Government phishing scams seem to be the new trend, with online scams rising daily. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently identified six most commonly impersonated government agencies. Topping their list was an unexpected suspect – none other than Britain's beloved National Health Service (NHS). Coming in after they were TV Licensing and HM Revenue & Customs, followed by Gov. UK, DVLA and Ofgem as perpetrators saw fit to use for malicious activities across 2022.

NHS is phisher's favourite brand

The NHS has been the pinpoint for most hackers, with it being top in the list of government phishing scams reported last year. Scammers exploited the covid 19 Pandemic heavily by targeting PCR tests. It was an easy way to gather personal detail as many people were worried about contracting the virus at the time, so if they saw a message saying, for example, "you have been in contact with someone with covid. Click the link to get tested".

Most people would click and make themselves vulnerable to their information being stolen due to the panic of potentially having the virus and wanting to keep themselves and family safe. 

The other branded attacks included the following:

Scammers keeping up with current affairs

Due to the current climate around the living crisis, a sharp incline in government phishing scams revolving around energy bills and support claims became evident. The director of NCSC, Sarah Lyons, explained that cybercriminals continue to exploit current trends to make their scams more believable. She exclaims that by "shining a light on these scams, we want to help people more easily spot the recurring tricks that fraudsters use" so that they can be safer online. 

What is it?

Phishing is a malicious attack used by cybercriminals to deceive and steal your personal information, such as banking details or passwords. They pose as trustworthy sources - like businesses or even family members - hoping that you will click on an unsafe link which then redirects to their fraudulent website. Be vigilant when sharing sensitive data online; take the time to ensure all requests are legitimate before responding!

How do you spot them?

Below are some common traits that appear in Phishing attacks that hide within emails.

An important call to action or threats - Scammers often attempt to create a false sense of urgency by pushing you to act quickly and without caution. Beware of emails that pressure you into clicking, calling or downloading attachments right away - even if they promise immense rewards or threaten heavy repercussions! Think twice before taking such dire steps, and do not hesitate to consult someone who can help make the best decision for your security.

Tip:  If you ever see a message calling you to take immediate action, take a second to pause and re-read. Are you sure it's legit? Slow down and be safe.

PCI is an important standard to follow, especially when it comes to a growing business and owning one; the safety and security of your and your customer's sensitive information and data is a high priority, especially when regarding card payments.

Trust is the most valuable part of a customer relationship—especially when customers share their payment information online. Once you make a mistake, building that trust back with your customers is extremely hard.

To combat this, the standard PCI DSS protects both customers and businesses. All companies involved in processing payments need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard to safeguard cardholders.

Do I need to Comply?

When considering whether you or your business need to comply with PCI-DSS, it is advisable to ask: 'Do I Store, Process, Transmit, or Affect the security of cardholder data?'

If the answer is YES to anything of the above, the probability is 'Yes, you do have to comply'. The next question you need to ask yourself

is: 'What do I need to do to become PCI Compliant?' To understand this, you will first need to scope your cardholder data environment and all the processes and systems components involved.

Such an environment comprises people, processes, and technology that handle cardholder or sensitive authentication data. That is a considerable amount of information that needs to be maintained securely, meaning numerous PCI controls must be introduced to ensure the cardholder's data and information are sustained safely. To also uphold this, regular auditing and testing are required to keep the highest level of security when dealing with personal information. This is needed on an ongoing basis and can cost an organisation both time and money to implement, but it will be more cost-effective in the long run.

Phishing is an online attack that aims to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It happens when an attacker impersonates a trusted entity and misleads a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.

LastPass is the world's most popular password manager, but unfortunately recently had an alarming data breach. LastPass can reassure that even though user's plaintext passwords were not accessed, the following explains what was:

The hackers also got LastPass user's encrypted passwords for each stored login. The encryption protection is strong so if the master password the user used for LastPass is also strong; there should be no issues. However, there was no evidence that unencrypted credit card data was accessed as LastPass does not store complete credit card numbers and credit card information.

Due To Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II

Along with the rest of the nation, we send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

On the day of the state funeral, Silver Lining Convergence will close to allow our team to be together with their family and friends.

Bank holiday changes to our standard support and porting desk hours apply, with the business set to resume as usual on Tuesday, 20/09.

What's All The Hype About?

What if there was a way to get internet much faster than you can get through your current service provider? That's the promise of Starlink, a new satellite internet service from SpaceX. But what is Starlink, and is it worth the hype? Here's everything you need to know.

What is Starlink?

Technically speaking, it's a satellite internet system. But to average web users, it's a potential godsend. 

If you operate in a city or other densely populated areas, you probably enjoy fast internet speeds, maybe at 1Gbps or beyond. But if you are a business in a rural area, you may only get internet speeds at 20Mbps, or even as low as 0.8Mbps.

Worse, your business only has one or two internet service providers, leaving you stranded with poor service.  

