‘Satnav error’ gets cars stuck in Hampshire field

A suspected error in a satnav update has been sending drivers down a Hampshire bridle path into a field where they become stuck in deep mud.
 
A suspected error in a satnav update has been sending drivers down a Hampshire bridle path into a field where they become stuck in deep mud.
 
Residents near the path in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire, said it had happened several times. They have put up a warning sign. Boarhunt Recovery said it has towed two cars, a van and lorry from the field.
 
Google Maps admitted its satnav app showed the path, called Pondside Lane, as a road but had fixed the error.
 
Colin Ryan from the Boarhunt vehicle rescue and recovery business said the first cases were at the beginning of November and suspected satnavs updated information about the area at about that time following a new housing development.
 
Resident Tony Hunt said: “There have been half a dozen in the space of six weeks. I spoke to the driver of the lorry who said he was using his satnav.”
 
A Google spokeswoman said: “We encourage people to let us know if they spot a problem in maps by using the Report a Problem tool, found at the bottom right corner of the map, or in the menu in the mobile app, or by contributing their local knowledge and updates to the map using Google Map Maker.”
 

4G live in the Channel tunnel

EE Channel Tunnel 0 peoples phone

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator, has confirmed that its 4G service is live in the Channel Tunnel, and 282GB of data has been carried since the installation was completed on the 24th September.
 
More than 25,000 EE customers have connected to the network in the last two months. Peak 4G download speeds of 57 Mbps have been delivered, with an average of 13.5Mbps.
 
EE CTO Fotis Karonis said: “Our 4G rollout has changed the mobile landscape in the UK, and we’re very proud to have been the first UK operator to put superfast data 75 metres underground in the Channel Tunnel. We’ve been watching the performance of the network for the last two months and we’ve now delivered a great data experience to more than 25,000 customers, and made a real difference to people commuting and going on holiday.”
 
The EE network, which also supports 2G and 3G, is live in the tunnel from the UK to France. The 4G network lets customers stream HD video, download large files, and use video calling services, all while 75 metres underground, travelling up to 99 MPH during the half hour journey.  


Multi million pound project makes the Isles of Scilly “some of the best connected islands in the world”

bt alcatel peoples phone

 
 
Superfast fibre optic broadband has arrived on the Isles of Scilly making them “some of the best connected islands in the world”.
 
The multi million pound project, one of the most ambitious ever undertaken in the UK to bring superfast broadband to a remote community, has just been completed with the first customers already using the high-speed technology. Isles of Scilly households and businesses now have access to broadband speeds up to 80Mbps, which is ten times faster than the previous maximum of up to 8Mbps.
 
A 939- kilometre cable between Porthcurno, Cornwall, and Santander, Spain, which had remained unused on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean since 2006, was diverted to the Isles of Scilly during a month-long operation involving the 12,184 tonne cable ship Resolute.
 
The laying of the cable from the mainland was just part of the ambitious project. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have also been busy installing a new network on the isles and building new links between the five inhabited islands. New fibre optic cables have been laid from the main island, St Mary’s, to Tresco and between Tresco and Bryher, whilst new microwave radio links have been used to provide the same fibre broadband services for St Agnes and St Martin’s.
 
The pioneering project is part of the £132 million Superfast Cornwall initiative between the European Regional Development Fund, BT and Cornwall Council, which plans to make fibre broadband available to 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014.
 
Lord Ahmad, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and senior officials from Superfast Cornwall and BT, including the company’s chief executive Gavin Patterson, were at the Superfast Cornwall offices, near Redruth, today (Friday November 21) to stage a conference call link-up with representatives from the Isles of Scilly marking the successful completion of the Isles of Scilly scheme. They had been unable to land on the isles due to bad weather.
 
Until now, the 2,200 residents of Scilly – located 28 miles off the South West tip of Cornwall – have relied upon a phone and broadband service provided by a radio link between Lands End and the islands. People on all five of Scilly’s inhabited islands, famous for their remote Atlantic location and as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), now have access to the high-speed technology.
 
Lord Ahmad, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government, said: “Bringing fibre optic broadband to the Isles of Scilly is another demonstration that Britain means business. No matter where in Britain you live and work, this government is committed to empowering you with the tools you need to connect and communicate in the 21st century.
 
