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Gunmen target Egypt truck convoy, nine killed: medical, security sources

CAIRO (Reuters) – Suspected militants shot dead at least nine truck drivers in Egypt’s Sinai region late on Thursday when they targeted a transport convoy, setting the vehicles on fire, medical and security sources said on Friday. Egypt’s security forces have since 2014 been battling an Islamic State affiliate in northern Sinai, where militants have mostly hit police and soldiers but also occasionally targeted infrastructure and businesses. Two security sources in al-Arish, the area capital, said armed men attacked the convoy, which was carrying coal to a cement factory.

The bodies of the truck drivers, all shot to death, were taken to the morgue of Suez public hospital, four medical sources said. A military spokesman said there was no official statement . An interior ministry official did not respond to a request for information.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

“They have threatened us repeatedly, asking that we don’t work for the army’s companies . We informed the factory management of the threats and asked them for more protection,” one local truck driver, Ismail Abdel-Raouf, told Reuters. Hundreds of police and soldiers have been killed since the insurgency quickened pace in northern Sinai after the 2013 ouster by the military of then-president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood during massive protests against his rule.

A home-grown jihadist group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, declared allegiance to Islamic State in 2014 and has since tried to spread outside the peninsula by targeting Christians with attacks on churches on the mainland. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who presents himself as a bulwark against militants in the Middle East, has said Islamic State fighters might try to enter Libya and Egypt after their defeats in Iraq and Syria. Security forces have also faced attacks in the western desert region bordering Libya, where security sources say a former Egyptian special forces officer turned jihadist allied to al Qaeda was responsible for an ambush on a police operation last month.

(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Ahmed Tolba, Mohamed Abdellah; Writing by Patrick Markey; editing by John Stonestreet)

‘Sacked’ Tesco security guard stages 20 hour rooftop protest in Reading

A former security guard who claims he was sacked from his local Tesco1 after being falsely accused of stealing has spent hours protesting on the store’s roof. Adama Jammeh, 46, from Reading, climbed onto the girders above the checkouts in the Tesco Extra on Thursday night. By 2pm on Friday, he had been up there for more than 20 hours.

The store was evacuated just after 6pm on Thursday after Mr Jammeh, a father-of-two was spotted climbing up to the celing rafters. He has been protesting outside the store for six months

He has been protesting just outside of the Reading West Tesco store since he was fired six months ago. According to the Reading Chronicle, the ex-watchman was the subject of a year-long investigation by Thames Valley Police after he was accused of stealing electronics by Tesco and contractor Total Security Services . Although he was cleared by police, Mr Jammeh said Tesco refused to apologise and reinstate him in his old role.

He has been seen carrying signs reading “Total Security Services LTD & Tesco lied about me” and demanding Tesco CEO Dave Lewis come to the store and explain why he has been fired.

In a Facebook live stream, Mr Jammeh said: “I’ve been protesting here for six months . The Tesco CEO needs to come here and explain to me why I lost my job.

“They told a tribunal they caught me stealing . But why were the police not called ? How come I wasn’t arrested ? There was no evidence.

“I’ve got kids . This affected my whole family.. .

My wife, my mum, my kids: everyone.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident at our Reading West Extra store and are assisting police with the matter.”

A TSS spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident involving a former employee of Total Security Services and are assisting police and Tesco in this matter.”

Thames Valley Police said the incident is ongoing.

References

  1. ^ Tesco (standard.co.uk)

Cyber security: Policing the internet

Yorkshire is waging a war on criminals who could wreak havoc on the UK s economy. Sometimes it pays to be slightly paranoid . In an age when crippling cyber-attacks can be launched from a teenager s bedroom, there is much to be said for creating a chain of distrust to protect yourself and your colleagues. A Yorkshire seminar about the rise of ransomware a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid heard that many firms still needed to take tougher action to vet files and data that could have been sent by criminals. Earlier this year, more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries were infected with the WannaCry ransomware virus after a cyber-attack crippled organisations, government agencies and global companies. The NHS was also badly affected . Some 47 trusts in England including a number in Yorkshire and 13 Scottish health boards were compromised when the virus targeted computers with outdated security.

