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‘Great British Bake Off’ Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

Prue Leith1 has revealed she s been given 24/7 protection ahead of her debut on The Great British Bake Off2 .

The food critic and restaurateur was announced as Mary Berry3 s replacement on the show earlier this month, following its move to Channel 4.

But the 77-year-old says she was shocked by the level of security provided by Love Productions, who make the show, after it was confirmed she would be joining Paul Hollywood as a judge.

'Great British Bake Off' Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

David Levenson via Getty Images

Prue Leith

But when Prue returned to her home in the Cotswolds, she discovered she had been granted the security protection anyway.

'Great British Bake Off' Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Prue is set to replace Mary Berry on the ‘Bake Off’ judging panel.

Prue also revealed that Mary Berry has been in touch to reassure her not to worry about any threats.

She revealed that Mary told her: Look, if there s a big story there might be somebody at the gate, but most people like the show.

It s quite nice walking into the supermarket and being asked: Are you the lady off the telly ? That happens to me now and I always enjoy it.

'Great British Bake Off' Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

Awakening via Getty Images

Prue also admitted she hadn t heard of new co-host Noel Fielding, who is replacing Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins with Sandi Toksvig. 456

The Great British Bake Off is expected to launch on Channel 4 later this year.

‘Great British Bake Off’: Where Are They Now?

Edd Kimber (winner, 2010)

Fresh from being crowned the winner of the first ever Bake Off , Ed quit his day job as a debt collector for Yorkshire Bank (which he hated) to follow his baking dream with a job in Raymond Blanc s restaurant Le Manoir as a pastry chef (what else?) . He s gone on to carve himself a career as a food writer with articles appearing in BBC Good Food magazine and on his blog theboywhobakes.co.uk . In 2011 he published his first cookbook, ran a pop-up bakery in Fortnum & Mason and is also the resident baker on The Alan Titchmarsh Show . Bake Off changed my life in the most amazing way .

It allowed me to follow my passion and fulfil my dreams in a way I never imagined, he said recently.

Mike Marsland via Getty Images

References

  1. ^ Prue Leith (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
  2. ^ The Great British Bake Off (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
  3. ^ Mary Berry (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
  4. ^ Noel Fielding (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
  5. ^ Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
  6. ^ Sandi Toksvig (huffingtonpost.co.uk)

London attack a reminder of fears for post-Brexit security cooperation

BRUSSELS Hours before Wednesday’s attack in London, the head of the European Union police agency Europol warned that a large group of radicalised individuals posed a constant threat to Britain and Europe.

“Some of these are likely to succeed in the future,” Rob Wainwright, who is British, wrote in a blog to commemorate the attacks in Brussels that killed 32 people on March 22, 2016.

In the year between those incidents and the attack that killed three people and injured dozens near Britain’s parliament, European security officials say intelligence sharing on potential threats has increased 10-fold.

More work is being done to tighten security by streamlining databases, clamping down on identity fraud and making reporting of suspicious individuals obligatory.

Britain is one of the top three users of Europol data . But as it leaves the EU, there is a risk that it will be shut out of this cooperation, becoming more vulnerable to Islamist radicals who have killed 300 people across Europe over the past two years.

The suspect in the London attack was British-born, and Britain is not part of the EU’s open-border Schengen zone . But London still shares with its EU peers fears – and information – about Islamists, often radicalised online, returning home after going to train or fight with jihadists in the Middle East, North Africa or Afghanistan.

British security officials warned parliament last year of the dangers of leaving Europol and the agreement covering the European Arrest Warrant, which requires all EU governments to arrest a suspect wanted in another EU country.

5,000 EXTRADITIONS

A year ago, when she was interior minister, Theresa May said that Britain’s close intelligence relationship with the United States “does not mean we would be as safe (outside the EU) as if we remain”.

May, now prime minister, said the Warrant had enabled Britain to extradite more than 5,000 people in the previous five years.

Being outside Europol, which was founded in 1998 to help combat organised crime, cybercrime and militant groups across borders, would leave Britain reliant on individual links with each of the other 27 EU governments, former officials say.