“Through accessing the European Regional Development Fund and working in partnership with BT and Cornwall Council we have made an investment in the future of the Isles of Scilly which will ensure that this community will continue to thrive for generations to come.”
 
Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband on the Isles of Scilly, England’s most remote community, is a landmark event. It is a wonderful example of what is being achieved by BT in partnership with the public sector to bring this exciting technology to locations across the UK, which would have been considered beyond reach just a few years ago. Already, more than 21 million UK homes and businesses have access to fibre broadband – which puts the UK ahead of any other major European economy – and now we are pushing the boundaries to go even further.
 
 
“The recent arrival of fibre broadband in remote UK locations as far afield as the Isles of Scilly and Shetland shows our commitment to overcoming the challenges and making fibre broadband as widely available as possible – and that we are doing so in an environmentally friendly way in a spirit of close cooperation with local communities.”
 
Nigel Ashcroft MBE, Superfast Cornwall programme director for Cornwall Development Company, the economic development company of Cornwall Council, said: “There has been huge interest in this project by the people of the Isles of Scilly. It represents one of the largest single investments ever undertaken on these remote isles and makes them some of the best connected islands in the world. This exciting technology will reinforce the isles’ reputation as a hotspot for homeworking.
 
“Already, the first customers are using the service on Scilly and many more are keen to be connected. We have created a lasting legacy, which will provide the people of Scilly with strong, first class communications with mainland UK and further afield, whatever the weather or conditions, for many years ahead.”
 
Councillor Amanda Martin, Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “The arrival of superfast fibre optic broadband demonstrates that good partnership working can overcome significant challenges. Superfast broadband has the potential to revitalise the islands’ economy and to enhance the quality of living and working arrangements in the Isles of Scilly. I am proud that we are now one of the best connected archipelagos in the world. This would not have been possible without the significant investment by BT and the European Convergence programme.”
 
Among the first Isles of Scilly companies to benefit from high-speed fibre broadband is Scented Narcissi, a flower farm business on St Mary’s, which provides narcissi from nine family farms on the isles to customers across the UK and Europe.
 
Andrew May, the company’s managing director, said: “The arrival of fibre broadband on Scilly is fantastic news for our flower farm business. It will allow us to have better communications with our customers, as well as save the business time and money by allowing us to streamline some of our business operations.
 
“We operate in an incredibly tough marketplace and high speed connectivity will allow us to improve the service to our customers, increasing our competitiveness. We will be able to grow the business, reaching out to new customers both nationally and internationally. This is likely to lead to extra jobs at Scented Narcissi over time and a bright outlook as we embrace the digital future.”
 
Another local business already benefiting is the Star Castle Hotel, a sixteenth century fortress on St Mary’s, which is now a 38-bedroom hotel. The Star Castle is using fibre broadband to offer high-speed wi-fi and internet connections for guests and to improve its operations.
 
Zoe Parry, assistant manager, said: “The high speed fibre connection is having a big impact on our productivity. For example, it is so much faster to send large files by email. Previously, it took nearly ten minutes to send one photo to our designer on the mainland. This morning, I sent two large image files in less than 30 seconds. It is also so much faster to carry out everyday operations online, such as updating our website.” 

‘Sophisticated’ Android malware hits phones

peoples phone android in box

Hundreds of thousands of Android phones have been infected with malware that uses handsets to send spam and buy event tickets in bulk.
 
Mobile security firm Lookout said the virus, called NotCompatible, was the most sophisticated it had seen. The cyberthieves behind it had recently rewritten its core code to make it harder to defeat, it said.
 
Mobile malware aimed at smartphones is steadily getting more complex, said security company Wandera.
 
Jeremy Linden, a security analyst at Lookout, said: “The group behind NotCompatible are operating on a different plane to the typical mobile malware maker.”
Usually, he said, mobile malware campaigns lasted only a couple of weeks but the NotCompatible creators had been operating for more than two years.
 
The bug first appeared in 2012 and was now on its third iteration, he said, adding that the latest version had been rewritten recently and was now as sophisticated as the malware aimed at desktop computers. “They are successful enough to make it worth ripping out the back end of the malware to make it be much more stable and resistant to efforts to take it down,” he said.
 
This latest version employed end-to-end encryption, peer-to-peer networking technologies and stealthy operating procedures to help it avoid being spotted and removed, he said. Phones infected with NotCompatible were enrolled into a network that is now being rented out to any crime group that needs a ready source of Android users.
 