This crisis provided food for thought when experts in the field of cybersecurity gathered at the Leeds head office of smart telecommunications business aql, whose CEO, Dr Adam Beaumont, is the regional business champion for CiSP, the Cyber Information Sharing Partnership. CisP is a national initiative operated by CERT, the Computer Emergency Response Team, which is part of the Cabinet office. One of the speakers, Thomas Chappelow, the director of Leeds-based Nimbox, a provider of cloud-based secure file collaboration and storage tools, said companies could make ransomware attacks pointless by securing data in a chain of distrust . He said companies should never take for granted where a file has been. Stuart Hyde, the regional leader for CiSP, who was appointed by aql, said there was every likelihood of further attacks, although not necessarily of the same type as the attack which hit the NHS. He said: It s a call out to say these types of attacks can occur and there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself.

Attacks do take place in Yorkshire and the Humber, but luckily we ve got quite a good level of skills to be able to tackle some of those. A number of Yorkshire firms are doing their bit to thwart cybercriminals of all sizes. The Leeds-based technical marketing agency SALT.agency has expanded its services into cybersecurity by releasing a CyberScanner service. CyberScanner is a tool designed by SALT.agency s in-house team which has the ability to scan and analyse websites to test thousands of security vulnerabilities. John Ward, director of operations at SALT.agency, said: Yorkshire is a diverse and forward-thinking region that s attracting some of the most talented people in the industry . It stands the chance of becoming a leader in cybersecurity.

However, he warned that many sizeable businesses were still being complacent about the issue. He said: There s always going to be some sort of hole in the net that will let in the sharks and of course, the bigger the net, the more damage there is going to be. He believes that many leading professionals are unaware of the risks of using unsecure wifi in public places. He recalled: A member of our team set out to simply capture all the wifi signals in a well-known coffee shop in Leeds, to see what we could discover . We found about 85 per cent of all the traffic that came from laptops was unprotected, so we could see exactly which websites they were visiting, and over 72 per cent of the mobile traffic was the same. Although the majority of people were looking at websites like the BBC and LadBible, two per cent contained sensitive information including websites, passwords and other personal information.

Although a number of people use VPN apps (virtual private networks) to communicate, there are still a surprising amount of people who don t. There might only be a handful of companies dedicated to cybersecurity throughout the region, but it s the damage prevention that will really help the economy grow . Cybercrime cost UK businesses 29bn last year and that s not acceptable . Businesses close and people lose their jobs because of preventable security flaws and mild negligence . Take those issues away and we re set for a bright future. David Wall, professor of criminology at Leeds University, believes that smaller SMEs sometimes lack computer security awareness.

He said: Nation-state attacks tend to be on infrastructure, like utilities and other services . Britain seems to be well equipped to counter such attacks, although you do not hear about many of these. Businesses and organisations can be attacked, but they do seem to have, or they are developing, business continuity plans . The recent WannaCry ransomware attack was a major wake-up call with regard to cyber-attacks in the region. Prof Wall believes Yorkshire has built up a critical mass of talented people who can send cybercriminals packing. He added: We have a history of developing experience in this area . Don t forget that we have had a number of major online banking and finance businesses in the region for many years, and the security experience from these has helped motivate others to think about cybersecurity. We have also had the two main universities in Leeds working on different aspects of cyber-security. It is now 20 years since Leeds University first started researching and teaching cyberlaw and cybercrimes, subjects that have remained popular ever since.

Leeds Beckett has recently developed a cybersecurity unit in its computing department and there is also expertise in Sheffield Hallam University. David Porter, the cybercrime investigator at Yorkshire & Humber Regional Cybercrime Team, added: The businesses I have interacted with across the region take cybersecurity seriously, and invest heavily in their systems, processes and people to safeguard personal data, business infrastructure and their clients. Recent events in the UK have tested organisations and businesses, but it s a testament to their approach to cybersecurity that there has been minimal impact in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire s businesses are increasingly exposed to cyber-attacks, accidental breaches, and an ever-changing regulatory environment, according to Thomas Chappelow of Nimbox, which specialises in protecting confidential data. Mr Chappelow said: According to the Government s 2017 Cyber Security Breaches Survey, just under half of all UK businesses admitted at least one cybersecurity breach or attack in the last 12 months . This number rises to two-thirds among medium-sized and large firms . In short, cyber-breaches affect most businesses. We are living in an age of big data , whether we re prepared for it or not . We re all collecting more and more data, without necessarily adapting our business systems and processes to protect.

We started our company in Yorkshire, because we saw an opportunity to tap into the huge pool of both qualified and aspiring and I dare say, underused cyber-professionals in the region . In Leeds, we have access to three university cybersecurity centres, filled with academics who produce valuable research into the issues we re all facing; a vibrant technology hub; and a specialist police unit that helps businesses to fight back against the tide of attacks.