Before Europol existed, coordination was done “on the basis of who you knew and who you could ring up”, according to Bill Hughes, ex-director-general of Britain’s now defunct Serious Organised Crime Agency . He told parliament it was a “labyrinthine exercise”.

Besides Europol, Britain is also party to intelligence-sharing protocols of the Schengen agreement, and to a deal to exchange airline passenger data between EU security forces.

EU diplomats have refused to discuss Britain’s future defence and security cooperation until London triggers the formal exit proceedings, but one senior British diplomat said the government was likely to seek a “special relationship”.

“The European Union is not good at involving third parties and we need to be able to talk intimately,” the diplomat said.

May, expected to start two-year EU exit proceedings next Wednesday, has said she wants to retain a close relationship with the EU on security and defence, and the EU has expressed similar sentiments, but tensions are apparent.

She said in January that Britain’s intelligence capabilities were “unique in Europe” and that its military and counter-terrorism resources should help it to secure a better exit deal.

But EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is dismissive. “Security cannot be weighed off against economic and commercial interests,” he said in a speech in Brussels on Wednesday.

LIMITS OF COOPERATION

Britain does already have additional bilateral security agreements with fellow EU members France and Germany, as well as the long-standing “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing pact with the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

But cooperation agreements between Europol and non-EU countries Russia, Turkey and Ukraine took several years to negotiate, and there are limits on what data can be shared.

Under EU agreements, transferring fingerprints and DNA data can take minutes . With Britain outside the EU, the Global Risk Insights think-tank says it could take months.

Some critics do note that information-sharing within the EU is still far for perfect .

While France and Germany have large, well-staffed intelligence agencies, years of neglect in Belgium’s secret services were exposed by last year’s airport and metro blasts.

And militant Anis Amri, who killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin last December, was on watch lists but still managed to avoid detection by using 14 different aliases in different countries.

However, the recent attacks have pushed the EU to try to plug gaps with a proposal in December to make it obligatory for states to issue alerts on individuals who pose a potential threat, and to float a plan to build a shared database of biometric data, such as fingerprints.

Claude Moraes, a Briton who chairs the European Parliament’s Liberty, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, said the stakes for Britain were high: “We need to have a much tougher discussion about what it is we are going to lose.”

(Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Guy Falconbridge in London; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Germany’s cyber security chief on hacking, Russia and problems hiring experts

German Government Commissioner for Information Technology Klaus Vitt | German Federal Ministry of the Interior

Klaus Vitt discusses his role protecting Germany from cyber attacks.

By 1

3/20/17, 7:54 PM CET

Updated 3/20/17, 8:10 PM CET

This article is also available in: German2

Read more: Hacked information bomb under Germany s election3

BERLIN Meet the man in charge of protecting Europe s largest country against the ever-changing threat of hacking: the German government s IT commissioner, Klaus Vitt. During an interview with POLITICO at the German Interior Ministry, Vitt described the country s current cyber threat level as increasingly critical, announced plans to cooperate with private companies and explained why his analysts believe most professional hacking attacks on Germany come from Russia or China.

In September, Germany elects a new parliament . Could the vote be manipulated by cyber attacks?

We have analyzed all processes during election day . Wherever we found weak spots, we have introduced measures and taken precautions. In Germany, there are no electronic voting machines or automation .

The vote, therefore, is not that big of a target . However, there s never a security of 100 percent.

You re talking about potential attacks on the IT network on election night . Another issue is cyber attacks that could happen in the run-up to the election . People are concerned that stolen material from hacks could be used to compromise candidates . Do they have a reason to be afraid?

The danger is real . This is why our Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) advises parliamentarians and their groups in the parliament how to protect themselves . It starts with using virus protection software on your private computer but certainly doesn t end there.

Have cyber attacks increased during the last couple of years?

Yes, the threat situation is becoming increasingly critical . We still observe many security breaches in software and hardware, as analyzed in the BSI s annual report on the state of IT security . This in itself is critical . At the same time, however, our society, economy and state are increasingly becoming more digitalized, which also makes them more vulnerable . On top of that, attackers are becoming more professional, and they are using more intelligent malware.

In 2015, a broad-scale cyber attack on the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, made headlines . What consequences did the government draw from the incident?

The Bundestag is in charge of its own IT security . However, there have been numerous consultations on how the parliament should make its network more secure, and the government took part in them . These recommendations were put into action very consistently . The network and its security components were completely rebuilt from scratch.

Could foreign intelligence services be involved in attacks like the one in 2015?

We are dealing with very professional attackers, that s why only in rare cases can you identify them indisputably . We analyze serious attacks very thoroughly to find out from where they originate . In order to do that, we take patterns from comparable attacks in the past as a reference . Based on such analogies, one can say with a certain probability where those attacks originate from and those analogies suggest that a majority of attacks comes from Russia or China, at least geographically.

How can Germany protect itself?

Attackers want to produce the largest effect possible . That s why they target their attacks primarily against critical infrastructure.

With Germany s IT security law introduced in 2015, we have created legislation that focuses on such infrastructures . On the one hand, it introduces minimum standards for IT security: how operators need to protect themselves against cyber attacks . There are regular checks to make sure they still follow those standards . On the other hand, they are obliged to inform authorities about any critical IT security incidents . If operators are affected, they need to alert the BSI about it, which in turn can analyze it, assess the threat and inform other operators as fast as possible so that they can protect themselves in time. I would like to apply a similar model to other companies which are not operating critical infrastructure and the public administration.

In November 2016, Germany introduced a cyber security strategy: a plan for the country on how to protect itself and how to best react to cyber attacks. What about attacks that have already happened and data that may have been taken?

A cyber attack can have different goals . One aim can be to extract information . If you have no possibility to prevent this, you need to cut off access to the internet . This was one of the measures taken during the cyber attack on the Bundestag . From this moment on, no more information can be extracted. However, in the aftermath, it s difficult to detect where malware could possibly have had access to and which data has been extracted.

What measures are you taking?

To guarantee an appropriate IT security level, we will consolidate the data centers and the networks of the national government and its institutions. Today, we have around 1,000 rooms with servers: large ones, medium-sized ones, small ones . We will centralize them at three or four highly-protected, locations . The same thing will be done with the networks . This is how we will protect the administration with a high standard of IT security.

Another measure is expanding our Cyber Defense Center opened in 2011 . The goal is to always have a clear description of what s happening in cyber space . To do that, we will analyze and assess cyber incidents, with all national security agencies exchanging technical information about the incidents with each other . Needless to say, cyber space is not limited to just Germany. And there s another plan we are pursuing: In Germany, we have large international companies with their own cyber security units, who observe cyber attacks, similarly to what our Cyber Defense Center does .

Four DAX companies have joined forces in the so-called German Cybersecurity Organization (DCSO) cooperation . Our idea is to work with them through exchanging technical information . However, we need a contractual basis for that . This is about highly sensitive data.

When in 2015, a Bundestag subcommittee met to discuss the hacking attack, a BSI official told the MPs that only around 15 employees inside his office had the expertise to analyze and deal with such an attack . This doesn t sound like a lot of people?

The BSI is only one unit in our Cyber Defense Center . We have more experts in the Federal Criminal Police, in the Armed Forces, and in both our domestic and the foreign intelligence agencies.

Talking about personnel: Part of the cyber security strategy is hiring more cyber security experts . How easy or difficult is it to find candidates with the necessary expertise?

There is a great demand for IT security experts . The BSI has hired several people recently . It wasn t easy to fill those positions placing an ad in some newspaper wouldn t be enough .

All those positions could be filled; in the meantime, however, we have new open positions.

How attractive a job is, however, is not only defined by its salary but also by how exciting or dynamic its environment is and by its compatibility with having a family.

The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Related stories on these topics:

References

  1. ^ (www.politico.eu)
  2. ^ German (www.politico.eu)
  3. ^ Hacked information bomb under Germany s election (www.politico.eu)