Mr Linden said compromised phones had been used in a variety of scams including sending spam, attacking WordPress blogs and buying tickets for popular events in bulk that would then be resold at a significant profit. “This is the most technically sophisticated threat we are facing and it’s the most worrying to us,” said Mr Linden.
 
NotCompatible is being spread via spam and websites seeded with booby-trapped downloads, he said and urged Android users to be wary of any app that required a security update to be installed before it was run.
Mobile malware was growing in popularity among cybercrime groups because smartphones were now so central to modern life, said Eldar Tuvey from mobile security monitoring firm Wandera “We’re definitely seeing the bad guys focus their attention on mobiles,” he said. “That’s because more time is now spent on apps on phones than desktops.”
 
While Android had long been a target of malware makers, the appearance of the Wirelurker and Masque malware families that both targeted Apple gadgets showed the growing confidence of cybercriminals, he said. They were keen to get a foothold on a phone so they could harvest useful data that they could sell or use to make phishing emails look more plausible, or to lever open accounts for social networks or other web-based services.
 
With 70% of people reusing passwords across many different sites and services, it was no surprise that criminals regularly got access to these accounts, he said. Many were aided by “leaky” apps that passed around log-in names, email addresses and other credentials in unencrypted text, said Mr Tuvey. “The trend is only moving in one direction,” he said. “The criminals are sharing information between themselves and they are learning about how to improve the efficiency of their attacks.”

From song lyric to strong password in six steps

If you needed a reminder that strong passwords are important online, the Russian website showing thousands of live video feeds could be it.
 

 

If you needed a reminder that strong passwords are important online, the Russian website showing thousands of live video feeds could be it.
 
To protect your email, social networking accounts and the rest of your online life, strong passwords are essential. But setting and remembering it can be as easy as singing your favourite song. Here’s our step-by-step guide to how lyrics can help you stay safe online.
 
1. Choose an artist – We’ll pick the Foo Fighters, because they’re generally great. But it could be anyone you like, or U2. As long as you can remember some of the lyrics to one of their songs.
 
2. Choose a song – The catchier the better, to make sure you can remember those words. Something from Nothing seems like a good track to go for, fresh from the Foo’s new album Sonic Highways.

 
3. Choose some lyrics – It could be the chorus or the bit you like the most. We’ve gone for the opening lines: “Give me the flammable life, I’m cold as a match.”

 
4. Shorten it – Take the first letter of each word to make the basis of your password. That gives us GMTFLICAAM. Not bad, but it could someone who knows your music taste possibly guess it?

 
5. Get case sensitive – Mix lower and upper case letters to make the password a little harder to guess. You should end up with something like: GmTFLICaam

 
6. Swap letters for symbols – Swapping letters for numbers and symbols can make your password even more difficult to guess. So, a capital G looks a bit like 6, we’ll swap F for 4 because four begins with f, L and I both look like 1s so that’s an easy swap. The @ signs are a good alternative to the letter a. Therefore in outr example our password would be 6mT411C@@M. It probably goes without saying, but ours is just an example and not one you should use. Stay safe!
 
 

Chinese authorities arrest three over iOS malware

peoples phone apple logo

Three people have been arrested in China on suspicion of spreading malware that targeted Apple’s operating system, Chinese officials have announced.
 
The Beijing Bureau of public security announced the arrest of suspects charged with spreading the WireLurker malware.
The bug was one of the first pieces of malware to penetrate iPhone’s strict software controls. It mainly infected devices in China.
 
The suspects – named only as Chen, Lee and Wang – were arrested in the Beijing area, according to the statement posted on Chinese social network Sina Weibo. The Chinese authorities also shut down the site that had been spreading the malware.
 
The malware was installed via software downloaded to Mac desktops from the Maiyadi app store. It was then able to attack iOS devices connected to an infected Mac via a USB cable.
 
If a handset was jailbroken – a process used by some to remove Apple’s restrictions – WireLurker backed up the device’s apps to the Mac, where it repackaged them with malware, and then installed the infected versions back on to the iOS machine.
 
But, according to security experts, the malware was also able to infect non-jailbroken iOS devices.
It did so by taking advantage of a technique created by Apple to allow businesses to install special software on their staff’s handsets and tablets.
 
