WIREDGOV NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
|Proactive action to make the internet more secure|
The NCSC's Active Cyber Defence report for 2019 has been published. The NCSC's Technical Director, Ian Levy, has also blogged about the report and that can be read here.
A scam to defraud thousands of UK citizens using a fake email address spoofing a UK airport was one of a wide range of cyber attacks successfully prevented by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a report revealed last week
Details of the criminal campaign are just one case study of many in Active Cyber Defence – The Second Year, the latest comprehensive analysis of the NCSC’s world-leading programme to protect the UK from cyber attacks. The incident occurred last August when criminals tried to send in excess of 200,000 emails purporting to be from a UK airport and using a non-existent gov.uk address in a bid to defraud people.
However, the emails never reached the intended recipients’ inboxes because the NCSC’s ACD system automatically detected the suspicious domain name and the recipient’s mail providers never delivered the spoof messages. The real email account used by the criminals to communicate with victims was also taken down.
A combination of ACD services has helped HMRC’s own efforts in massively reducing the criminal use of their brand. HMRC was the 16th most phished brand globally in 2016, but by the end of 2018 it was 146th in the world.
The ACD technology, which is free at the point of use, intends to protect the majority of the UK from the majority of the harm from the majority of the attacks the majority of the time.
Other key findings for 2018 from the second ACD report include:
NCSC: Cyber strategy update shows how UK intelligence is thwarting attack
NCSC: Ongoing DNS hijacking & mitigation advice
NCSC-partnered tech start-ups raise £35m in investments
RUSI Research on ‘The UK Cyber Strategy: Challenges for the Next Phase
Universities recognised for excellence in cyber security
Every SME is at risk as new threats keep evolving
Can cyber security prevention be any more basic than this?
How many SMEs never knew they had been / did not report one?
The bigger they are the more vulnerable they can be
Protecting e-structure critical to UK infrastructure/daily life
|With technology some say every adult needs a child to guide them|
Older children are less trusting of news on social media than from other sources, and employ a range of measures to separate fact from fiction, Ofcom research has found.
54% of 12- to 15-year-olds use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to access online news, making it the second most popular source of news after television (62%). The news that children read via social media is provided by third-party websites. While some of these may be reputable news organisations, others may not.
But many children are wise to these risks. Just 32% of 12- to 15-year-olds who say social media is one of their top news sources believe news accessed through these sites is always, or mostly, reported truthfully, compared to 59% who say this about TV and 59% about radio. 73% of online tweens are aware of the concept of ‘fake news’, and 39% say they have seen a fake news story online or on social media.The findings are from Ofcom’s Children and Parents Media Use and Attitudes Report 2017. This year, the report examines for the first time how children aged 12 to15 consume news and online content.
Ofcom: Older children are getting wise to fake news
DHSC: Social media, young people & mental health
Are governments among the worst offenders of ‘Fake news’?
‘Disinformation’ also impacts on health matters!
Trolling does not enhance democracy!
Showing more ‘savvy’ than many adults
Could it be adapted for terrorist propaganda too?
They have ‘made ’$bns’, so they can afford to spend ‘$ms’ to ‘police’ their sites
|Editor’s choice of other ICT items of note:|
techUK: ECJ hears case which could upend international data transfer rules
techUK: Voting open for the most influential woman in UK technology 2019
Cabinet Office: New plans to make it safer for people to confirm their identity online
DCMS: UK and South Korea go underground for innovative new 5G partnership
SOCITM: Shaping future digital strategy
|Use only when absolutely necessary|
People are being prescribed unnecessarily long courses of antibiotics which may increase their risk of developing antibiotic resistant infections, a study has suggested.
A recent study looked at 931,015 English primary care consultations which took place between 2013 and 2015 and ended in an antibiotic prescription. Of those people receiving antibiotics, the majority were prescribed a course that was longer than recommended in NICE guidance.
