Cyber First

CyberFirst is a programme of opportunities to help young people explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the fast paced world of cyber security.

CyberFirst covers a broad range of activities: a comprehensive bursary scheme to financially support undergraduates through university and a degree apprenticeship scheme; a girls’ only competition, thousands of free places on CyberFirst courses at UK universities and colleges and our new initiative CyberFirst Schools and Colleges. Each activity is designed to seek out diverse people with potential, offering the support, skills, experience and exposure needed to be the future first line of defence in our CyberFirst world.

CyberFirst say they were setup by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ to find diverse young– not just programmers but entrepreneurs, public speakers, analysts and more – who’ll become the next generation of cyber security specialists.

Cyberfirst say that their bursary and degree apprenticeship programmes are designed for a new generation of future cyber security professionals. Even if you don’t know how to code yet, these programmes are open to you. The key thing they look for in applicants isn’t genius programming skills – it’s curiosity.

Is this going to be successful?

Nobody knows but it is likely to help some people, but probably not as many as they hope it will reach.

If you’ve signed up for CyberFirst, let us know, by email.

Just How Big is Facebook

Worldwide, there are over 2.93 billion monthly active Facebook users and about 67% access Facebook each day.

The user base of Facebook is aging and not being replaced by younger people so the total number of active users is [erhaps starting to shrink.

People aged 25 to 34 are the biggest group of Facebook users but there is evidence that younger people are moving away from Facebook (considered to be uncool now that so many Grandfathers and Grandmothers inhabit Facebook).

Some oddities:-

  • Highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm.
  • a Facebook post at 7pm will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8pm
  • On Thursdays and Fridays, engagement is 18% higher than other days
  • There are estimated to be 83 million fake profiles
  • 300 million photos are uploaded each day
  • Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes.
  • 50% of 18-24 year-olds go on Facebook when they wake up.

Like it or loathe it, Facebook is the 800 pound Gorilla in the social media world and will do everything it can to stay at the top.

Interesting that it is considered to be uncool by a growing number of young people so maybe its peak is near and it could fall from grace as quickly as it rose.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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The Flubot Scam

The Flubot phone scam is prevalent in Australia and spreading elsewhere.

FluBot is a text message scam that is part of a large-scale attack on mobile phones . It only affects Android devices currently The messages can appear to be from a delivery service like DHL, or other companies like Amazon and tell you to click a link to track your delivery for example.

If you click the link in the message, this will then try to download the malware to your device. If the app is installed, the malware will try to take over your device, allowing more infected text messages to be sent to your contacts without your knowledge. The scammer could also gain access to your messages and online banking details.

It will also ask other infected phones to send Flubot messages to the numbers it steals from your phone, continuing and expanding the scam. So, if you called the person that sent you the message, it would be another victim of the scam whose device was infected.

How does Flubot work?

Flubot text messages are sent with a link which almost always contains a series of 5-9 random letters and numbers at the end. This is the process:

  1. Phone owner gets a text message containing a link
    2. Clicks link and is invited to install software
    3. Phone becomes infected with malware
    4. Infected phone’s contacts are added to central list of Flubot text messages
    5. Flubot tries to steal banking, contact and personal information from infected device

If you click or tap on the link you will usually be taken to a screen where you will be asked to download an app for a purpose that relates to the text message. Or it say you have been infected with Flubot and should click the link to download the antidote.

If Your Device is Infected

You need to do a factory reset of your phone or take it to a professional.

You can find instructions online for how to reset your brand of phone. It is a quick process but will result in loss of data and APPS on the phone.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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