The UK has conducted a “major offensive cyber-campaign” against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ has revealed.
The operation hindered the group’s ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda, former MI5 agent Jeremy Fleming said.
It is the first time the UK has systematically degraded an adversary’s online efforts in a military campaign.
Mr Fleming made the remarks in his first public speech as GCHQ director.
“The outcomes of these operations are wide-ranging,” he told the Cyber UK conference in Manchester.
“In 2017 there were times when Daesh [an alternative name for Islamic State] found it almost impossible to spread their hate online, to use their normal channels to spread their rhetoric, or trust their publications.”
Mr Fleming said much of the cyber-operation was “too sensitive to talk about”, but had disrupted the group’s online activities and even destroyed equipment and networks.
“This campaign shows how targeted and effective offensive cyber can be,” he added.
But Mr Fleming said the fight against IS was not over, because the group continued to “seek to carry out or inspire further attacks in the UK” and find new “ungoverned spaces to base their operations”.
Mr Fleming also criticised Russia over what he called “unacceptable cyber-behaviour” that was a “growing threat” to the UK and its allies.
He recalled the NotPetya ransomware attack on Ukraine last year, which eventually spread across the world. The UK and US later said the Russian military were behind the attack, a claim that Moscow denied.
“They’re not playing to the same rules,” Mr Fleming said. “They’re blurring the boundaries between criminal and state activity.”
He said the use of a nerve agent on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury was “stark and shocking”, and demonstrated “how reckless Russia is prepared to be”.
The UK has said Moscow was “culpable” for the attack, but Russia denies any any involvement.
“The robust response from the UK and from the international community shows the Kremlin that illegal acts have consequences. And it looks like our expertise on Russia will be in increasing demand,” he said.
Following the speech, the chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, told the BBC the Notpetya case was also an example of the Russian recklessness mentioned by Mr Fleming.
Asked if the disclosures about offensive cyber-actions were a veiled warning to Russia, Mr Martin said sometimes the best form of defence is defence.
Mr Fleming went on to describe some of GCHQ’s other goals, which include tracking down people who use the dark web to distribute child sex abuse images.
Cyber has created a new landscape for attackers and defenders, he said, and the challenges were “vast” but were being met by a strong and lawful GCHQ.
On Wednesday, Mr Fleming announced a new GCHQ base is to open in Manchester, hoping to draw “tech savvy recruits”.
4 Tips to Lead a Successful Business Management
All organizations want to find and maintain the first level talent that combines with their company culture and their drive to succeed. Successful companies do it, just as you can by actively managing your talent. If you want to know more information about business management you can check at Zoe Talent Solutions
Its people are the most important asset for the achievement of organizational objectives, so it is essential that they are very committed and consistently perform their work in the best possible way, but this requires effort.
Knowledge of why you need a solid talent management strategy is an issue, but how do you create one?
We have identified four steps to give your organization a competitive advantage, from attracting, developing, and managing talent to assess the success of the strategy.
Interviewees should always make the first and last impression, but is your company doing the same? When you attract talent outside your organization, if you ask the following concerns, it can be helpful to formulate a solid plan:
How do potential candidates observe your organization?
What is the impact of your employer’s brand? Is it easy to remember, unique and evocative?
Does your company’s culture match the high standards of the superior talent you want?
What do your existing employees say about your company? Do they act as true ambassadors? Internet sites like Glassdoor are important for this.
Share the history of your company culture. Being transparent creates trust and guarantees that your employer’s brand is authentic. Share real stories of employees to offer insight into the core values of your organization. Use your career page, social media and blogs to convey the message. Feel proud about staff comments.
When you focus on talent development, you should avoid taking a passive approach and assume that your workforce will be happy where they are or that they will approach you when they are ready to develop.
As indicated above, there must be proactivity on both sides, but an organization must have processes in place to encourage employee participation and commitment. Development and learning can take different forms, including: ”
- Combined learning
- Job Training
- Formal education courses
- External conferences / workshops
- Online learning courses
The use of Thomas Tools for the profile of your workforce allows you to explore and plan the skills, strengths, hard and soft skills and training needs of each person.
They open opportunities for managers to modify their styles for the preferences of their team members, and delegate projects that will maximize each person’s opportunities and strengths.
Assigning tasks to the most skilled or qualified worker means that they will be more satisfied in their role, increase productivity and commitment and, in turn, the organization as a whole will benefit from a happier and more productive workforce, which has more Probabilities of staying and progressing in the organization.
Effective talent management must be aligned with your business objectives, which will boost the quality and quantity of the talent you need. Investment in the management and development of leadership will positively affect hiring rates.
Managing talent include:
- Teamwork skills
- Communication skills
- Change management
- Conflict Management
- Emotional intelligence
Talent Strategy Evaluation
Move away and review the effectiveness and impact of talent management on your organization. This demands quantitative as well as qualitative data that is reliable, valid and robust; It is necessary to guarantee investment in the achievement of organizational needs. Focus on the analysis of hiring rates, engagement survey results, 360 employee results and 1-1 review forms.
Apple joins streaming market, says can coexist with Netflix
Far from being a Netflix Inc killer, Apple Inc envisions its forthcoming Apple TV+ streaming service as one that could sit alongside other services that viewers buy, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Tuesday.
Apple in March said it will launch a streaming service with original content from big names including Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. It plans to spend $2 billion on programming but has not said how much the service will cost.
Investors are keeping a close eye on Apple’s television efforts because subscription services are an increasingly important part of its financial results as iPhone sales decline.
Apple is entering a crowded field, including Walt Disney Co’s $6.99 per month service launching this fall. At the other end of the price spectrum, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube this month said that it was raising the price of its YouTube TV online service, a cable-like bundle of more than 70 channels, to $49.99 per month.
On a conference call with investors on Tuesday, Cook indicated that Apple will not try to give viewers everything they want.
“There’s a huge move from the cable bundle to over-the-top,” Cook told investors during a call on Tuesday, referring to streaming television services delivered over the internet rather than a traditional cable service.
“We think that most users are going to get multiple over-the-top products, and we’re going to do our best to convince them that the Apple TV+ product should be one of them.”
Apple Watch helps save 80-year-old woman in Germany
The ECG feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 gets the lion’s share of headlines about potentially life-saving incidents. However, it’s the wearable’s fall-detecting ability which is the hero of the latest story of this kind.
In Munich, Germany, an 80-year-old woman fell in her apartment. Fortunately, her Apple Watch recognized what had happened and called emergency services.
“The watch transmitted the coordinates of the accident scene. The police used the data to identify an address to which an ambulance had been alerted. The ambulance crew found that the door was locked and the retiree could not open it. Then they called for the fire department, which opened the apartment door by force. During this action, the smartwatch alarmed the son, who had deposited his phone number as an emergency number. Since the woman was not injured, the ambulance crew cared her only until the arrival of the son. He took over the further care.”
This isn’t the only similar story of this kind that we’ve heard. Earlier this year, a 67-year-old man in Norway was home alone when he fainted and suffered a hard fall in his bathroom. Luckily, he was wearing an Apple Watch Series 4, which alerted first responders.
Apple Watch fall detection
Fall detection was introduced as a feature with last year’s Apple Watch Series 4. It uses data from your device’s accelerometer and gyroscope to identify when users have suffered a fall. When an incident like this happens, the Apple Watch will then initiate a call to emergency services. If the user is unresponsive after 60 seconds, the emergency call is placed automatically. Your emergency contacts will also be notified and sent your location.
For anyone with elderly relatives, this could be a massive game-changer. It’s the kind of technology which truly justifies owning an Apple Watch. Check out Apple’s video about the feature below.