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Reference Library – Northern Ireland

Extra security in place for Arsenal-Chelsea FA Cup final

Last Updated: 23/05/17 2:27pm

Wembley will have enhanced security for Saturday’s FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea

The Football Association says “enhanced security” will be in place at the FA Cup final in the wake of Monday’s Manchester attack. A terrorist attack at the end of a concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night left 22 people dead and 59 injured. And sporting organisations including the FA, the EFL and the International Cricket Council have sought to reassure supporters due to attend upcoming games. The victims of the attack will be remembered at Saturday’s final between Arsenal and Chelsea, and fans have been told to expect extra security checks at Wembley.

“Fan safety is of paramount importance and we have robust security measures in place at Wembley Stadium,” an FA statement read. “In collaboration with the Metropolitan Police and the local authorities there will be an enhanced security operation for all upcoming events. “All supporters are encouraged to arrive for events at Wembley Stadium as early as possible for security checks and to avoid any delays in entering the stadium.”

Wembley also hosts the League Two and Championship play-off finals on Sunday and Monday, and an EFL statement read: “Whilst there have been no specific threats in this country, our Security Advisor will be liaising with Wembley Stadium, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and the Metropolitan Police to ensure the arrangements in place provide a safe and secure environment for all supporters attending this weekend’s play-off matches. “The safety of fans remains our highest priority . The EFL takes security issues extremely seriously and we would urge all supporters planning to be at Wembley Stadium to be vigilant of their surroundings at all times, stay alert and not be alarmed.”

Manchester United held a minute’s silence for the victims and those injured in the Manchester attacks

Manchester United held a minute’s silence for the victims as they prepared to fly out for Wednesday’s Europa League final in Stockholm, where stringent security measures are in place1. The ICC, meanwhile, says security is the “highest priority” ahead of its Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup tournaments in England. “We operate on advice from our Tournament Security Directorate – in conjunction with the ECB and relevant authorities – to ensure that we have a robust safety and security plan for both tournaments,” a statement read. “We will continue to work with authorities over the coming hours and days and review our security in line with the threat levels.

“The security situation has been very much front and centre of our preparations and we constantly review our procedures to guarantee they are as effective as possible to keep everyone safe.”

References

  1. ^ stringent security measures are in place (www.skysports.com)

Cyber attack alert: Download security patch

  • Cyber attack alert: Download security patch – PSNI issue warning as Monday cyber attack fears grow across UK

    BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

    Police in Northern Ireland are working closely with government and tech agencies amid fresh warnings that the cyber attack that crippled international services are set to continue. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/cyber-attack-alert-download-security-patch-psni-issue-warning-as-monday-cyber-attack-fears-grow-across-uk-35713000.html

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/article35712644.ece/1faa8/AUTOCROP/h342/PANews%20BT_P-16bfdd3f-944c-4640-a6da-9b368278ce18_I1.jpg

  • Email1

Police in Northern Ireland are working closely with government and tech agencies amid fresh warnings that the cyber attack that crippled international services are set to continue. Europol has warned that the threat “will continue to grow” as people return to work on Monday . Since Friday’s breach more than 200,000 victims – including the NHS – across 150 countries have been infected by the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry.

The PSNI has said it has been liaising with relevant agencies “to ensure that here in Northern Ireland we are adequately briefed and prepared for the possibility of any potential similar incident.”

Detective Chief Inspector Douglas Grant said: “Since this attack occurred on Friday afternoon we have been working with representatives from the national government, National Crime Agency, National Cyber Security Centre and cyber security experts to put in place mechanisms to mitigate the risk to systems in Northern Ireland.

“As people return to work tomorrow after the weekend, many will have unopened, potentially infected emails in their inboxes, or their systems may already be infected and are waiting to activate . It is of the utmost importance that individuals and organisations act to ensure the integrity of our local cyber networks and take appropriate action to reduce the threat posed by cyber criminals.”

Read More: Five key questions about the NHS cyber hack answered 2

“While there is currently no suggestion that systems within Northern Ireland have been targeted, we remain conscious that we must act to ensure the integrity of cyber networks and take appropriate action to reduce the threat posed by cyber criminals.

“Do not open emails from unknown sources or containing suspicious links or attachments . Ensure that all computers on your network are fully updated with the latest ‘patches’ . A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it . This includes fixing security vulnerabilities.”