NICE have reviewed the study published in the BMJ in a new medicine’s evidence commentary which evaluates new evidence and highlights areas for improvement in clinical practice. The findings suggest that guidance on antibiotic use is not being implemented as well as it could be in all areas which may lead to antibiotic overuse. Antibiotic resistance is a global threat and one that is growing at alarming speed. The link between antibiotic prescribing and resistance is clear.
In 2019, the government published their 5-year action plan and 20-year vision which details how the UK will address antimicrobial resistance. Aims include reducing human antibiotic use by 15% and cutting the number of resistant infections by 10% before 2025.
On average, people were spending an extra two days on antibiotics for bronchitis and four additional days for acute cystitis when compared with the duration advised within NICE guidance. Overall, people spent a combined total of 1.3m additional days on antibiotics. The recommended course for these medicines can be found in the NICE summary of antimicrobial prescribing guidance for a range of common infections.
NICE and PHE have jointly published antimicrobial prescribing guidelines for a range of common infection topics, which include recommendations on the choice, dosage and course length of antibiotics. The guidance reminds prescribers use the shortest effective course.NICE has also published guidance on antimicrobial stewardship which aims to change prescribing practice and advise practitioners, carers and the general public to protect current antibiotics and ensure their effectivity for years to come.
NICE: Consider shorter courses when prescribing antibiotics
WAG: New plan to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals and the environment
The hunt for a solution continues
Delay of just a couple of hours can be life-threatening
God help us if no new antibiotics are developed soon!
EU: Whole genome sequencing shows promise in fight against AMR
Test children’s urine before prescribing antibiotics for UTIs, says NICE
Challenge Prize cash supporting GP surgery to fight antibiotic resistancePA: Patient safety compromised as 88% of CCGs not fully implementing antimicrobial guidelines
|Obesity tips the scales against a healthy & long life|
The number of children & young people being treated for Type 2 diabetes, a condition often linked to obesity, has rocketed by nearly 50% in just 5 years, new LGA analysis reveals.
Latest figures obtained by the LGA, which represents councils in England & Wales, show there were almost 750 cases of those aged under 25 who received care for Type 2 diabetes from Paediatric Diabetes Units in 2017/18. The first cases of Type 2 diabetes in children were diagnosed less than 20 years ago.
Councils, which are responsible for public health, says this highlights the urgent need to tackle one of the nation’s biggest health challenges in childhood obesity. This comes ahead of the LGA’s annual childhood obesity conference this week and as the Government prepares to publish its much anticipated prevention Green paper.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to a range of serious health problems such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 is largely preventable and is closely linked to lifestyle, such as unhealthy eating or lack of exercise.Last year, the LGA revealed that 22,000 children are classed as severely obese – the most overweight scale – when they leave primary school. Councils are calling for the Government to use the upcoming Spending Review to reverse the £700m cuts to their public health funding, which is used to invest in fighting obesity. Specialised support should also be provided for the most seriously obese children, the LGA says.
LGA: Obesity crisis: Type 2 diabetes in children up by nearly half in five years
Will their mental health suffer through bullying as well?
Public Health remains the ‘Cinderella’ service due to lack of funding for Local Government
Editorial Commentary – Let’s have a sense of proportion here!
In gardening terms, this is a ‘hardy perennial’ issueDepressing thought
|Editor’s choice of other Health, Social care & Homelessness related items of note:|
DHSC: PHE issues advice to people travelling to Egypt
NHS England: Young people among those set to benefit from lifesaving heart op
CQC: Technology in care – we shine light on the importance of innovation in new resource
Ofsted: Joint inspections focusing on children’s mental health – (Guidance for inspectors published)
NHS Health Scotland: A deeper look at stalling life expectancy
WAG: Funding to improve awareness of organ donation in black, Asian and ethnic minority communities
Innovation Agency Blog: My placement year at the Innovation Agency
NICE recommends innovative treatment for type 1 diabetes
WAG: Over half the nation not prepared for old age, new research showsDHSC: New approach to engaging rough sleeping and homeless community
|SME Supplier Locator update...|
UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s.