This process has since been changed by Apple.
 
By the time WireLurker had been discovered, infected Mac apps had already been downloaded more than 300,000 times.
 
Apple took steps to block the infected apps and reminded users not to install software from third-party app stores.
 
A Windows version of the malware was also found.
 

Apple malware affects mostly Chinese users

peoples phone apple logo

Malware has bypassed Apple’s safety controls by taking advantage of a process used by employers to add apps to workers’ iPhones and iPads.
 
US-based Palo Alto Networks said WireLurker appeared to have originated in China and was mostly infecting devices there. The malware first targets Mac computers via a third-party store before copying itself to iOS devices.
 
Researchers warn it steals information and can install other damaging apps.
 
“WireLurker is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in terms of Apple iOS and OS X malware,” said Ryan Olson, Palo Alto Network’s intelligence director. The techniques in use suggest that bad actors are getting more sophisticated when it comes to exploiting some of the world’s best-known desktop and mobile platforms.”
 
WireLurker has the ability to transfer from Apple’s Mac computer to mobile devices through a USB cable.
 
The security firm said the malware was capable of stealing “a variety of information” from mobile devices it infects and regularly requested updates from the attackers’ control server. “This malware is under active development and its creator’s ultimate goal is not yet clear,” the company added.
 
Apple has issued a brief statement. “We are aware of malicious software available from a download site aimed at users in China, and we’ve blocked the identified apps to prevent them from launching,” it said. “As always, we recommend that users download and install software from trusted sources.”
 

According to Palo Alto Networks, WireLurker was first noticed in June when a developer at the Chinese firm Tencent realised there were suspicious files and processes happening on his Mac and iPhone.
 
Further inquiries revealed a total of 467 Mac programs listed on the Maiyadi App Store had been compromised to include the malware, which in turn had been downloaded 356,104 times as of 16 Oct.
 
Infected software included popular games including Angry Birds, The Sims 3, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Once the malware was on the Mac, it communicated with a command-and-control server to check if it needed to update its code, and then waited until an iPhone, iPad or iPod was connected. When an iOS device was connected the malware would check if it was jailbroken – a process used by some to remove some of Apple’s restrictions.
 
If it was jailbroken, WireLurker backed up the device’s apps to the Mac, where it repackaged them with malware, and then installed the infected versions back on to the iOS machine. If it was not jailbroken – which is the case for most iOS devices – WireLurker took advantage of a technique created by Apple to allow businesses to install special software on their staff’s handsets and tablets.
 

This involved placing infected apps on the device that had been signed with a bogus “enterprise certificate” – code added to a product that is supposed to prove it comes from a trustworthy source. To ensure the devices accepted this certificate, a permissions request was made to pop up on the targeted iOS device on the user’s first attempt to run an infected app.
 
It simply asked for permission to run the app, but if the user clicked “continue” it installed code called a “provisioning profile”, which told the iOS device it could trust any other app that had the same enterprise certificate.
 
Palo Alto Networks remarked that while this technique was not a new concept, it was the only known example of it being used to target non-jailbroken iOS devices in the wild. Once active, the malware is used to upload information about the machine to the hackers, including phone numbers from its Contacts app, and the user’s Apple ID. Different versions of WireLurker also automatically installed new apps on the devices – including a video game and a comic book reader.
 

While these were innocuous, experts warn they could represent a test run for other more damaging software. “People have got very used to iOS being secure and there is a danger they may be complacent about the risk this presents,” said Prof Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey. “Now Apple knows what it’s looking for, it should be able to shut it down relatively easily. But it shows that people are trying to attack Apple’s operating system and the firm can’t take security for granted.”
 

News of the attack comes after tech giant Apple’s iCloud storage service in China was attacked by hackers trying to steal user information just last month.
 
Chinese web monitoring group Greatfire.org said that hackers intercepted data and potentially gained access to passwords, messages, photos and contacts. They believed the Beijing government was behind the move. But the Chinese government denied the claims and was backed by state-owned internet provider China Telecom, which said the accusation was “untrue and unfounded”. China is home to the world’s biggest smartphone market and Apple saw its iPhone sales there jump 50% in the April to June quarter from a year earlier.
 