Speaking to ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Europol director Rob Wainwright said the attack was indiscriminate across the private and public sectors.

“At the moment we are in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up, I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning.

“The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries . Many of those will be businesses including large corporations.”

Organisations across the globe, including investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA), are now working non-stop to hunt down those responsible for the ransomware.

Meanwhile health authorities are racing to upgrade security software amid fears hackers could exploit the same vulnerability with a new virus. There have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Friday’s major incident, with the Government and NHS chiefs facing questions over their preparedness and the robustness of vital systems. Mr Wainwright explained: “We have been concerned for some time . The healthcare centres in many countries are particularly vulnerable . They are processing a lot of sensitive data.”

A British cyber whiz was hailed an “accidental hero” after he registered a domain name that unexpectedly stopped the spread of the virus, which exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software.

The anonymous specialist, known only as MalwareTech, prevented more than 100,000 computers across the globe from being infected. On Sunday MalwareTech issued a warning that hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the kill switch.

“Version 1 of WannaCrypt was stoppable but version 2.0 will likely remove the flaw . You’re only safe if you patch ASAP,” he wrote on Twitter.

A number of hospitals in England and Scotland were forced to cancel procedures after dozens of NHS systems were brought down in Friday’s attack. Medical staff reported seeing computers go down “one by one” as the attack took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data. Around a fifth of trusts were hit amid concerns networks were left vulnerable because they were still using outdated Windows XP software.

The apparent chink in the NHS’s defences led to criticism of the Government and NHS bosses, with the Liberal Democrats demanding an inquiry takes place. Speaking after a Cobra meeting on Saturday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted “there’s always more” that can be done to protect against viruses. She said: “If you look at who’s been impacted by this virus, it’s a huge variety across different industries and across international governments.

“This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms .

The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this.

“I don’t think it’s to do with that preparedness . There’s always more we can all do to make sure we’re secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack.”

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, in a letter to Mr Hunt, said concerns were repeatedly flagged about outdated computer systems. Speaking to Robert Peston, he demanded that the Conservatives publish the Department of Health’s risk register to see how seriously they were taking IT threats.

Among those affected by the virus was Nissan UK, but the car manufacturer said there had been no major impact.

It is understood its plant in Sunderland is not due to have another production shift until Sunday night.

References

  1. ^ Email (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Five key questions about the NHS cyber hack answered (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

Gold mine owners stop development as PSNI turns down security cover requested

The owners of a gold mine in Northern Ireland have halted its development after police refused to provide their requested levels of anti-terrorism security cover.

Galantas Gold Corporation said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was not prepared to offer sufficient resources to supervise the transportation and denotation of blasting materials at its mine in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Galantas sourced gold from an open cast mine in the area up until 2013 . It has secured planning permission to excavate underground seams for the next 15 years with projections of extracting 30 million worth of gold a year.

The mining security requirement is in place in Northern Ireland to guard against the potential threat posed by dissident republican terror groups. The company said the PSNI had offered two hours of cover, two days a week – in exchange for a fee. Galantas said that was insufficient to run the mine and offered to pay the police for two hours of cover, five days a week – albeit reserving the right to challenge the policy of recovering costs in the courts.

It said the PSNI rejected that offer, citing resource constraints and competing priorities. The company is now pursuing a potential legal action against the PSNI, claiming other mining companies have not been subject to the same limitations on police resources. Galantas currently employs 15 people at the Omagh site, five of whom have now been placed on notice of redundancy .

It had envisaged employing around 130 once the planned underground mining operation was running.

Roland Phelps, president and CEO of Galantas, said: “The PSNI’s decision is clearly a blow to any proposed mine development in Northern Ireland and negatively affects the livelihoods of our employees and their families.

“The company pays full UK taxes, royalties and mineral license fees.

“A cost benefit analysis of PSNI providing the required anti-terrorism cover required by PSNI is hugely to the state’s benefit – not that this is any reason to allow a potential terrorist threat to interfere with any citizen’s lawful rights or business.”

PSNI Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said: “There are many competing demands for the resources that PSNI commanders have at their disposal.

“They must prioritise those demands in a way that maximises the safety of the public and their officers and works to counter threats, to mitigate risk and to alleviate harm.

“Working with others to support their efforts for the development of enterprise and the economy is important to PSNI.

“It is, however, reasonable to expect a commercial venture to contribute all or part of the policing costs where it is legitimate and proportionate to do so.”