Against this ambitious backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.
|Prospect of Scientific life after Brexit|
Researchers will benefit from new international partnerships with 15 countries as part of the Atlantic International Research Centre, thanks to a new agreement signed last week.
Science Minister Chris Skidmore has signed an agreement in Parliament with Portuguese Science Minister Manuel Heitor that will make the UK a full member of the AIR Centre, which was set up in 2017 and aims to strengthen scientific collaboration with researchers from around the world working on shared challenges & opportunities, from cutting carbon emissions to understanding space. It is designed to foster economic development through Atlantic region collaborations on space, climate and oceans issues.
With headquarters in the Azores and several local hubs in several countries, the AIR Centre has been implementing a scientific agenda on Atlantic Interactions, which will benefit from the UK engagement, but also bring additional advantages to the UK on its 6 lines of action: Marine Resources and Biodiversity, Healthy & Clean Ocean, System integration from near space to deep ocean, Mitigation & Adaptation to Climate Change and Natural Hazards, Sustainable Energy Systems; and Data Science for the Atlantic Ocean, including its coasts, biodiversity & societies.
A MoU between the UK & Portuguese Space Agencies to collaborate on future space science and developing space industry opportunities was also signed. The UKSA is working with Portuguese space business Omnidea to bring the development & testing of their innovative Plasma Focus Thruster to the UK. With an expected improved overall performance of up to 30% over existing thruster technology, the equipment could revolutionise spacecraft propulsion, whilst bringing new expertise, jobs & growth to the UK space sector.International science collaboration is a priority for the UK government, as it aims to raise investment in research and development to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. In May, the government published the International Research and Innovation Strategy and has committed to guarantee EU research funding through the Horizon 2020 programme in the event of a no deal Brexit.
BEIS: UK joins international research centre to tackle climate change & explore space
Defence Secretary outlines ambitious space programme
Defence Secretary keynote speech at the Air & Space Power Conference 2019
techUK: Joint Forces Command becomes Strategic Command
Defence Secretary launches UK's first Defence Space Strategy
Dstl Acquires First Satellite Ground Control Station
UKSA: On 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launch, UK & NASA state intent to work on future Moon missions
UK Space Agency: 10 projects funded to extend UK’s leadership in Earth Observation
UK Space Agency: Embracing the new Space Age
UK Space Agency: New economic plan to super-charge space & creative sectors in Buckinghamshire
UK Space Agency: How the Moon landing 50 years ago inspired a generation in the UK
|Editor’s choice of other Business / Commercial items of note:|
BEIS: New protections for millions of vulnerable workers – Good Work Plan
BEIS: Green businesses encouraged to apply for prestigious Queen’s Award
DIT: Liam Fox launches training scheme to find UK's future trade experts
DIT: Liam Fox launches toolkit for MPs to help boost UK exports
Cabinet Office: Government tells public sector it must pay suppliers on time
DWP: University? Traineeship? First Job? What’s your post-exam plan?