Enter Starlink. The satellite internet system from SpaceX can theoretically deliver 150Mbps internet speeds to any place on the planet. All the customer needs is a clear view of the sky.  

In late 2020, the system began serving its first users, many of whom were based in remote or rural regions of America—and the response was enthusiastic. Two years later, Starlink earned its first PCMag Readers' Choice Award for top US ISPs. 

How Does Starlink Work?

Satellite internet technology has been around for decades. It involves beaming internet data, not through cables, but via radio signals through the vacuum of space. Ground stations on the planet broadcast the signals to satellites in orbit, which can then relay the data back to users on Earth. 

One of the existing primary providers has been HughesNet, which relies on satellites 22,000 miles above the planet.

SpaceX's system improves on the technology in two unique ways: The company wants to use low-Earth orbiting satellites that circle the planet at only around 300 miles above the surface. 

The shortened distance can drastically improve internet speeds while also reducing latency. Second, they want to launch as many as 40,000 satellites in the coming years to power the system, ensuring global coverage without service dropouts. 

Important Industrial Action

It has been announced that both BT and Royal Mail will be undertaking strikes over the coming weeks, which is likely to cause significant disruptions to both businesses and households across the country. So now is the time to prepare yourself to avoid the snowball of catch up after the strikes.

BT’s two-day strike will cover the following dates:

Royal Mail strikes will take place on the following dates:

These strikes will impact delivery, network repairs, products and service levels across the country. Therefore, please plan ahead and prioritise cases so that day-to-day running is affected less.

Preparing for BT Strike:

Implementation of priority staircase – as follows:

Preparing for Royal Mail Strike:

The combination of BT and Royal Mail striking at a similar time will result in resources, repairs, delivery of core parts being delayed, and creating an expected backlog. Prepare yourself now, and don’t let your business suffer.

Update to stay secure!

Apple users are currently facing incredibly serious security risks, potentially allowing hackers to take control over entire devices! The attackers have been targeting the operating systems and focusing on Apple's web browser technology, Webkit- which powers safari, allowing them the same access to devices which Apple itself has.

The main devices being targeted are the iPhone 6S, and later models, newer iPads and Macs, including the following software and versions:

Recommended actions

Check your OS version and update if required. To do so, navigate the menu as follows:

There have so far been no confirmed reports of specific cases where the security flaw has been used against people or devices. However, the cyber–security world is concerned and encourages users to act now to take control of their security.

A day of golfing keeps the worries away!

After a long-awaited return, our annual charity Golf Day took place on Friday the 5th August 2022, at Wickham park golf club. In aid of Naomi House & Jacksplace, we gathered a number of Hampshire’s finest golf enthusiasts and embarked on a glorious day of Golfing.

With a bright and early start, the golfers arrived on site, registered, and sussed out the course with breakfast in hand, eagerly awaiting the briefing before being let loose on the course. Once all golfers had arrived at their designated starting holes, the Clackson sounded, and the fierce competition began.

As the golfers made their way around the course, they also had the opportunity of participating in mini-challenges, including: Longest Drive, Nearest the Pin, Buy the Drive, Marshmallow and Hole in 1.

The excitement around the challenges added a vibrant buzz to the air, as the gleam of the Hole in 1 car prize glistened on the 10th Hole, and the determination to win could be seen in the marshmallow challenge, as participants shot giant marshmallows flying across the course!

BT are to take part in two 24-hour strikes in a dispute over pay.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the employees at BT, said customers could expect disruption to services, including repairs, having new phone and internet lines fitted or getting hold of contact and support staff.

The strikes will take place on 29th July 2022 and 1st August 2022.

The company has offered employees a £1,500 per year pay increase, which the union claims is effectively a pay cut considering rampant inflation.

BT said it had made its best pay offer and would not be re-opening the 2022 pay review.

Those striking are largely Openreach engineers and call centre workers.

When the union voted to strike last month, BT said it was disappointed and would “work to keep our customers and the country connected” if staff walked out.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “For the first time since 1987, strike action will now commence at BT Group.”

“This is not a case of an employer refusing to meet a union’s demands - this is about an employer refusing to meet us whatsoever,”.

The union said the strike action would likely affect the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband and could cause significant issues for those working from home.

“These are the same workers who kept the country connected during the pandemic. Without CWU members in BT Group, there would have been no home-working revolution, and vital technical infrastructure may have malfunctioned or been broken when our country most needed it.”

BT said it had engaged in “exhaustive discussions” with the union before finally deciding on a £1,500 payment, which is its “highest pay award in more than 20 years” for workers.

BT said in a statement: “We have tried and tested processes for large-scale colleague absences to minimise any disruption for our customers, and these were proved during the pandemic.”

Openreach has indicated they plan on reintroducing the priority staircase used during last year’s COVID lockdown focusing specifically on those orders deemed “critical” by government guidelines — an updated list of these sectors is to be released soon after.

© Silver Lining Convergence Ltd
Registered Company Number: 06212357
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram