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Las Vegas is bolstering security for New Year’s Eve with snipers, the National Guard, and a hostage rescue team

Las Vegas Is Bolstering Security For New Year's Eve With Snipers, The National Guard, And A Hostage Rescue Team Some of the casinos along the Las Vegas Strip dim their marquees signs for about 10 minutes Sunday, Oct .

8, 2017, in Las Vegas, to pay tribute to the victims who spent that much time under fire in the Las Vegas shooting on Sunday, Oct .

1. Associated Press/Steve Marcus

  • Las Vegas is bolstering its security measures for its New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Strip, which more than 300,000 people are expected to attend.
  • The heightened security comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting three months ago, in which a gunman opened fire on concertgoers from a nearby hotel.
  • Las Vegas has received assistance from the Department of Homeland Security, including extra officers, snipers, a hostage rescue team, and helicopters.

Three months after a gunman rained bullets on a country music festival in Las Vegas, the city is preparing for more than 300,000 people to descend on the Strip to celebrate New Year’s Eve and scores of local and federal officers will be there in the hopes of preventing another massacre.

For the first time in the city’s history, the Department of Homeland Security has given Las Vegas’s New Year’s Eve festivities its top special assessment rating, a designation that comes with extra resources like federal officers, intelligence, snipers, an FBI hostage rescue team, and helicopters with tactical security forces, The New York Times reported1.

The October 1 massacre, which killed 58 and left hundreds injured, was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, and has served as a warning to large cities hosting major public events that could be seen as targets.

In an effort to combat that threat, cities like Las Vegas and New York have bolstered their security plans for New Year’s Eve, when celebrations are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of revelers.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, for instance, said it will deploy every single officer to work a shift between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“We need to be able to focus on multiple shooters, on one or more above the ground we’ve got to multiply our forces,” Chief Chris Jones told The Times.

He added that more than 5,000 officers will be placed along the Strip, and nearly all of the four miles it comprises will be closed to traffic.

Las Vegas Is Bolstering Security For New Year's Eve With Snipers, The National Guard, And A Hostage Rescue Team In this Dec .

31, 2015 file photo, police officers gather at the southern end of Times Square to receive their assignments for New Year’s Eve in New York. Associated Press/Seth Wenig

The New York Police Department, too, is sending in rooftop observation teams and counter-snipers into buildings to spot or disarm any high-rise shooters taking aim at the crowds watching the ball drop in Times Square, The Times reported2.

The NYPD, keenly aware of recent terrorist attacks in New York City, are sending out Labrador retrievers that can smell explosive particles on would-be suicide bombers, like the man who partially detonated a makeshift bomb3 in one of the city’s underground passageways earlier this month.

The NYPD is also placing sand trucks around Times Square to prevent vehicle attacks, like the one that killed eight people on Halloween4 after a driver plowed his rented pickup truck down a lower Manhattan bike path.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference Thursday there were no direct, credible threats to the city’s New Year’s Eve events, but the security measures were being tightened regardless.

“Out of an abundance of caution, however, you’ll see a stronger police presence out there than we’ve seen even in recent years,” O’Neill said.

References

  1. ^ The New York Times reported (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ The Times reported (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ man who partially detonated a makeshift bomb (www.businessinsider.com)
  4. ^ killed eight people on Halloween (www.businessinsider.com)

Edward Snowden created an app that turns smartphones into security systems aimed at thwarting spies

Edward Snowden Created An App That Turns Smartphones Into Security Systems Aimed At Thwarting SpiesThe Guardian Project

  • Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor turned leaker, is working on a smartphone app.
  • The app, Haven, is intended to turn smartphones into mobile security systems.
  • Haven is available to try for free in open beta.

Edward Snowden is best known for revealing the spy programs of the US’s National Security Agency, but his next project is intended to make citizens feel more secure.

It’s an app, called Haven, that’s designed to turn Android phones into all-in-one anti-spy systems.

“Imagine if you had a guard dog you could take with you to any hotel room and leave it in your room when you’re not there,” Snowden told Wired in an interview published Friday1. “And it’s actually smart, and it witnesses everything that happens and creates a record of it.”

The idea is simple: You install the app on a cheap “burner” phone one that can be thrown away and then set up the phone in a place you want to monitor.

Edward Snowden Created An App That Turns Smartphones Into Security Systems Aimed At Thwarting Spies A presentation from The Guardian Project, which is working with Snowden on Haven, is intended to show the difference between Haven and other monitoring solutions. The Guardian Project

Perhaps you’re in a hotel room in Hong Kong, worried that a world power is attempting to spy on your actions . What to do ? Install Haven on an otherwise empty, inexpensive Android smartphone.

You can program it to start recording or taking photos if someone enters your room .

Those recordings can then be sent securely to your personal phone, perhaps through an encrypted-communication tool like Signal.

As the image above demonstrates, Haven uses encrypted services like Signal and Tor that let users retain full control of the communication.

In so many words, the app is intended to turn a smartphone into a personal security system.

“We designed Haven as a tool for investigative journalists, human-rights defenders, and people at risk,” Snowden says in a video introducing the app.

He added: “Haven makes it harder to silence citizens raids, searches, arrests without getting caught in the act.”

Since the app is in open beta, you can test it for yourself2 but beware that some things might not work perfectly, or at all.

And if you want to hear more about Haven from Snowden himself, check out the video:

References

  1. ^ Snowden told Wired in an interview published Friday (www.wired.com)
  2. ^ you can test it for yourself (play.google.com)

Nadine Dorries’ password sharing violates Parliament’s cyber security policy

Nadine Dorries password sharing among her staff is in violation of Parliament s cyber security policy. The Conservative MP revealed she shares her Parliamentary digital log ins with around four members of staff1 in order to handle the high volume of virtual correspondence she receives every day.

In common with other organisations, Parliament has a cyber security policy that applies to all users of its digital services, including Members, their staff and parliamentary staff, a Parliamentary spokesperson told i . In line with good practice, this policy includes a requirement not to share passwords.

Nadine Dorries' Password Sharing Violates Parliament's Cyber Security PolicyCyber security: not a Parliamentary concern, it would seem | Photo: PA

Ms Dorries made the comments on Twitter as she defended Damian Green, who is currently facing calls to step down as the investigation into whether he viewed pornography on his work laptop2 intensifies.

My staff log onto my computer on my desk with my login every day . Including interns on exchange programmes, she said . For the officer on BBC News just now to claim that the computer on Green s desk was accessed, and therefore it was Green is utterly preposterous! In response to an online backlash berating her for poor security practices, Ms Dorries attempted to downplay her importance in Westminster, adding: You don t have a team of four to six staff answering the 300 emails you receive every day.

Flattered by number of people on here who think I m part of the Government and have access to government docs .

I m a back bench MP two Westminster-based computers in a shared office, she later added.

On my computer, there is a shared email account . That s it . Nothing else . Sorry to disappoint ! All my staff have my login details . A frequent shout when I manage to sit at my desk myself is, what is the password?

Nadine Dorries' Password Sharing Violates Parliament's Cyber Security PolicyAmber Rudd: not a fan of encryption (Photo: Getty)

Fellow Tory MP Nick Boles weighed in to offer his support, adding I often forget my password and have to ask my staff what it is, while James Clayton, a producer for the BBC s Newsnight, claimed it is extremely common for MPs to share their parliamentary login details with their staff . The House of Commons was hit by a sustained cyber attack in June3, targeting MP accounts with weak passwords and blocking their owners from accessing them.

A handbook for MPs and their staff4 even explicitly states passwords should not be shared, a sentiment echoed by the House of Commons Staff Handbook on Information Security Responsibilities5. The same advice is recommended by cyber security experts the fewer people in possession of a password, the more secure the account will be.

The cyber security industry makes the point about human fallibility time and again for obvious reasons . Passwords tend to be one of the basics when training staff in cyber security and for good reason, as shared or re-used passwords create weaknesses in an organisations cyber defence, said Tony Pepper, chief executive of data security company Eggress.

From there, a creative attacker can move sideways through a network, implement phishing attacks or undertake any number of malicious actions .

An enterprise can deploy all the advanced tech it likes to track, stop and forensically analyse attacks but if people make mistakes, these are neutered.

References

  1. ^ shares her Parliamentary digital log ins with around four members of staff (inews.co.uk)
  2. ^ viewed pornography on his work laptop (inews.co.uk)
  3. ^ sustained cyber attack in June (inews.co.uk)
  4. ^ handbook for MPs and their staff (www.parliament.uk)
  5. ^ House of Commons Staff Handbook on Information Security Responsibilities (www.parliament.uk)