pjcowley

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About pjcowley

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  1. Parliament hit by cyber attack as hackers attempt to access MPs' email accounts Hackers launch 'sustained and determined attack' on all parliamentary user accounts Hackers have targeted Parliament’s email system in an attempt to access the accounts of hundreds of MPs, Lords, aides and staff. Security services to shut down access for anyone not in Westminster as part of efforts to secure the network. “The Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts,” a parliamentary spokesperson told The Independent. “We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network, liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). “We have systems in place to protect member and staff accounts and are taking the necessary steps to protect our systems.” MPs were told of the cyber attack on Friday night and said they were unable to access their emails the following morning. An email sent to everyone using a parliamentary address said “unusual activity and evidence of an attempted cyber attack” had been discovered. “Closer investigation by our team confirmed that hackers were carrying out a sustained and determined attack on all parliamentary user accounts in attempt to identify weak passwords,” said a message seen by the Huffington Post. “These attempts specifically were trying to gain access to users’ emails.” It said changes had been made to the system to prevent the attackers gaining access, shutting down remove access to emails and unspecified services via mobile one, but access to systems on the Westminster state itself was unaffected. It came days after reports that Russian hackers had put passwords belonging to senior ministers, ambassadors and senior police officers up for sale online. Two lists of stolen data included the log-in details of 1,000 British MPs and parliamentary staff, 7,000 police employees and more than 1,000 Foreign Office officials, The Times reported. The information was believed to have been stolen from LinkedIn, MySpace and other smaller sites, with many passwords “easy to guess” incorporating memorable numbers and relatives’ names. Official guidance from the NCSCs states that hackers use software that automatically predicts minor variations to passwords including the substitution of letters for numbers, warning not worsen vulnerability by using the same password for accounts at work and home. Members of the Commons and Lords were giving out alternative contact details on Saturday as the security services continued their work. Fears of a cyber attack on Parliament increased following the successful hacks targeting emails related to Hillary Clinton and Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaigns. The UK was also rocked by the WannaCry ransomware attack that hit computers running outdated versions of Microsoft Windows around the world last month. Infecting more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries, it had a devastating effect on the NHS as computers were left displaying only a page demanding bitcoin payments to de-crypt files. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/parliament-cyber-attack-mp-email-accounts-houses-commons-politicians-security-police-a7806456.html
  2. A Hotpoint branded fridge freezer caused this tragedy, apparently.
  3. I am surrounded by cunts at work.
  4. Several politicians and their investment bankers puppeteer have Hirschsprung’s disease, although in their case it's simply called the Shithead Syndrome.
  5. Couldn't agree more man, couldn't agree more... I know all too well :(((((
  6. Huge hypocrites, Saudi Arabia and also ... Israel. Disgusting and pathetic.
  7. Eight failures that left people of Grenfell Tower at mercy of the inferno A litany of failings in building regulation and safety rules have left residents in tower blocks vulnerable for decades. Despite constant warnings from fire experts, nothing was done to improve fire-proofing standards, or even review the current situation. Here are the eight times that the victims of Grenfell Tower were let down. A change in the law Until 1986 all buildings in London fell under the London Building Acts which ensured that external walls must have at least one hour of fire resistance to prevent flames from spreading between flats or entering inside. But under Margaret Thatcher’s government, those rules were replaced by the National Buildings Regulations and the crucial time stipulation was scrapped. Instead, materials used on the outside of buildings now only had to meet ‘Class O’ regulations and show that they did not add to the heat or intensity of a fire. But crucially they did not have to be non-combustible. For the past three decades fire safety experts have warned that the ‘Class O’ designation was based on small-scale tests conducted in laboratory conditions and did not properly evaluate cladding in a live fire. A recent London Fire Brigade investigation into the fire at a tower block fire at Shepherd Court in West London in August 2016 found that external cladding had helped the fire to spread. They found that when exposed to high flames the metal sheet of the cladding had melted away, setting the inner polystyrene foam on fire and allowing ‘flaming droplets’ to fall onto lower floors while helping flames to spread higher up. Fire chiefs wrote to every council in London to warn them of the dangers but no action was taken. Dangerous cladding A leading fire safety expert warned Government advisors three years ago that a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower inferno would happen unless they changed rules to ban cheap, flammable insulation used on the outside of buildings. Arnold Turling said the Grenfell blaze was “entirely avoidable” and that a gap between the panels acted as a ‘wind tunnel’, fanning the flames, and allowing the fire to spread to upper levels. Mr Turling, a member of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection, said: “Any burning material falls down the gaps and the fire spreads up very rapidly – it acts as its own chimney.” Three years ago Mr Tarling, a chartered surveyor, addressed the British Standards Institute’s seventh annual fire conference in London, at which government fire safety advisor Brian Martin was present. “I said we will have this type of cladding fire in this country and it will lead to large numbers of deaths,” he said. It emerged last night that the United States had banned the type of cladding thought to have been used on Grenfell Tower. The material used on Grenfell Tower was sold under the brand Reynobond which comes in three different varieties: one with a flammable plastic core and two with fire-resistant cores and the cheaper, more combustible, version was banned in the United States in buildings taller than 40 feet. It is thought that Grenfell's exterior cladding, added in 2015, had a polyethylene - or plastic - core but conforms to UK standards. Reynobond’s fire-resistant panel sells for £24 per square metre; £2 more expensive than the standard version. Following the Shepherd Court fire, insurer RSA wrote a report warning that flammable material