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Glastonbury Festival security guard reveals how life has changed since dancing with Katy Perry

When one of his colleagues needed to answer a call of nature, Glastonbury Festival1 security guard number 188 stepped in to the breach. Little did Darren Astall from Yeovil2 know, this decision was about to put him at the centre of one of this year’s most memorable moments from Worthy Farm. Darren was working as part of the Specialized Security team over the weekend when he found himself policing the crowd from the side of the Pyramid Stage as American superstar singer Katy Perry3 belted out a selection of her hits.

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What next for Glastonbury beyond 2018?

As she came to the climax of Chained to the Rhythm, Katy decided to explore the extremities of the stage and that’s when Darren gained global attention. As he watched over the crowd, he turned to find himself face-to-face with a dancing Katy and he immediately busted out some moves with her. Instantly, he became a global star and Somerset Live caught up with Darren to see how the last 48 hours have changed his life.

At first, Darren thought that it might not have been noticed but that was wishful thinking . He explained: “The ones in the pit the area at the front of the stage is called the pit, those guys were all facing forwards . Some of the girls at the other end of the stage out the corner of the eye could see what had happened and they were nudging one another.

“Once the set had ended, there was about a fifteen minute delay until I could get off the stage and get round the back . At this point everyone took one look at me and started to laugh and wiggling their backsides at me . There was quite a few jealous people that s for sure.”

Katy goes for a stroll stage right

Despite showing that he was a natural mover, Darren is expecting to be invited to be a dancer on Katy Perry’s next tour . He joked: “Let s just say that I m not holding my breath for a phone call, that s for sure.

“I was showing her a bit of Somerset hospitality, what we ve got to offer here.”

It seemed that Katy liked what she saw . With 1.4 million views of her Instagram video of the moment, she declared it her favourite moment,writing: “Nothing says a genuine good time like when security busts a move with u on the fly (sic)”.

Darren shows Katy he they dance in Somerset

Being a dancing security guard is not Darren’s day job, as he is actually a civil servant in Bristol . He explains how he ended up on the security staff of major music festivals.

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He said: “A mate got me involved with the company, Specialized Security, six years ago and said do you fancy coming along as they re looking for volunteers, they ll pay for your food.

“I thought, yeah why not, let s go for it . I started off doing Reading Festival and so far this year I ve done Download Festival, which was a couple weeks ago . They re one of the big players in the event stewarding market.”

That’s not how you do it, this is how you do it

So, how long was it before Darren had realised that he had caused a sensation across the world ? It would seem there was a delay due to the lack of mobile signal on site. He continued: “It happened on Saturday but there s no signal because you’ve got a couple hundred thousand people there, so the phone wasn t going off or anything.

“When I got to the end of the shift, I turned the data back on, at which point there were text messages, Facebook notifications and everything else and there s been a steady stream coming though ever since Saturday afternoon really.

“It became one of the iconic images of the festival, me doing the dance.”

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Darren said that it was all “a little bit awe inspiring” but it didn’t stop there though . With a taste for showing the world what he can do, Darren was part of the security crew that pulled out their best John Travolta moves for Stayin’ Alive during Barry Gibb’s legends set. Darren revealed: “Luckily for me I wasn t on the camera for that one because they would have seen how badly I could ve danced . I was in the same spot at the side of the stage but the camera didn t pan on me, luckily enough.”

The Pyramid Stage crowd loved it when the security danced as one and while it seemed a smooth piece of choreography, it was actually a last minute decision.

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“Literally it was Saturday afternoon when we found out that we were going to have to do it . We didn t start learning it until Sunday morning first thing, as our shift started at ten o clock and took every chance in the breaks we had to try and learn the dance.

“As you can imagine, most of us were like oh my god, how are we going to do this ? We thought there’s be no drinking on Saturday night as this was going to get more difficult and we would have no chance of getting through this.”

Perform it they did though and it raised one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon when it appeared on the big screens behind Barry Gibb.

