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12m security bill for North East hospitals as thousands of staff and …

Health bosses have spent more than 12million on security in the last five years amid a rise in attacks on NHS staff and patients. A total of 4,249 physical and non-verbal assaults were recorded at hospitals in the North East between April 2012 and March last year – an average of two a day.

NHS1 chiefs said attacks on its workers and patients were completely unacceptable . Figures released through a Freedom of Information request show The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spent 5,083,009 on security during the five years.

And the trust, which runs Royal Victoria Infirmary2 and Freeman Hospital3, recorded 208 physical incidents in 2012, but this rose to 249 five years later – a 20% increase. A trust spokesman said: The safety of our patients and staff is the trust s first priority and we take any incidents of aggression or violence towards staff very seriously.

The trust s annual security spend covers the security provision for all of our hospital sites and we have a number of schemes in place to help maintain the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff.

Read More

The County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which spent 3,107,252 on security, saw a huge 61% increase in the number of physical attacks at its hospitals. It recorded 147 incidents in 2012/13 but 238 assaults were reported five years later.

The RVI in Newcastle

A trust spokesman said: Our security team works around the clock, seven days a week, and has a number of responsibilities, principally protecting our buildings and facilities across several sites.

No one should ever feel at risk of attack while at work and we take the safety of our colleagues very seriously . We have policies, guidance and support in place designed to ensure they are kept as safe as possible.

We also have robust processes for the occasions when they feel threatened to give them appropriate help and support quickly. The figures show the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust spent 3,073,082 on security over five years, while 699 physical and non-verbal attacks were reported.

Meanwhile, the South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust said its security budget is set a 400,000 a year, meaning it could have spent up to 2m between April 2012 and March last year. During this period, health bosses recorded 553 incidents at its hospitals.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead

A joint statement from the South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group, which runs hospital services in South Tyneside and Sunderland, said: The safety and security of our patients, visitors and staff is always a priority and we have security measures in place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at South Tyneside District Hospital4, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

We do not tolerate violent or abusive behaviour of any kind across our organisations and take a very proactive approach to make sure that we meet the highest security standards and protect people within our care.

The majority of security incidents reported are minor, but we have robust security procedures in place to ensure that any incident can be dealt with quickly and by working closely with the police where necessary.

Read More

The figures also revealed Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, spent 1.504,692 on security and recorded 780 incidents. Andy Colwell, who manages facilities and security at QE Gateshead, said: Our security team play a vital role in the hospital in protecting staff from abuse, but also providing support and assistance to the public.

It s important to note that a large proportion of violence against NHS staff in Gateshead is by patients who are unwell with diminished capability, so we need to provide specialist support, training and the appropriate level of intervention and protection .

At the hospital we also have a full range of panic alarms, security equipment and CCTV to help ensure the safety of staff and the public.

The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust refused to disclose how much money it spent on security.

References

  1. ^ NHS (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  2. ^ Royal Victoria Infirmary (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  3. ^ Freeman Hospital (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  4. ^ South Tyneside District Hospital (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)

Armed robbers attack guard and steal cash from security van at Plymouth Tesco store

Armed robbers attacked a guard and stole cash from security van at a Plymouth Tesco store today, police have confirmed.

UPDATE: Tesco Robbery: Police hunt for ‘silver Vauxhall Astra’ driven by masked raiders1

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police were called at around 10.30am to Tesco Express on Alexandra Road in Mutley in Plymouth, following reports of a robbery from a security van at the location.

Read More

The Tesco in Alexandra Road reopened at lunchtime on Wednesday

Two cash boxes are alleged to have been taken from the van.

“A security guard was hit with a metal bar, however, did not require medical attention.
A search is currently ongoing to locate three men seen fleeing the scene.

Read More

The Tesco Express in Alexandra Road

Police have not yet revealed how much cash was taken or descriptions of the three men seen fleeing the scene.

UPDATE: Tesco Robbery: Police hunt for ‘silver Vauxhall Astra’ driven by masked raiders2

Follow our dedicated live blog3 for the latest updates.

