3Hier gehts zum Kauf bei Amazon in einem perfekt verarbeiteten und sehr flachen Unibody-Gehäuse. Bei der Farbauswahl fehlt allerdings die Champagner- Gold-Variante, die zumindest vorerst dem Galaxy A5 (Test) vorbehalten bleibt. Der Formfaktor ist sogar noch kompakter, und so bringt das Galaxy A3 dann auch lediglich 110 Gramm auf die Waage. Für einen sicheren Halt sorgt auch hier die leicht raue Rückseite des Metallgehäuses.

    Auf der Front verrichtet ein 4,5 Zoll großes OLED-Display seinen Dienst. Allerdings muss sich die Anzeige mit einer etwas niedrigen Auflösung von 540 x 960 Pixeln begnügen, und so ist die Darstellung weniger brillant als beim A5, Farbstärke und Blickwinkelstabilität schenken sich aber nichts. Die Strahlkraft des Displays liegt mit 345 cd/m2 auch hier im grünen Bereich.Nicht nur beim Bildschirm, auch bei der Ausstattung haben die Koreaner den Rotstift angesetzt. So fehlt dem Galaxy A3 mit Multi Window die praktische Multitasking- Funktion, und die Hauptkamera muss sich mit einer Auflösung von lediglich 8 Megapixeln begnügen. An der Performance gibt es nichts zu mäkeln. So kommt auch hier die Plattform Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 zum Einsatz, der Arbeitsspeicher ist mit 1,5 GB jedoch etwas reduziert. Beim Nutzerspeicher zeigt sich Samsung mit 10,5 GB dann wiederum sehr spendabel, ebenso bei den umfangreichen Connectivity-Möglichkeiten inklusive LTE.

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    “First, the control sequence was not the same as what we'd been told, so that involved rewriting the program on-site to take this into account.”“Next, the original programmer liked to do 'clever' tricks with his programs. These always come back to bite you years later - and indeed we were seriously puzzled as to why variables were apparently changing themselves and screwing up our corrections.”WG and his colleague “realised the guy had discovered a way of bulk updating large blocks of data, which he'd proceeded to use enthusiastically, blissfully unaware that this also corrupted variables in the 'gaps' that he wasn't using but we were trying to!”“After this was sorted we connected up the new valve, which had been pre-wired for us, only to discover that the 'telltale' that was supposed to send back a message to tell us which way the valve was positioned wasn't changing, so we went to examine the valve itself.”Inspecting the valve mean climbing narrow metal stairs and gantries.“My colleague got there first,” WG recalls, “and came out with a burst of the most interesting invective. You see, this valve was driven by compressed air, and our electronics just supplied a trigger. This normally works fine, but you do actually have to pipe in an air supply! We then had our only short break while the factory maintenance crew frantically rigged up a temporary air line.”

    Before long the valve was switching over correctly. But WG and his mate wanted to double-check to make sure all was well and when they did, found that the main plumbing had been done in reverse.“Our first thought was to just change the software so the 'off' state of the valve was reversed, only we were quickly informed that when unpowered it had to be in the open position.”The maintenance crew climbed the gantries again and, amid “much banging and swearing” went over everything in as much detail as possible.”“We weren't happy that the valve common was shared with the signal common, but weren't going to try to re-run over 70 ft of cable woven into the factory structure, so put filters on the PLC inputs and hoped.”Job done! Or so WG thought until control system's monitor died. WG thinks all the switching things off and on did for it, and fair enough after 25 years' service. One trip down into the offices to find an unused monitor later, and WG thought it was finally time to head home for some egg nogg.But first, a final test to make sure the night's work hadn't caused a problem elsewhere in the factory.

    A main divert valve stuck but that had nothing to do with WG's work. But he had to hang around to make sure all was well.“We started at 8:30AM and worked through until 10:00PM without stopping, except the one time for a cup of tea and a snack (supplied by considerate shop-floor staff).WG made it home for Christmas, albeit without knowing if his work had done the trick because the client wouldn't run the whole system until the new year. His clients, however, declared themselves happy. Which was enough at the time!Have you been called out to work over the festive season? We'll be running On-Call stories every day next week, so if you've a Christmas cracker to share, send me a Christmas card. Stolen medical information is a prevalent problem across multiple industries, according to a new study by Verizon.The issue is compounded because many organisations outside of the healthcare sector do not even realise they even hold this type of data.Common sources of protected health information are employee records (including workers’ compensation claims) or information for health programs. These repositories are frequently poorly protected.Medical data loss is not just a problem for the healthcare. According to Verizon, 90 per cent of all industries have suffered a data breach that resulted in the loss of medical data, including: retail, finance, mining and educational sectors, amongst others.