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BBC Radio 2 breakfast show host Chris Evans, hailed Darren as his new hero because he seemed to “go with the flow” and there has been attention from the other side of the world, as his encounter with Katy reached Australia and the United States. Darren admitted: “I m not sure I am a global phenomenon but I definitely created a talking point.”

That’s probably the understatement of the festival and one that he will probably speaking about for a number of years to come . Well, at least until 2019, when he might light up the next Glastonbury Festival4 with more impromptu body shapes.


  1. ^ Glastonbury Festival (
  2. ^ Yeovil (
  3. ^ Katy Perry (
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Microsoft: We’ll beef up security, admin tools in Windows 10 Creators Edition Fall Update

The next big update to Windows 10 Creators Edition is out in the Fall1 and Redmond is hyping up its security chops and admin tools. For a start, we’re told Windows Defender will be extended from client to Microsoft’s server operating systems . In addition, Redmond is adding Windows Defender Exploit Guard and Application Guard to the security suite and updating its Device Guard and Defender Antivirus software. Exploit Guard is basically Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) security software reworked for the new operating system . Last year Microsoft was forecasting the death of EMET, but now it appears it has listened to advice from its users2 and security experts3 that the code should be retained.

“We love EMET so much we built it fully into Windows 10,” Rob Lefferts, director of the Windows and Devices Group, told The Register. “Everything you could do with EMET you can do with Exploit Guard.”

Exploit Guard will come with new rules designed to detect unauthorized system access, and will take advice from Microsoft’s security center in real time . Redmond even says it will protect against zero day exploits. Application Guard is designed to work with the browser to detect whether local users have downloaded or installed code that they shouldn’t . The new code will lock any infection onto a local machine to stop it spreading, and notify the security team that something has gone seriously amiss.

Device Guard is getting an upgrade and uses whitelisting to keep dodgy software off PCs . Lefferts said that Microsoft is working with developers to constantly update the whitelists and ensure that legitimate code will run without a problem. On the pure antivirus side, IT admins running Defender will get a new security analytics screen that will use data from all Microsoft customers to advise on potential or incoming threats . APIs will also be released so third-party app vendors can use the same information to secure their apps.

Autopilot for Admins

Also new in the update is a suite called Windows Autopilot, which is a set of custom tools for IT admins designed to make their lives easier. In addition to the new security features, Microsoft is augmenting the Autopilot computer setup program that works with Azure and Intune to configure enterprise PC farms . A new Autopilot Reset function lets admins wipe a PC for example if someone leaves the company without wiping out all the settings, just the non-essential local content. Redmond will also begin putting out updates for its mobile device management suite to allow better integration with Windows 10 . The tools will now give regular update progress reports to IT controllers and will add support for Active Directory domain-joined devices .

There’s also support for configuring and locking down kiosks running Windows. A new update to the Windows Analytics package include a category known as Device Health . This scans the PCs on a network, noting bad configurations or missing updates and alerting staff.

Sponsored: How Artificial Intelligence Will Secure the 21st Century4


  1. ^ in the Fall (
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Meet London’s new cyber security hack-busting squad

Cyber attacks are the virtual reality that has just got real . On Friday, hackers suspected of being Russian broke into parliament, in a sustained and determined attack that compromised the network. Using software that reportedly used brute force to overwhelm and guess passwords, only 90 email accounts were breached before the attack was rebuffed, but the UK s defences are looking flimsy against a rising tide of online attacks . Last month, the NHS-crippling WannaCry1 virus crippled dozens of health trusts as computers were frozen . University College London was hit by a major ransomware attack this month that shut down its shared systems.

The devastating nature of such attacks lies in simplicity as much as state-of-the-art technology: it just takes one employee to open or respond to the wrong email . Barclays chief executive Jes Staley was left red-faced last month when he fell for a hoax email purporting to be from Barclays chairman John McFarlane. London, though, is leading a fightback . In February, the Queen opened the National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ in Victoria, which worked around the clock to shut down Friday s attack . The booming fintech sector is a magnet for private-sector cyber security companies such as DynaRisk and CybSafe looking to service them . And so the best and the brightest talent are making their way to the capital . This group of ethical hackers and security experts are the new first line of defence.

