Kat Hall

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
bouncer

Brit water firms, power plants with crap cyber security will pay up to £17m, peers told

Plans to fine Britain's national utilities and infrastructure providers £17m for shoddy cyber security will be at the forefront of industry's mind once everyone "gets over" GDPR, peers heard at a House of Lords committee. Speaking on a panel on cyber security for critical national infrastructure (CNI) yesterday, Elliot Rose, …
Kat Hall, 22 May 2018
Illustration of someone's privacy being invaded

High-end router flinger DrayTek admits to zero day in bunch of Vigor kit

Taiwanese network kit maker DrayTek has 'fessed up to a vulnerability in a large number of its routers which could allow miscreants to hijack internet traffic or steal personal data. The flaw means attackers could remotely alter DNS settings on 28 Vigor model routers. DrayTek has released a series of firmware updates …
Kat Hall, 21 May 2018
Graduation ceremony with class clown

Greenwich uni fined £120k: Hole in computing school site leaked 20k people's data

The UK's Information Commissioner has slapped a £120,000 fine on the University of Greenwich after a security cockup by its computing and maths school compromised the data of almost 20,000 individuals. The incident occurred after an academic and a student from the then devolved department developed a microsite to facilitate a …
Kat Hall, 21 May 2018
Man in suit yells in shock and fear

HMRC opens consultation to crack down on off-payroll working in private sector

The UK government has opened its long-awaited (and dreaded) consultation (PDF) on proposals to extend IR35 off-payroll working in the private sector, which could affect 2 million contractors. In the Autumn Budget 2017, the government revealed it would consult on how to tackle non-compliance with the off-payroll working rules …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2018
UK passport control photo via Shutterstock

UK Home Office hands Sopra Steria £91m digital visa contract

The Home Office has awarded Sopra Steria a £91m contract to develop a digital visa and immigration service in the UK. The French outsourcer will take on the contract in October 2018 – the latest in a raft of recently signed deals intended to cope with processing immigration status post-Brexit, particularly for the 3 million EU …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2018

Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

ISPs are scrambling to tweak advertised broadband speeds as the great unwashed continue to receive services that are on average 51 per cent slower than they were led to expect, according to a Which? report. Changes coming into force next week mean ISPs will have to start promoting average download speeds, as opposed to the …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2018
upset man looks at paper in front of laptop

1.5m Brits pay too much for mobile and crappy broadband – Ofcom

Around 1.5 million Brits are spending more than necessary by continuing to pay the same monthly fee for mobile phones after their contracts have expired. And four million households with standard ADSL copper broadband could upgrade to a superfast package for the same price or less. This is according to regulator Ofcom's annual …
Kat Hall, 17 May 2018
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

Brit IT contractor wins appeal against HMRC to pay £26k in back taxes

A public sector IT contractor has won his appeal against Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to pay £26,000 in back taxes under IR35 legislation. Ian Wells won the case against the UK taxman over his working arrangement on the Department for Work and Pensions' Universal Credit project between 28 May 2012 and 4 April 2013. Wells …
Kat Hall, 17 May 2018
Ministry of Justice & Crown Prosecution Service government office building, Westminster.

Brit prosecutors fined £325k after losing unencrypted vids of police interviews

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office has slapped a £325,000 fine on the Crown Prosecution Service for losing unencrypted recordings of highly sensitive police interviews. The DVDs contained interviews with 15 victims of child sex abuse, including intimate details of the victims, sensitive personal data of the perpetrator …
Kat Hall, 17 May 2018
Roadworks: fibre optic cable being laid

It's true – it really is grim up north, thanks to Virgin Media. ISP fined for Carlisle cable chaos

Virgin Media is facing a £385,000 fine after its cable expansion plans in the northwest of England wrought havoc on the streets of Carlisle. The penalty was imposed after the broadband provider pleaded guilty to seven breaches of street-works safety rules at Carlisle Magistrates' Court. Contractors failed to provide proper …
Kat Hall, 17 May 2018
NHS hosptial photo, by Marbury via Shutterstock

Capita cost-cutting on NHS England contract 'put patients at risk' – spending watchdog

A botched £330m seven-year NHS contract with Capita to outsource back-office support for 39,000 GPs, dentists and opticians was today savaged by the UK government's spending watchdog over its "potential to seriously harm patients". In 2015 Capita won the primary care support services contract to administer payments to GP …
Kat Hall, 17 May 2018
after-party mess

Bowel down: Laxative brownies brought to colleague's leaving bash

Leaving parties can be an opportunity for more anally retentive colleagues to loosen up and go with the flow. But one woman took that to an extreme by bringing laxative brownies to a send-off bash. The 47-year-old from Michigan lost her job after police discovered she put purgatives in a departing co-worker's going-away …
Kat Hall, 16 May 2018
Woman wails in despair while clutching a tablet.

