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International hackers targeted Foreign Office, cyber security experts reveal

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.

International Hackers Targeted Foreign Office, Cyber Security Experts Reveal

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.

International Hackers Targeted Foreign Office, Cyber Security Experts RevealCyber 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.

Evil rapist who screamed at victim from dock then punched security guard is jailed for life

An evil rapist who screamed at his victim from the dock before punching a security officer has been sentenced to life. Neil Anthony Thompson, 28, subjected his victim to a nightmare ordeal after following her home and climbing through her window armed with a knife. During a 30-minute attack Thompson threatened to kill her more than once.

It ended only when the brave victim managed to escape and run naked to a neighbour for help. Her incredible bravery continued at Manchester Minshull Crown Court1 on Thursday when she was interrupted during her statement by a shouting and swearing Thompson. Attacking the guard beside him, Thompson shouted at his victim as he tried to break free from the dock – while stunned officials in Court Seven sounded the alarm for help.

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However, after a brief struggle, the convicted attacker was placed in a headlock and led to the cells to calm down. The hearing was adjourned until the afternoon, when Thompson emerged again to be given a life sentence. Afterwards, his defiant victim told the M.E.N: What he did in court just shows the type of person he is.

Neil Anthony Thompson has been jailed for life

I don t regret facing him in court – I wanted to look him in the eye and tell him what he d done to me and my family.

I ve got my life ahead of me and I won t let what he did define me . This is closure.

Earlier, Phil Barnes, prosecuting, told the court how Thompson, of Oswald Road, Chorlton2, followed his victim home on November 12 last year. She was sitting on her bed texting her boyfriend when Thompson burst into her room armed with a knife. He shouted at her to give him all her money , before ordering her to undress.

What followed was a gratuitous, brutal, sustained and violent series of sexual assaults which left her shaking and terrified for her life . The ordeal only came to an end when the victim bravely fled the house chased by Thompson, but she managed to get help from a neighbour who called the police. Detectives followed a trail of fingerprints, footprints and DNA evidence to a nearby bail hostel three days later.

On arrest, Thompson complained about being interrupted while watching a pornographic site and insisted he had been home alone taking cannabis and spice on the night of the attack. Only when confronted with the undeniable evidence did Thompson admit rape, attempted rape, three charges of sexual assault, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence and burglary. Sentencing Thompson to life with a chance to apply for parole after eight years, Judge Tina Landale said Thompson had shown no remorse and couldn t care less about the impact of his behaviour . She said he could apply for parole in eight years, but added: However, you are an extremely dangerous man and it s possible you may never be released.

Minshull Street Crown Court

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Defending, Thomas McKail said Thompson was appalled by his outburst in court and had in fact been trying to apologise to his victim. He added: There is no amount of apology or remorse that will begin to make amends for the damage caused to the complainant and her family. He said his client recalled following her home but cannot remember the attack .

As a career burglar, much of his life had been spent behind bars and he had been institutionalised, he added. Det Sgt Rebecca Mills, of GMP s Trafford borough, said: This is one of the most horrendous incidents I have been involved with investigating and the details of it will no doubt send cold shivers down the spines of anyone who hears them. Praising the courage of Thompson s victim, she added: I would like to thank her and pay tribute to her for this bravery, and I just hope the significant sentence passed today will bring her some comfort to know that her help has taken a dangerous man off the streets and seen justice served.

‘There is no way someone like that should ever be allowed to walk the streets again’

The victim of Neil Anthony Thompson showed incredibly bravery – first escaping his evil clutches, then helping police with their investigation – and finally facing him in court. On Thursday she saw him jailed for life and shared her relief that he can t hurt anybody else.

I don t have the words to describe how I feel about Neil . The overriding feeling is anger . He doesn t deserve to ever be let out . There is no way that someone like that should ever be allowed to walk the streets again.

There are a lot of cases where rapists aren t caught, where people haven t come forward because they might be afraid of the police not believing them.

I want to say if anyone has had a similar thing happen to them, come forward . If I hadn t come forward this person would still be out there, doing what he did to me to other people.

My life has changed now . It s affected me, my family, my health .

I m coming to terms with it, with wondering why me ? I m not going to be able to answer that.

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I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks . I worry a lot now, I ve very nervous about situations . I m now very shy around people I don t know . I was shy when I was younger but I managed to get over that and this has brought it all back home.

A couple of weeks ago I felt like I couldn t cope any more . Everyone in my life has been affected, even though it happened to me.

The emotional effects on my mum where she started to suffer badly with anxiety and depression . She doesn t really sleep or eat.

My relationship with my dad is now also very strained . We rarely speak now and he has been very distant from me . I think he is struggling to come to terms with what happened.

When I m walking about on my own outside I feel as though I m now on high alert, constantly looking over my shoulder and about, in a way, suspecting everyone I come across on the street.

Before Neil did what he did I was in my second year of university .

But after this, I couldn t even get myself out of bed to find the energy or the mental strength to go into uni . As a direct result of Neil, I left university and I am no longer in full time education while I try to focus on putting my life back together.

I now share a flat with girls who have been through similar things in their lives . I m worried what is going to come next for me, emotionally .

But now I have closure and I want to get on with my life.

References

  1. ^ Manchester Minshull Crown Court (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Oswald Road, Chorlton (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)

JLR heist gang brazenly passed through security before incredible …

A gang brazenly swept past security before stealing around 3 MILLION of engines from Jaguar Land Rover s Solihull1 plant.

Sources say that the crooks used a suspected stolen HGV lorry in the audacious heist – which took place in full view of security cameras at the Lode Lane plant. The gang unloaded the 40-tonne truck in Coventry – and police have launched an urgent investigation.

Jaguar Land Rover2 has posted a reward to catch the crooks who stole engines initially understood to be worth around 3 million. One source said: How they got the lorry in and out so quickly is quite some story.

We heard the lorry came in at 10.30pm on Tuesday through gates at D1 then drove to the Lagoons depot.

We were told a trailer was attached and was full of new engines . That lorry was in and out of the plant in six minutes.

Later that night the same lorry came back and did it all over again . It attached another wagon and then it drove out past the security guards and that wagon was not seen again all night .

But we have heard that the driver had the yellow documents he needed so he could show the security guards on the way out, without having to be searched.

He could already of had them on him when he entered the plant, or perhaps he got them when in there.

JLR site in Lode Lane Solihull

The engines that are gone are dealt with by Land Rover employees, they are usually stored in a building . The ones that have ben taken were already in trailers . Either they were due to go somewhere or were due to be moved somewhere on site.”

The source added: If that is true, then the wagons must have been full . About 40 engines can fit in a wagon . The heist had been kept under wraps . We believe that only senior security staff and management have known about it, they are shocked at how it has happened . The company pulled in all the managers to a meeting to find out what had gone wrong.

“The ordinary workers probably knew nothing about it.

The site is clearly not as secure as it should be.

Insiders say the stolen lorry arrived at the Lode Lane depot at 10.30pm on Tuesday and entered through the security-manned D1 gate. The HGV then drove to the Lagoons depot and hooked up to a trailer containing the car engines, before driving out . The crime took just six minutes, say sources. A source said: It is a massive thing for the company . They have never lost this quantity of stock of this value before and they have their own security people as well as paying a security company, Mitie, to watch over site as well.

We don t think they have ever had anything this big or expensive taken .

We heard something massive had happened and it was not the little stuff, but the big stuff that had gone.

West Midlands Police is due to issue a statement shortly.

References

  1. ^ Solihull (www.coventrytelegraph.net)
  2. ^ Jaguar Land Rover (www.coventrytelegraph.net)