The parliament attack was pretty unsophisticated the cyber equivalent of a criminal trying a door to see if it s locked properly, says Oliver Rees, 26, CEO of Southwark company Trustlight, whose job is to make sure cyber back doors stay locked .

He s part of London s fightback against cyber crime in the UK . The new normal is the everyday hackers trying to break into our phones, TVs and anything else that s connected . The good news is that with a few simple steps, we can protect against 99.9 per cent of the attacks. CyLon (Cyber London), Europe s first dedicated cyber security start-up accelerator, is based in Hammersmith and pumps 15,000 each into fledgling cyber security companies with bright ideas but bare pockets . It s a three-month programme where entrepreneurial teams with innovative and disruptive business ideas are provided with access to expert training and guidance from an accomplished network of mentors and investors.

The capital is, therefore, a cyber petri dish, where we scoop out virus cultures and stick them under the microscope, then work on an inoculation . But who are they recruiting?

The AI cyber sentry

Emily Orton, Darktrace

(Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures)

Every year hackers are getting better, says Emily Orton, 33, co-founder and director of Darktrace, the 400million-valued London-based cyber security firm, shortlisted for this year s Evening Standard Business Awards, which claims to have beaten the WannaCry hack . There s been an industrialisation of the threat landscape she says, as hackers become better funded and better equipped via the Dark Web.

We re seeing a move towards more automated threats, cleverer cyber weapons, and attacks towards trust in data, where people are in a network for longer, undermining its integrity . The response ? Their machine learning AI which stops emerging threats as they happen . Orton uses the analogy of the human body, with the skin being rudimentary firewall systems that keep out elementary threats .

We re the immune system that works to continually identify anything that gets through, adapting to any internal threat that shouldn t be there, she says . It s an AI that builds an understanding of what s normal for the organisation, so it can spot when a device or person in organisation acts strangely and flag that in real time.

The web s guardian angels

Aleks Koha, Titan Grid

Hackers never sleep, so neither do we, says Estonian Koha, 23, CEO of Titan Grid, one of CyLon s latest incubators . They find the most annoying time to hit you, like a Friday, or a weekend, when the lights are on but nobody s around to defend themselves . Koha works round the clock with his five-man team in Hammersmith, to the extent that his girlfriend is always glaring because my laptop s on in bed late at night .

Titan Grid specialises in cyber counterintelligence it sweeps up and erase clients home addresses, emails, and phone numbers from the internet using automated tools . These are the most basic lockpicks a hacker looks for, with over 60 online identities stolen per second.

It s dangerous, because the information we collect is useful to hackers too, says Koha . We have targets on our backs . Koha practices MMA and jujitsu in his spare time, which helps him develop resistance to high pressure situations . We can t stop 100 per cent of attacks happening in the first place, but we can give you a better lock than your neighbour, he says.

The identity cloaker

Irra Ariella Khi, VChain

I m much more comfortable working with my brain rather than my face, nowadays, says Khi, 33, a former model, an Oxford history and politics grad, and two-time e-commerce founder, who is fluent in nine languages . Her London start-up, Vchain, wants to make your identity unhackable , pitching to replace passports with blockchain technology, a digital ID key that no one can clone, which has so far been chiefly associated with Bitcoin transfers . Data is stored very poorly right now, says Khi .

You trade data for services you need, but have no quality control over how it s captured. International Airlines Group, British Airways s parent company, has already invested megabucks in Vchain which she runs with co-founder Alexander Gorelik after she won the pitch as the only woman on stage . I find that competence wins out, whatever your gender, she says . If in a room full of boys, the girl puts her hand up, chances are you ll be addressed not first or second, perhaps, but you ll be heard . A single mother, she lives in Fulham with her five-year-old daughter.