techUK: Cross-sector coalition sets out blueprint to reform immigration system
Innovation Agency: Helping to bring more small businesses into NHS fold
RLA BLOG: Renting Homes gets changes and heads for a start date
Crown Commercial Service: Suppliers join new technology deal for education
Dstl announces SERAPIS framework agreement
|Editor’s choice of other Policy & General items of note:|
MoD update on the UK military presence in the Gulf
Civil Service: Shaping the future of the policy profession
MHCLG: High streets open doors to community projects
DCMS: National Lottery scratchcard minimum age could be increased to 18
CA: Government action urgently needed to protect consumers during the decarbonisation of heating
Sport England: New Planning For Sport Guidance
FCO: Media Freedom Coalition launched to address attacks on journalists
DIFD: UK aid helps world’s poorest access better mobile phone technologies
HO: Pioneering new tools to be rolled out in fight against child abusers
HO: New public health duty to tackle serious violence
DfE: Changes to the professional skills test for teachers
DCMS: Children to have greater opportunity to access 60 minutes of physical activity every day
MHCLG: £100m migration fund helps alleviate council pressures across England
DfT: Government looks at steps to make new drivers safer
DWP: Increased jobcentre support for women experiencing domestic abuse
ScotGov: Tackling the throw-away culture
WAG: New Action Plan on tackling child sexual abuse launched
MoJ: Criminal record reform to help ex-offenders into work
HMICFRS: Crime against older people isn’t well understood
Action Fraud: Officers raid properties and make arrests as part of multi-force crackdown on courier fraud
Collaborate: Embracing complexity to do what’s best for people
IFG: The UK tax system needs urgent reform under any government
Imports of hormone-free beef: EU-US agreement confirmed
EC opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of AmazonEC fines US chipmaker Qualcomm €242m for engaging in predatory pricing
|Editorial commentary; Yet more evidence of ‘dodgy’ financial foundation on an Independent Scotland|
While the full impact of the SNP’s income tax rises in Scotland may not have yet completely ‘worked through the system’ yet, two rather contradictory press releases do not seem to bode well for an independent Scotland being able to ‘balance its books’
The first PR claimed that; ‘Official statistics published by HMRC show that income tax revenues grew by 1.8%, to £10.9 billion in 2017-18, with growth driven primarily by an increase in contributions from higher and additional rate taxpayers - those earning above £43,000 in Scotland in 2017-18’.
ScotGov: Scottish income tax revenues grew by 1.8% in 2017-18
The second PR pointed out that; The Scottish Government raised £941m less than expected in devolved income taxes in 2017/18, new figures from HMRC revealed yesterday. Scotland’s economy grew more slowly than the rest of the UK, hitting tax receipts and leaving the Scottish Government with a shortfall in funding.
Because of the risk sharing mechanism in the jointly agreed fiscal framework, the shortfall will be offset by a £737m increase to the block grant funded by the UK Government. It means the Scottish Government will have to manage a reduction in funding in 2020/21 of £204m. Scottish ministers are responsible for deciding how to respond. They have powers to borrow up to £1.75bn and a £700m reserve to smooth funding pressures across financial years.
Alongside this, public spending statistics published last week show spending in Scotland rose to £10,881 per head in 2017/18 from £10,606 the previous year. This compares to the UK average in 2017/18 of £9,350 per head’.One wonders how an independent Scotland (without the support of the fiscal framework, Barnett formula and other UK subsidies – including those replacing EU ones) will be able to balance its books, without Bns in spending cuts?
HMT: Scottish Income Tax shortfall offset by UK Funding
BEIS: UK government to cut electricity bills for consumers in the north of Scotland
Cebr: Scotland has a growth problem and a deficit problem – but over time they can be fixed….
Editorial Commentary; It all comes down to money in the end!
Editorial comment: Forget UK Brexit, Has Scotland got a plan?
More contributions to the Brexit process
Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:
FCO: UK and Central America sign continuity agreement
Defra: Smart boats could revolutionise UK fishing and seafood industries
DIT: Liam Fox launches training scheme to find UK's future trade experts
DIT: Majority support free trade agreements
WAG calls for urgent clarity on vital future funding from the UK
EIOPA consults on the harmonisation of national insurance guarantee schemes
PC&PE: UK failing to implement sustainable fishing law
PC&PE: A ‘No deal’ Brexit would be the most economically damaging outcome for UK business
NIESR: Monetary and fiscal options in the event of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit
OE: Exploring arrangements to avoid a hard Irish border after Brexit
OE: ‘Narrow mandate’: Europe reacts to Ursula von der Leyen’s election as Commission President
B4B: A Legal Challenge to BBC bias against Brexit
B4B: The Proposal of A Temporary WTO Agreement Can Reshape the Brexit Debate
B4B: Philip Hammond and the OBR yet again push a discredited ‘Project Fear’
B4B: The SNP’s attempt to exploit Brexit is floundering
B4B: EU bullying of Switzerland – the shape of things to come and how we can fight back
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