in insulation panels "melts and ignites relatively easily", and can cause "extremely rapid fire spread and the release of large volumes of toxic smoke”. They concluded: "This allows extensive and violent fire to spread, and makes fire fighting almost impossible.” Architect and fire safety expert Sam Webb said there was a "conflict" between fire safety and the materials that are used to make buildings more energy efficient. However Harley Curtain Wall Ltd said that it had installed cladding, with polyisocyanurate inside, a material which is better than most at resisting fire in tests. No government review After six people died in the Lakanal House fire in south London in 2009, the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group called for a major government review of building regulations. They argued that 4,000 tower blocks across London were at risk because of a lack of fire risk assessments, and panels on the outside walls not providing the necessary fire resistance. The coroner on the Lakanal House inquest also recommended the government simplify regulations relating to fire safety so they were easier for landlords to understand. In 2013, then communities secretary Eric Pickles responded to the coroner’s recommendations and promised a review with an updated version of building regulations published in 2016/17. However, four years on and no review has been completed despite assurances from former housing minister Gavin Barwell, who is now Theresa May’s chief of staff. A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the work is “ongoing” and would not give a date for when the updated regulations will be published. A single staircase Residents in Grenfell Tower made repeated warnings that a single staircase was their only means of escaping the building. Despite safety concerns of experts, tower blocks in Britain still only have to have one staircase, leaving Britain out of step with other countries in the world. Russ Timpson, of the Tall Buildings Fire Safety Network, said his "foreign colleagues are staggered" that there is no requirement for a second staircase as he called on the Government to look again at fire safety regulations. Residents fleeing in Tuesday night’s blaze complained that stairways were blocked, full of smoke and had no sprinkler systems fitted. Firefighters also struggled to get to the upper levels. Ronnie King, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group, said: “The staircase should have been protected route for firefighters and people escaping but it was clear that it wasn’t.” The flats had recently been refitted and fire experts warned that gaps in the walls where new pipes were installed could have allowed flames and smoke to spread quickly through the communal areas. Missing sprinklers There was no central sprinkler system at Glenfell which members of the Fire Protection Association said would have "undoubtedly" saved lives. MPs from All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group also said that MPs had been calling for sprinklers to be fitted on the outside of tall buildings for years, but said their calls been ignored. Currently, sprinklers only need to be fitted up to 30 metres, but in tall buildings like Grenfell it is impossible for fire hoses to reach the upper heights, leaving the top floors without any protection. The Fire Protection Association said more sprinklers would "undoubtedly" have saved lives. "Whether they'd have stopped that fire spreading at the speed it did up the outside of that building is another matter," Jon O'Neill of the FPA said. "But to have had sprinklers in that building would have created an environment where it would have been easier to rescue people and increase survivability." However in 2014 housing minister Brandon Lewis stopped short of forcing building developers to fit sprinklers, over fears it could discourage house building. He said at Westminster Hall Debate: “The cost of fitting a fire sprinkler system may affect house building – something we want to encourage.” Missing fire doors London Fire Brigade said claims that doors were not fire-proofed would form part of its ongoing inquiry. Two separate sources have told The Telegraph that not all the front doors in the tower block were fire-proofed. Official fire brigade advice to stay put in the event of a fire is based on fire doors offering protection to residents told not to leave the building. Fire doors are designed to stop the fire spreading rapidly through the building rather than being "compartmentalised". Regulations state that all tower blocks being built must have fire doors on the flat, the stairwell and the riser doors, which give access to the pipes. Building regulations are not retrospective, so cannot force the installation of modern equipment on old buildings. However, Richard Brownlee, Managing Director of Surrey Fire and Safety Ltd, said that it would be expected that fire doors were installed as part of any refurbishment and installation would be recommended as part of any refurbishment. Inspections According to information released by Kensington and Chelsea Council under the Freedom of Information Act, the last time that Grenfell Tower was subject to a full Fire Risk Assessment was December 2015. There is a requirement for every building to have regular fire risk assessments, but the regulations do not specify how frequently this should take place. Industry experts say that best practice is every 12 months. It is also a requirement to have a fire risk assessment carried out if there is a "material change" to the building. The regulations do not specify how soon that inspection must take place. The refurbishment to Grenfell Tower was completed in May 2016 and yet it does not appear that any safety checks were carried out, even though the new cladding work consisted of ‘material change.’ The council did not respond to a request for comment. Firebreaks Fires on outside of cladded buildings should have been controlled by firebreaks - gaps in the external envelope to prevent the continual burning of material. Under Building Regulations 1991, developers are warned that they must install systems to prevent flames from leaping from floor to floor. However the Fire Brigades Union and the Loss Prevention Council and the Buildings Research Establishment have frequently warned that guidance is not adequate in the event of a fire. And fire safety experts said it was unlikely that firebreaks would have stopped the conflagration at Grenfell. Dr Stuart Smith, a building surveying and fire safety lecturer at Sheffield Hallam university, said: “The rate at which the building was burning suggests that even if the fire breaks were there, they didn’t work. "Once the fire had got into the cladding, the rate at which that burns, I’m not sure fire breaks would work anyway.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/eight-failures-left-people-grenfell-tower-mercy-inferno/ Bad karma.... all those government people that throughout the decades neglected to ensure basic safety measures, because cheap and (not so) cheerful always needs to be the British hallmark. Always. @XXL I am really sorry about Marco and Gloria's account... heartbreaking...