The e-psychology gurus

Oliver Rees and Alexander Walker, Trustlight

We re new here, says Oliver Rees, 26, CEO of Trustlight, another Cylon incubator that uses both technology and psychology to stop email fraud . He s not just talking about the company . We ve had 200,000 years of human evolution to learn to sense when there s a physical threat behind a bush, he says, but only 20 years to learn to sense threats online.

It s the people who most often accidentally give up the secrets, rather than the machines, agrees CTO Alexander Walker, 29 . Ninety per cent of attacks start with someone receiving an email that isn t genuine, he says . Trustlight, with the permission of companies, crafted fake emails in their testing stage to see who would take what bait.

Invite anyone to be the keynote speaker at an event and they ll click on the link every time, says Walker . Not all hackers are the enemy, though . A Jordanian contacted them to highlight a security flaw, asking for a bug bounty ; Rees replied that they couldn t pay the money, but sent him a T-shirt instead . He sent us a selfie, wearing it, and the happy ending is that now we work together.

The cybersecurity credit raters

Andrew Martin, Dynarisk

Born in Toronto, Canada, Martin, now 35, was a typical hacker in his teens, a near high school dropout, terrible at every subject apart from IT . Having enjoyed the adrenaline rush of breaking into systems , he realised the risks if he actually stole anything , so he stopped, and started working for a bank to stop people like me breaking in . (With his skills, getting a job when he moved to the UK in 2012 was easy.) His best trick was reverse engineering viruses , allowing him to find out where they were talking back to . According to Martin, he uncovered state-sponsored hacking, criminal groups in Eastern Europe, Asian and Central America , handing intelligence to the police . He s now left the fun stuff behind: his own company, Dynarisk, assesses an individual s risk to see how likely they are to be hacked, giving them a credit score and a tailored action plan of the things they need to do to protect themselves.

It also scans devices for vulnerabilities, check to see if emails were breached (his own has been five times), send safe, probing phishing emails and scan home browsers to see if can be accessed via the internet . He and his wife, Yasmin live in south London . They met in cyber security, so you see, you can find love in this line of work too .

The university of hacks

Oz Alashe, CybSafe

Oz Alashe, 40, is the daddy of all cyber security experts . As a father of two, a boy, five, and a girl, 19 weeks old, he worries about the online safety of his kids as much as the work of his GCHQ-accredited Canary Wharf firm CybSafe . He s also served in the UK s special forces, so he knows how to keep us safe . He s therefore all about education: CybSafe is a cloud-based educational tool allowing companies and their staff to learn how to look after their own.

Originally, we worked with cyber security experts, including ethical hackers, to learn the tools of cyber hackers: we then built a platform and modules that address what we learnt . They then assess to see if staff behaviour is changed by simulating attacks, via phishing emails, corrupted SMS text messages or USB stick drops (they work with both government and commercial entities) . You d be amazed at how many people pick up a USB stick with the word bonuses written on it and plug it straight in, says Alashe.

The counter-coders

Pedro Ribeiro, Immersive Labs

If you re going to protect against hackers, you need to know how to hack, says Pedro Ribeiro, 33, CTO of Immersive Labs, another CyLon incubator, which teaches companies staff how to be hackers themselves . It s like playing a game of chess, and if you don t have all the pieces, you don t stand a chance .

Ribeiro s been a legal ethical hacker for eight years, exposing companies flaws on their payroll, earning between 500 and 2,500 a day .

The problem is, there s a severe skills shortage, which means we re expensive, he says . To bring the costs down and with increasing demand for hack-literate employees Immersive Labs shows them how to do it, teaching them to pull source code, manipulate sites to their advantage, spot problems with programmes and exploit them . Ribeiro is a devoted martial arts disciple . These days you have two types of hacker: the old-school doesn t see the daylight type, and the opposite . It s good for the body and the mind, and it fits with the hacking mind-set: you re fighting something big, always going against the current.

Follow Samuel Fishwick on Twitter: @fish_o_wick2

Meet London's New Cyber Security Hack-busting SquadReuse content3


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