An international hacking group targeted the Foreign Office in a campaign lasting several months, cyber security experts have revealed. The Callisto Group are highly motivated and well resourced and thought to be involved in intelligence gathering about foreign and security policy. Cyber security firm F-Secure claimed the group s infrastructure has links with Russia, China and Ukraine, but did not offer any definitive conclusions about who was behind Callisto. The Foreign Office (FCO) was one of the organisations targeted by Callisto in 2016, with other targets including military personnel, government officials, think tanks and journalists in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Erka Koivunen, chief information security officer at F-Secure said: We do not have enough data to determine what exactly the Callisto Group were doing with the FCO, or whether any activity concerning them was successfully executed. However, we do have indicators that the FCO were targeted by the Callisto Group.
The Government faces tens of thousands of cyber attacks every month and is aware of several established, capable state and state-sponsored groups seeking to penetrate UK networks. The active cyber defence (ACD) programme developed by the Government is aimed at blocking attacks before they reach their intended recipient. In a report on Callisto s activities, F-Secure said that in October 2015 the group used phishing techniques sending emails purporting to come from Google suggesting that their Gmail accounts were about to be closed to harvest security credentials. In early 2016 spear phishing emails with malicious attachments appearing to be from people known to the recipient were sent in highly targeted attacks aimed at government officials, military targets, think tanks and journalists.
The malware contained in the attacks would have enabled Callisto to gather basic information and screenshots but also install further software which could have given the group full remote access to the machine and its data. While the targeting would suggest that the main benefactor of the Callisto Group s activity is a nation state with specific interest in the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus regions, the link to infrastructure used for the sale of controlled substances hints at the involvement of a criminal element, the report said. One potential explanation was that Callisto is a cyber crime group with ties to a nation state, such as acting on behalf of or for the benefit of a government agency but it was not possible to make any definitive assertions , F-Secure concluded.
Cyber security firm F-Secure claimed the Callisto Group s infrastructure has links with Russia, China and Ukraine (PA) A National Cyber Security Centre spokesman said: The first duty of Government is to safeguard the nation and as the technical authority on cyber security, the NCSC is delivering ground breaking innovations to make the UK the toughest online target in the world. Emails are the main path for most attacks and usually rely on an abuse of trust by spoofing well-known brands .
The Government s ACD programme is developing services to block, prevent and neutralise attacks before they reach inboxes.
These measures are being trialled on government systems to prove effectiveness before we ask industry to implement them.
HOOPS OF STEEL
The Scottish champions are holding urgent talks with police, Foreign Office officials and UEFA following the coach blast
CELTIC are in talks with police forces at home and abroad after they launched an urgent review of security after the Borussia Dortmund team bus blast. The Champions League-bound club is holding urgent talks with police, Foreign Office officials and UEFA in the wake of the terror attack on the German football giant.
The bomb blast hit the team bus as it made its way to a Champions League match and the Glasgow club has vowed to keep fans and players safe. They have made the moves amid fears footballers have become a target.
A letter left at the scene of Tuesday s crime scene warned crusader sports idols and celebs are now on a death list. Clubs across Europe are on high alert after the triple bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund s team bus on Tuesday evening.1
BRAWL IS FORGIVEN
CITY CENTRE BLOODBATH
SCOTTISH SUN SAYS
‘I m disgusted’
‘THEY WERE HYSTERICAL’
STAB DEATH AN ACCIDENT
‘I can’t unsee it’
Celtic head of security Ronnie Hawthorn said: The safety and security of our players, staff and fans is our highest priority.
The club is aware of this week s events in Europe and we are liaising closely with Police Scotland on security matters for home fixtures and foreign police forces as well as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for future away fixtures.
We are also closely liaising with UEFA on these matters . UEFA risk assess each match individually and act accordingly. The SPFL has also said it is aware of the need for clubs to remains vigilant and said they will stay in close contact with Police Scotland.
Police escort Dortmund team coach
A spokesman added: Whilst Scottish football has been free from such incidents, we continue to encourage clubs to give due consideration to reprehensible events like those we saw this week.