    Verizon’s researchers analysed 931 incidents of confirmed protected health information breaches involving more than 392 million records. The global study covered 25 countries across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.One in five health record breaches involved privilege misuse. Staff not infrequently abused their privileges in order snoop and look at medical records health on the same local area network or on a weakly secure database server on the corporate intranet.Loss of unencrypted devices is a major problem for the healthcare industry itself. Around a third (31.3 per cent) of incidents where human error was involved in one way or another in data breaches were down to lost devices.The one positive trend in this area over the last five years is that it’s taking less time for organisations to realise they have a problem. Even so only 31 per cent of incidents are found within days: 31.25 per cent took months and 18.75 per cent took years to find.Verizon’s 2015 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report was compiled by the same team that puts together the firm's Data Breach Investigation Report, a benchmark annual study of data breaches.The health information reports focuses on the problem of medical data loss, from how it is disclosed, to who is causing it and what can be done to combat it.

    The report contains incidents contributed by organisations including the CERT Insider Threat Center; CrowdStrike, Deloitte; the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Kaspersky Lab and the US Secret Service, amongst others. The study also includes the US Health and Human Services incident database and a significant number of incidents from the US Veteran’s Administration, as reported to Congress.“Many organisations are not doing enough to protect this highly sensitive and confidential data,” said Suzanne Widup, senior security analyst and lead author for the Verizon Enterprise Solutions report. “This can lead to significant consequences impacting an individual and their family and increasing healthcare costs for governments, organisations and individuals. Protected Health Information is highly coveted by today’s cybercriminals,” she added.According to recent studies reference in the report, people are withholding (sometimes critical) information from their healthcare providers because they are concerned that there could be a data breach.“Healthcare organisations need to realise that patients trust them with their data and if that trust is broken, the implications can be huge,” Widup concluded.

    The number of external and internal actors in personal health information breaches is nearly equal with just five percentage points difference, meaning there is more insider misuse than hacker action in this area than for data privacy breaks more generally. Detailed health records make it easier for criminals to engage in both identity theft and medical billing fraud.Differences are also evident in how the breach occurs. The primary action of attack is theft of lost portable devices (laptop, tablets, thumb drives), followed by error which can simply be sending a medical report to the wrong recipient or losing a laptop. These two, combined with a third area of employee abuse, make up 86 per cent of all breaches of personal health info data breaches, according to Verizon.Earlier this years the FBI issued a warning to healthcare providers stating that “the healthcare” industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, and warning that the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is therefore “likely.”Verizon’s report – which offers insights and recommendations on best practice in protecting health-related private data – is available here. The ship is a year from completion, so there is plenty of time yet to bin it for a more up-to-date and secure version of the venerable operating system.The Ministry of Defence is not returning our calls, but this could always be, as one reader says, “comedy wallpaper on a technician’s laptop...”

    You can check out the BBC News report about the Queen Elizabeth here. The XP wallpaper makes its appearance at 1m 25s.A 47-year-old who posed as a 13-year-old girl in order to extort more than £40,000 from paedophiles was sentenced to nine years in prison earlier this year.Lee Philip Rees, of Marlborough Road in Roath, Cardiff, was found guilty at Cardiff Crown Court of 31 counts of computer hacking, distributing indecent photographs of children and blackmail. He was sent down in June.Rees had been placed on probation for possession of indecent photographs of children back in 1989. He was arrested in 2011 after his wife, from whom he was separated, and her new partner passed his laptop – along with their suspicions that it contained indecent images – to the police.The scam, as Rees admitted, involved pretending to be a teenage girl in chat rooms to bait paedophiles. Rees tricked his victims into downloading a remote access tool along with a video. Through this, he planted obscene images on their machines and took screencaps of it before threatening to forward their personal details to local schools and the media. He also maintained a website where he published his victims' details.Although he was arrested in connection with the scam in 2014, Rees went on to blackmail a further victim while on bail, according to the South Wales Evening Post.