Flag bearer and Triathlete Chris Walker of Gibraltar leads his team during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park
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Morning Call: The best from Gibraltar

A selection of the best articles about politics, business and life on the Rock from the last seven days.

Latest updates on Team Gibraltar at the Commonwealth Games:

  • Gibraltar’s Commonwealth Games Squad will see 27 Athletes across 9 sporting events compete at the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

 

  • Charles Flower, President of the Commonwealth Games Association of Gibraltar, received a Gold pin and Order of Merit Award from the Commonwealth Games Federation. Flower has been awarded this honour in recognition of over 60 years’ service to sport in Gibraltar. He was Gibraltar’s first ever athlete in the Commonwealth Games, competing in Cardiff in 1958 and was one of only two recipients of the award.

 

  • Gibraltar’s Anthony Brindle, competing in Squash, won his 1st round match 3 –0, before losing in the last 32.

 

  • Young swimmer Jordan Gonzalez, competing in his first games, broke a national record as he finished the 100m backstroke in 1.04.50.

 

Elsewhere in Gibraltar…

 

  1. The World Trade Center brand has finally landed in Gibraltar

Olive Press reports: “World Trade Center Gibraltar has officially begun construction. The iconic global brand has finally arrived with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo drilling the first foundations this week.

  1. Spain congratulates Hammond and calls for dialogue on “Gibraltar and surrounding area”

Merco Press reports: “Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo congratulated Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on his recent appointment and insisted that Spain’s action in Gibraltar is simply to seek compliance with legal obligations, but nevertheless called for dialogue. The encounter took place in the margins of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting this week that was focused on the Ukraine and the Middle East.”

  1. Former Real Madrid coach criticises Spanish government

Gibraltar Chronicle reports: “A former coach of Real Madrid has criticised the political motivation behind the Spanish Football Association and Government’s decision to block Gibraltar’s participation in UEFA. Manuel Ruiz Pérez, who worked under Bernhard Schuster during his time at Real Madrid, said that nothing good come out of mixing politics with football.”

 

A year on from the Spending Review, the coalition's soothsayer has emerged to offer another gloomy economic prognosis. Asked by ITV News whether he could promise that there wouldn't be a double-dip recession, Vince Cable replied: "I can't do that.

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Cyberspace: the final frontier

With a Gibraltarian team set to enter the finals of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, Guy Clapperton looks at some of the fundamental mistakes people still make in securing their personal and business networks.

A few years ago I was stand-in news editor for a computing publication which had better remain nameless. I was asked to go and check the regular person’s database of press releases for stories. It was inaccessible unless you had the password, so I just tried p-a-s-s-w-o-r-d. I was in immediately.

It wasn’t a problem as the organisation wanted me to have the information, but what if it hadn’t? What if I’d been in HR or finance instead, and had malicious intentions? Presumably that little hole has been plugged by now but it’s indicative of the sort of managerial rather than technological issue people can face if they’re not careful. The Cyber Security Challenge UK laudably highlights the talents of young people when it comes to working out means of protection and the excellent progress of the Gsec team from Gibraltar is promising. However, two things stand out as needing to be addressed: first, the extent of the problem, and second, the basic errors people like my ex-client still make.

Extent

The extent of the problem is hard to pin down when you’re in the press. Walk into a room full of CEOs and ask who’s been hacked and regardless of the truth, nobody is going to confirm it’s happened to them because nobody wants it publicised. This is reasonable enough, and when someone like Sony a few years ago or Ashley Madison more recently suffer Cyber-attacks you can be sure these are just the ones the press has heard of. There is other data, though, to suggest the issue will continue to grow. This article is being published on Tuesday 9th February, designated Safer Internet Day, and to mark it security company Kaspersky Lab has published research that suggests 12% of 16 to 19 year olds in the UK know someone who has done something illegal on the Internet; 35% would be impressed if a friend hacked into a bank’s website and replaced the homepage with a cartoon and one in ten would be impressed if a friend hacked into an airport’s traffic control systems.

There wasn’t any data on how many teenagers would say any old thing to shock a researcher. However, the first point is the most salient – over one in ten suggest they’ve seen someone do something illegal electronically. So, if you’re a business owner or just concerned about your security it’s just as well to ensure that a number of previous clangers don’t affect you.

Managerial errors

Security is far from just electronic. A handful of things can go wrong because staff haven’t been briefed:

  • You protect all electronic copies of every sensitive document and someone prints one of them out – and leaves it on the printer for an hour before picking it up. Or leaves it in a hotel lobby, on a train…all of these things have happened and hard copy print isn’t protected or encrypted.
  • You have visitors to your company and one of your employees nips to the loo. This is fine as long as their screen saver covers anything sensitive pretty quickly, and as long as the screen saver is password protected so someone wiggling the mouse or pressing a key won’t be able to get at all the details.
  • Pet names, partner names and the word “password” have never been good passwords and it remains poor practice to keep the default PIN that came with your phone’s voicemail.

Finally, back on the technology side, if you have a small network and it’s big enough to have a network administrator, don’t forget to ensure their administrator password is changed frequently and not easy to guess. There have been instances in which this hasn’t been done, and that password controls the system that can change all the other passwords and lock you out.

A lot of it is common sense. The Gsec team will be looking to defend people from more sophisticated attacks – but never overlook the obvious.

The New Statesman will be publishing a supplement on Cybersecurity in the issue dated 26 February.

Guy Clapperton is the freelance journalist who edits the New Statesman’s Gibraltar hub. You can also find him in the Guardian, Computer Business Review and Professional Outsourcing which he edits.