Clubs are aware of the need to remain vigilant regarding these activities and to work closely with Police Scotland on player and fan security as a key priority. It has already been revealed Manchester United players will have unprecedented protection for their Eu r opa League quarterfinal clash with Anderlecht in Brussels. Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins also moved to reassure.
He said: Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe and we regularly review policing plans around major events, including sporting fixtures.
We frequently liaise with the Scottish Football Association and clubs to address concerns on a local or national basis.
There is absolutely no intelligence or assessment to suggest Scotland is going to be the target of a terrorist attack, be that at a sporting event or otherwise.
However, there is also no room for complacency and that is why our plans are under constant review.
I would urge the public to remain alert and report any concerns or suspicious activity to the police. Armed police will shadow Manchester United s team bus on Brussels streets2 supported by snipers and helicopters.
Cops surround coach
Security services launched the major operation to protect the Red Devils as they flew into the Belgian capital following the bomb attack in Germany on Tuesday. Dortmund s Marc Bartra, 26, was injured by glass and shrapnel in the assault, which saw the game with Monaco rearranged for last night.
Anti-terror investigators were yesterday hunting a car with Belgian registration plates seen near the German team s hotel before the pipe bomb blasts set off by remote control.
Cops have arrested a 25-year-old from Wuppertal not far from Dortmund and the second suspect is a German, 28, from Froenderburg, near Unna, also in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
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- ^ triple bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund s team bus on Tuesday evening. (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ shadow Manchester United s team bus on Brussels streets (www.thesun.co.uk)
A 1.4m grant has been given towards paying for the huge security operation for the Champions League final being held in Cardiff. The UK Government has approved a Special Grant application made by the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner to cover the additional costs of policing the game.
The grant had been applied for before the attack in Westminster a fortnight ago. The final will be held at the Principality Stadium which will be renamed The National Stadium of Wales for the event.
Security measures were ramped up at UEFA Euro 2016 in France (Photo: Getty Images Europe)
The city is set to see 250,000 fans in the city in the week of the final and police have said it will be their biggest operation ever. The amount of security in the city will be unprecedented . The number of officers is not expected to exceed the huge operation for Nato but the amount of security measures are likely to be bigger in the wake of terror attacks around the world. Staff working near the stadium have been warned they will need to carry identification and could be searched at any point in the build up.
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How to get your Champions League Final tickets
There will also be a focus on hostile vehicle mitigation around the city. Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: Cardiff has consistently proven its calibre in delivering high profile events on an international stage . The eyes of the world will once again be upon us as we prepare to host the Champions League finals.
The safety and security of the hundreds of thousands of people set to flood into the city and surrounding areas at this time is of paramount importance.
Security fencing erected for the Nato summit
“The UK Government is determined to ensure that Wales, and the UK, are seen in the best possible light on the worldwide stage and the policing of the event will be crucial in achieving this.
I am delighted that we have been able to provide this funding for South Wales Police.
“I know the whole city is looking forward to giving visiting supporters a wonderful welcome at what will be a safe and successful Champions League final later this year. Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Brandon Lewis said: I am pleased to confirm that 1.4million in special grant funding has been allocated to support South Wales Police at the Champions League final in Cardiff.
An increased police presence on the streets of Cardiff on the eve of the NATO Summit (Photo: Western Mail)
“I am sure it will be a fantastic event for the city of Cardiff to host.
The UK Government has protected police funding since the 2015 Spending Review and it is right that in exceptional circumstances we provide additional resources in order to make sure we keep our communities safe and secure.
Mr Cairns added: “Wales has never seen a sporting event on this scale . The only event that comes close to the police security requirement was that of NATO.
“NATO was a security driven initiative . This is about being open and welcoming to the public to ensure that people who come to Cardiff, can be safe here and be supported admirably by the local police force to ensure that the event is a fantastic festival for Cardiff and the UK.
“We have been in discussions with South Wales Police for some time over resources that are needed in order to make sure that the Champions League is a great success for Cardiff, Wales and the UK.
“The special grant had been awarded to South Wales Police to ensure that its the showcase that we want it to be to demonstrate we are a global nation.
“This will have hundreds of millions of viewers and we are determined to show that Cardiff is an open and welcoming place.”