The warnings from Ciaran Martin are just the latest by the US and the UK about Russian cyber activity, as tensions continue to ratchet up following the air strikes on Syria. EPA
The warnings from Ciaran Martin are just the latest by the US and the UK about Russian cyber activity, as tensions continue to ratchet up following the air strikes on Syria. EPA

Serious cyber attack on UK ‘a matter of when, not if’, spy chief warns



A serious cyber attack on Britain is “a matter of when, not if”, a top spy chief warned on Sunday.

Ciaran Martin, the head of GCHQ's cyber defence unit, told The Telegraph newspaper that it is not possible for Britain's security services to offer "absolute protection" against Russian hackers.

Instead, their focus is on combatting attacks that would “most impact on our way of life” rather than trying to stop every single breach.

It is believed that senior officials from internet, transportation and utility firms, as well as from the National Health Service, have attended intelligence briefings at the National Cyber Security Centre on the various ways in which Moscow might be targeting the UK’s infrastructure in the wake of the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in southern England last month.

Mr Martin, who heads the NCSC, confirmed that GCHQ is on “heightened alert” for “follow-up activity” after the Salisbury attack, which the British government blamed on Russia.

“Turning off the lights and the power supply by cyber attack is harder than Hollywood films sometimes make out,” he said. “But we’ve seen enough malicious cyber attacks across the world, including against UK health services by a North Korean group last year, to know how services can be disrupted.”

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Mr Martin said that complete protection is “neither possible nor desirable”. The priority is on having “more resilience in the systems we care about the most”, such as the country’s internet and transport networks, power and water supplies and the National Health Service.

“We have said that it is a matter of when, not if, the UK faces a serious cyber attack. So last week we presented detailed plans to Government departments about the priority areas where the NCSC will work with them, industry and law enforcement to improve the cyber resilience of the most important systems.”

It is understood that the NCSC has written to the government laying out urgent steps for civil servants to take, in order to protect Whitehall from cyber attacks.

According to The Telegraph, the advice included basic preventative measures as well as more specific, technical precautions to be undertaken by departments.

The warnings from Mr Martin are just the latest by the US and the UK about Russian cyber activity, as tensions continue to ratchet up following the air strikes on Syria.

Last week, British and US intelligence services issued a joint statement warning that the Kremlin is involved in “malicious cyber activity” by using malware to try to steal intellectual property, carry out espionage and prepare for future offensive operations.

The main targets include "government and private-sector organisations", as well as providers of critical infrastructure and internet service providers, they said.

Russia dismissed the warnings as “groundless”. “We don’t know what these new accusations are based on,” said President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The US and the UK have also directly blamed Russia for launching cyber offensives in the past, including election meddling and the "NotPetya" cyber attack in Ukraine, which left 200,000 people without power. Last week, Britain said that the NCSC responded to 49 incidents linked to Russian cyber groups in the last six months.

Australia also said last week that up to 400 businesses had been targeted by suspected Russian state-sponsored cyber attacks in 2017 but that there was no evidence of significant exploitation.

Tuesday results:

  • Singapore bt Malaysia by 29 runs
  • UAE bt Oman by 13 runs
  • Hong Kong bt Nepal by 3 wickets

Final:
Thursday, UAE v Hong Kong

Tomb Raider I–III Remastered

Developer: Aspyr
Publisher: Aspyr
Console: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 3/5

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

A Long Way Home by Peter Carey
Faber & Faber

The specs

Engine: 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 with 48V mild hybrid system
Power: 544hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 750Nm at 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Price: from Dh700,000 (estimate)
On sale: late November

Dubai World Cup Carnival Thursday race card

6.30pm: Dubai Millennium Stakes Group Three US$200,000 (Turf) 2,000m
7.05pm: Handicap $135,000 (T) 1,600m​​​​​​​
7.40pm: UAE Oaks Group Three $250,000 (Dirt) 1,900m​​​​​​​
8.15pm: Zabeel Mile Group Two $250,000 (T) 1,600m​​​​​​​
8.50pm: Meydan Sprint Group Two $250,000 (T) 1,000m​​​​​​​
9.25pm: Handicap $135,000 (D) 1,400m
10pm: Handicap $135,000 (T) 1,600m

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 15 PRO MAX

Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A17 Pro, 6-core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 17

Main camera: Triple: 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP 5x telephoto (f/2.8); 5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 10x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 25x; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 60fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4441mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min (with at least 20W adaptor); MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay), second-generation Ultra Wideband chip

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: USB-C

Durability: IP68, water-resistant up to 6m up to 30min; dust/splash-resistant

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Black titanium, blue titanium, natural titanium, white titanium

In the box: iPhone 15 Pro Max, USB-C-to-USB-C woven cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799

Hales' batting career

Tests 11; Runs 573; 100s 0; 50s 5; Avg 27.38; Best 94

ODIs 58; Runs 1,957; 100s 5; 50s 11; Avg 36.24; Best 171

T20s 52; Runs 1,456; 100s 1; 50s 7; Avg 31.65; Best 116 not out

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

T20 World Cup Qualifier fixtures

Tuesday, October 29

Qualifier one, 2.10pm – Netherlands v UAE

Qualifier two, 7.30pm – Namibia v Oman

Wednesday, October 30

Qualifier three, 2.10pm – Scotland v loser of qualifier one

Qualifier four, 7.30pm – Hong Kong v loser of qualifier two

Thursday, October 31

Fifth-place playoff, 2.10pm – winner of qualifier three v winner of qualifier four

Friday, November 1

Semi-final one, 2.10pm – Ireland v winner of qualifier one

Semi-final two, 7.30pm – PNG v winner of qualifier two

Saturday, November 2

Third-place playoff, 2.10pm

Final, 7.30pm

If you go

The flights Etihad (www.etihad.com) and Spice Jet (www.spicejet.com) fly direct from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Pune respectively from Dh1,000 return including taxes. Pune airport is 90 minutes away by road. 

The hotels A stay at Atmantan Wellness Resort (www.atmantan.com) costs from Rs24,000 (Dh1,235) per night, including taxes, consultations, meals and a treatment package.
 

WITHIN SAND

Director: Moe Alatawi

Starring: Ra’ed Alshammari, Adwa Fahd, Muhand Alsaleh

Rating: 3/5

Hotel Data Cloud profile

Date started: June 2016
Founders: Gregor Amon and Kevin Czok
Based: Dubai
Sector: Travel Tech
Size: 10 employees
Funding: $350,000 (Dh1.3 million)
Investors: five angel investors (undisclosed except for Amar Shubar)

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

ESSENTIALS

The flights 
Fly Etihad or Emirates from the UAE to Moscow from 2,763 return per person return including taxes. 
Where to stay 
Trips on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian cost from US$16,995 (Dh62,414) per person, based on two sharing.

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Du Plessis plans his retirement

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said on Friday the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in two years' time will be his last.

Du Plessis, 34, who has led his country in two World T20 campaigns, in 2014 and 2016, is keen to play a third but will then step aside.

"The T20 World Cup in 2020 is something I'm really looking forward to. I think right now that will probably be the last tournament for me," he said in Brisbane ahead of a one-off T20 against Australia on Saturday. 

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre supercharged V8

Power: 712hp at 6,100rpm

Torque: 881Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 19.6 l/100km

Price: Dh380,000

On sale: now


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