BT bets farm on consumers: Announces one network to rule 'em all

Still smarting from last week's dismal annual results, BT today made a raft of announcements for its consumer group, including a converged broadband and mobile network. The BT brand will also muscle into 620 EE high street shops to promote its own consumer products, while the biz said it would bring all its call centres back …
Kat Hall, 16 May 2018
Vintage phone disconnected while man drinks whiskey

Openreach consults on shift of 16 MEEELLION phone lines to VoIP by 2025

BT’s Openreach has opened a consultation with communications providers (CPs) over preparations for the monumental task of shifting 16 million phone lines in the UK to voice-over-IP by 2025. The move is part of BT’s plan to shut its traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) in Britain, and shift customers onto a …
Kat Hall, 15 May 2018

Vittorio Colao to say ciao to Vodafone as firm goes back to black

Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao has confirmed he is quitting the telco just a week after agreeing to spend €18.4bn (£16.1bn) on Liberty Global’s European assets. The CEO, who ran Vodafone for a decade and has set a departure date for October, is to be replaced by current finance director Nick Read, who joined the organisation in …
Kat Hall, 15 May 2018
Failing

UK's Rural Payments Agency is 'failing on multiple levels' – report

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is "failing on multiple levels" with widespread concerns over errors from recent digital mapping updates and inaccurate payments. A report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee found that the RPA "is failing in its core duties", which "raises concerns about its …
Kat Hall, 15 May 2018
police look over the evidence

Wah, encryption makes policing hard, cries UK's National Crime Agency

Encryption is making it more difficult for law enforcement agencies to detect dangerous offenders, according the the National Crime Agency's (NCA) yearly assessment of serious organised crime in Britain. "Since 2010, communication service providers have migrated to encrypted services 'by default', a process that accelerated …
Kat Hall, 14 May 2018
 farmer sitting on a tractor at the cowfarm

MPs petition for legally binding target of 95% 4G coverage across UK

A group of cross-party MPs have urged digital secretary Matt Hancock to whack a legal obligation on the UK's four mobile operators to provide 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK's landmass by 2022. Some 56 MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services signed the letter urging Hancock to improve the state of …
Kat Hall, 14 May 2018

Hacking train Wi-Fi may expose passenger data and control systems

Vulnerabilities on the Wi-Fi networks of a number of rail operators could expose customers' credit card information, according to infosec biz Pen Test Partners this week. The research was conducted over several years, said Pen Test's Ken Munro. "In most cases they are pretty secure, although whether the Wi-Fi works or not is …
Kat Hall, 11 May 2018

Aegon conquered by UK bank holiday IT upgrade: Some users can't log on

Some customers of life insurance, pensions and asset management biz Aegon have been unable to log into their accounts following an IT upgrade over the bank holiday weekend. The firm acquired rival Cofunds in January 2017 for £140m. Between 5 to 7 May it completed the planned technology upgrade of 400,000 Cofund customers and a …
Kat Hall, 11 May 2018

Score one for the bats and badgers! Apple bins €850m Irish bit barn bid

Apple has torn up a blueprint to build a €850m (£742m) data centre in Ireland, blaming delays in the planning process that have stalled the project for almost three years. The Cupertino-HQ'd biz announced plans for 166,296m2 (1.79 million ft2) Galway-based bit barn in 2015, intending to use green energy sources to sate its …
Kat Hall, 10 May 2018
 employees leave with cardboard boxes

There will be blood: BT to axe 13,000 employees

Former state monopoly BT is to chop 13,000 jobs over the next three years and will shutter its current London HQ under plans to wring out £1.5bn in costs and boost its flagging share price. The roles earmarked for redundancy are mainly in the back office and middle management, but BT did not specify which areas of the business …
Kat Hall, 10 May 2018

Making calls? Ha, not what most peeps use phone for – Ofcom

Web browsing ranks as the most important phone use activity, above making calls, a chunky survey by Ofcom has found. Of the 5,315 people in its annual Consumer Mobile Experience report (PDF), 92 per cent said web browsing was "extremely" or "very" important, while three-quarters said the same for voice calls. For 18 to 24-year …
Kat Hall, 9 May 2018
court

Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed

A long-running trademark dispute between rapper Dr Dre and Dr Drai, gynaecologist and author of 20 Things You May Not Know About A Vagina, has been dismissed by the the US trademark office. The case was lodged in 2015 after Pennsylvania-based gynaecologist Draion M Burch attempted to trademark the name Dr Drai. But the …
Kat Hall, 9 May 2018
Roadworks: fibre optic cable being laid

Project Lightning, you say? Virgin Media's fibre rollout is pretty glacial

Virgin Media reported another quarter of low growth for its troubled £3bn fibre programme Project Lightning, adding just 111,000 premises in the first three months of 2018 – the lowest for the last four quarters. So far VM has managed 1.2 million connections, with the aim of connecting 4 million premises by the end of 2019 to …
Kat Hall, 9 May 2018

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018