References

  1. ^ Tesco Robbery: Police hunt for ‘silver Vauxhall Astra’ driven by masked raiders (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)
  2. ^ Tesco Robbery: Police hunt for ‘silver Vauxhall Astra’ driven by masked raiders (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)
  3. ^ dedicated live blog (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)

Apple iOS 11 security ‘downgrade’ decried as ‘horror show’

After rapidly patching a flaw1 that allowed anyone with access to a High Sierra Mac to obtain administrative control, Apple still has more work to do to make its software secure, namely iOS 11, it was claimed this week. Oleg Afonin, a security researcher for password-cracking forensic IT biz Elcomsoft, in a blog post2 on Wednesday called iOS 11 “a horror story” due to changes the fruit-themed firm made to its mobile operating system that stripped away a stack of layered defenses. What’s left, he argued, is a single point of failure: the iOS device passcode.

With an iOS device and its passcode a barrier but not a particularly strong one an attacker can gain access not only to the device, but to a variety of linked cloud services and any other hardware associated with the device owner’s Apple ID. Before the release of iOS 11, Alfonin explained in a phone interview with The Register, there were several layers of protection in iOS.

“I feel they were pretty adequate for what they were,” he said. “It seems like Apple abandoned all the layers except the passcode . Now the entire protection scheme depends on that one thing.”

What changed was the iOS device backup password in iTunes . In iOS 10 and earlier, users could set a unique password to secure an encrypted backup copy of the data on an iPhone . That password travelled with the hardware and if you attempted to connect the iPhone to a different computer in order to make another backup via iTunes, you’d have to supply the same backup password.

In iOS 11, everything changed . As Apple explains in its Knowledge Base3, “With iOS 11 or later, you can make a new encrypted backup of your device by resetting the password.”

That’s a security problem because device backups made through iTunes contain far more data than would be available just through an unlocked iPhone . And that data can be had through the sort of forensic tools Elcomsoft and other companies sell.

“Once an intruder gains access to the user s iPhone and knows (or recovers) the passcode, there is no single extra layer of protection left,” Alfonin explains in his post. “Everything (and I mean, everything) is now completely exposed . Local backups, the keychain, iCloud lock, Apple account password, cloud backups and photos, passwords from the iCloud Keychain, call logs, location data, browsing history, browser tabs and even the user s original Apple ID password are quickly exposed.”

So the risk goes beyond the compromised phone and any associated Apple devices: Apple’s iCloud Keychain could include, say, Google or Microsoft passwords. Alfonin in his post suggested “Apple gave up” in the wake of complaints from police, the FBI, and users . Asked whether he had any reason to believe the change was made to appease authorities, he said, “I don’t believe this was made for the police . I believe it was just user complaints.”

Nonetheless, the iOS change has significant implications for those who deal with authorities, at border crossings for example.

“If I cross the border, I may be forced to reveal my passcode,” he said, noting that many thousands of electronic device searches happen every year.

With that passcode, authorities could create their own device backup and store it, which would allow them to go back and extract passwords unrelated to the device itself later on. “If that happens they have access to everything, every password I have,” he said. Alfonin said with iOS 11, Apple’s entire protection scheme has fallen apart . He likened the situation to the 2014 iCloud hack known as Celebgate4.

“Those iCloud accounts were protected with just passwords,” said Alfonin. “We have a similar situation today . If it’s just one single thing, then it’s not adequate protection.”

To fix the issue, Alfonin suggests going back to the way things were. “It was a perfectly balanced system,” he said. “I don’t think anybody complained seriously . The ability to reset an iTunes Backup password is not necessary .

If they revert it back to the way it was in iOS 10, that would be perfect.”

Of course, this is just Alfonin and Elcomsoft’s opinion . Others in the world of infosec were not convinced by his arguments for example, Dino Dai Zovi, cofounder of cloud security biz Capsulate8, was having none of it:

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

PS: Apple’s iPhone X shares face scans with apps, which has some people worried5 . Also, if you have installed the password-less root security patch on macOS 10.13.0, and then upgraded to 10.13.1, make sure you reinstall the patch Apple’s Software Update mechanism should do this automatically and reboot .

The upgrade from .0 to .1 nukes6 the emergency fix.

Sponsored: Journey to a cloud phone system7

References

  1. ^ rapidly patching a flaw (www.theregister.co.uk)
  2. ^ blog post (blog.elcomsoft.com)
  3. ^ Knowledge Base (support.apple.com)
  4. ^ Celebgate (en.wikipedia.org)
  5. ^ has some people worried (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ nukes (www.wired.com)
  7. ^ Journey to a cloud phone system (go.theregister.com)