To minimise the risk of attack, Palo Alto Networks has recommended that users: Do not download Mac apps from third-party stores; Do not jailbreak iOS devices; Do not connect their iOS devices to untrusted computers and accessories, either to copy information or charge the machines; Do not accept requests for a new “enterprise provisioning profile” unless it comes from an authorised party, for example the employer’s IT department.
 

£12.7 million upgrade project boosts Northern Ireland coverage by 20%

peoples phone three logo

A £12.7 million network improvement project has seen Three’s mobile coverage in Northern Ireland grow from around 75% of the population to 95% in three years.
 
To achieve this Three has more than doubled the number of sites in its network in Northern Ireland from 189 at the end of 2012 to 425, with new areas now covered.
 
Since the project began, Three has seen a six-fold increase in data usage and call minutes have tripled on its Northern Irish network.
 
Three has also introduced advanced 3G technology across the network so customers will be able to enjoy a better experience using services like music, video streaming and web browsing.
 
The network investment continues with Three introducing 4G to its network in Northern Ireland in November, with the initial rollout focussed on Belfast. 4G will be added to other parts of the country in 2015, including Londonderry. 4G is available at no extra cost to Three customers and there is no need to swap SIM or change tariff.
 
Bryn Jones, Three’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “We have invested heavily in our network to provide exceptional coverage and a quality experience in Northern Ireland. Our customers will be able to enjoy better and faster mobile internet with the addition of new sites and the latest 3G technology. We will continue to invest in and improve the network to make sure customers get the best experience.”
 
Chris Lloyd, Three’s Area Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “With the massive expansion of network coverage we’ve seen sales rise by 28%, and 84% of our customers in 2014 have said they are likely to recommend us to friends and family. With our Feel at Home offer addressing the problems of inadvertent border roaming our Northern Ireland customers have made us the top performing region of the UK for growth.”
 
Last year Three addressed roaming costs by allowing customers to use the internet and call and text Northern Irish numbers over Irish networks at no extra cost, under its Feel At Home offer, addressing both accidental and intentional roaming.


WiFi on London Underground reaches 150th station

virgin media wi fi 150 tube stations peoples phone

Tube passengers can now get online in 150 London Underground stations, following the addition of another six stations to Virgin Media’s WiFi on London Underground service. The announcement, made simultaneously on Twitter this morning, reveals WiFi connectivity can now be enjoyed in Wimbledon, Richmond, Morden, East Ham, Barking and Upminster Underground stations.
 
People are using the popular service more than ever, with over 2.5 million devices now registered and more than 3TB of data consumed over the network every day. That’s enough data to download more than 52,000 music albums or around 9,000 TV shows.
 
The spot that sees the most activity across the entire service is the Waterloo & City Line platform at Waterloo station1. Kings Cross and Oxford Circus are the overall busiest stations.
 
Further from central London, Stockwell and Finsbury Park see some of the highest volumes of passengers getting online to check their emails, look up journey times, keep up with the latest news and entertainment and stay in touch with friends and family whilst underground.
 
Joe Lathan, Director of Broadband at Virgin Media, said: “This is a milestone moment for Virgin Media with 150 Tube stations and more than two and a half million devices now connected to WiFi on London Underground. Tube passengers have loved the WiFi service ever since we launched in time for London 2012. Now they can benefit from live travel information, news and social media in Tube stations across the capital.”
 
Gareth Powell, London Underground’s Director of Strategy and Service Development, said: “WiFi on the Tube is one of many ways we’re improving our customers’ journeys and the service has moved from strength to strength since it launched in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  We’re delighted that 150 stations on the Tube now have WiFi which will help our customers benefit from live travel information, news and social media while they are on the move across the capital.”
 
Virgin Media has been helping Tube passengers get online underground since June 2012, with nearly half a million people using the new service throughout the London 2012 Olympic Games2. Virgin Media has continued to develop the service with 150 stations now online.
 
All Tube passengers can keep up-to-date with TfL travel information and quality London entertainment and news for free through Virgin Media’s WiFi portal. The majority of passengers can get online at no extra cost3 but Virgin Media also offers a Pay As You Go service with daily, weekly and monthly passes4, giving Tube passengers lots of ways to get online underground.
 
To find out more about the roll-out of WiFi on London Underground and find out how to use the service, head to www.virginmedia.com/wifi or www.tfl.gov.uk/wifi.