Tag Archives: News

Chemicals and defence firms targeted by hacking attack

It is believed that the campaign focused on intellectual property, including formulas and design processes. While the report did not reveal the names of any of the companies involved, it did say they included Fortune 100 firms. It disclosed that at least 12 of the infected companies were based in the US, five in the UK, and two in Denmark. Several of the firms were also said to have developed materials for military vehicles.

US giant Dow Chemicals confirmed to the BBC that it had been the target of “unusual emails” received during the summer. Symantec said workers at the organisations were sent emails asking them to open an attachment. It said in some cases they claimed to be invitations from established business partners, in others a security update. The firm said if the attachments were opened they installed a piece of code known as a Trojan horse, which allowed the hackers to obtain details of the targets’ computer networks. The attackers were then able to use this information to locate and copy files to another part of their targets’ systems, from where they were extracted.

Symantec identified the Trojan involved as PoisonIvy, which it said was developed by a Chinese speaker. The firm also said it had traced the attacks back to a “20-something male located in the Hebei region of China” who funnelled the process through a US computer server.

Symantec chief technology officer, Greg Day commented, “This is unfortunately becoming a new normal behaviour. We had at least a decade of cybercrime which generally targeted anybody. Then we had the emergence of very skilled techniques involving a lot of time and effort to target global organisations. What we have now is almost the commercialisation of those techniques, using elements such as advanced persistent threats to pursue espionage and intellectual property theft, whether that is for their own gain or resale.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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New Permanent Residence Requirements for UK Tier 2 Visa Applicants

The UK Boarder Agency (UKBA) announced additional documentation requirements for Tier 2 visa applicants applying for indefinite leave to remain. Tier 2 applicants will now be required to furnish proof from their employers and sponsors that they are paid at a high salary under Tier 2 visa. (more…)

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List of financial institutions for Tier 4 is published

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has published a list of financial institutions which it considers, on the basis of experience; does not verify financial statements to a satisfactory standard. (more…)

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MPs condemn poor value from hi-tech equipment

The report says the NHS in England has hi-tech scanners and radiotherapy equipment worth £1bn. This includes Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography scanners, which are mainly used for diagnosis, and Linear Accelerator machines for cancer treatment. The report warns that a lot of this equipment will need to be replaced and currently purchasing processes are wasteful, failing to take advantage of bulk-buying to get a better deal.

Margaret Hodge MP Chair for Public Accounts Committee stated, “The Department of Health is accountable for securing value for money in health spending but has no way of getting trusts to work together or tell them how to buy their equipment”. The report says that while the Department of Health is held accountable for value for money, responsibility for buying and deploying the equipment lies at local level – an approach it describes as “fragmented and unco-ordinated”.

The report calls for orders for expensive equipment to be “bundled together” across trusts so that they can exploit their joint buying power. The MPs also highlight big variations in how effectively the equipment is used. They say the average number of scans per CT machine varies from about 7,800 to almost 22,000 per year. The chair of the PAC, Margaret Hodge MP, said its members were “shocked” by the unacceptable response times for certain conditions. “A modern NHS should not allow 50% of people who have a stroke to wait more than 24 hours for a scan,” she said.

The chief executive of the Patients Association, Katherine Murphy, called for urgent action from the Department of Health: “It is incredibly alarming that there is such huge variation in the number of scans being performed throughout the country. How is it that we have all this expensive equipment laying idle when at the end of August, some 11,119 people had been waiting more than six weeks for a diagnostic test at an NHS hospital, compared with 5,795 a year ago?”

Commonwealth Contractors

At
Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private
Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies
who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2
Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled
International professional and you would like to work in the UK
Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners
specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme)
visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that
either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more
Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit
your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas
of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax,
immigration and contracting.

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Steve jobs vowed to ‘destroy’ android

Mr Jobs told author Walter Isaacson that he viewed Android’s similarity to iOS as “grand theft”. Apple is suing several smartphone makers which use the Android software. Apple enjoyed a close relationship with Google prior to the launch of the Android system. Google products, including maps and search formed a key part of the iPhone’s ecosystem. At that time, Google’s chief executive, now chairman, Eric Schmidt also sat on the board of Apple.

However, relations began to sour when Google unveiled Android in November 2007, 10 months after the iPhone first appeared. In subsequent years, Apple rejected a number of Google programs from its App store, forcing the company to create less-integrated web app versions. Android has subsequently enjoyed rapid adoption and now accounts for around 48% of global smartphone shipments, compared to 19% for Apple.

Apple has waged an aggressive proxy-war against Android, suing a number of the hardware manufacturers which have adopted it for their tablets and smartphones. Motorola was one of the first to be targeted, although it is Samsung that has borne the brunt of Mr Jobs’ ire.  The South Korean firm is currently banned from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and Germany because of a combination of patent infringements and “look and feel” similarities. A smartphone ban is also pending in the Netherlands.

Commonwealth Contractors

At
Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private
Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies
who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2
Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled
International professional and you would like to work in the UK
Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners
specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme)
visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that
either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more
Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit
your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas
of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax,
immigration and contracting.

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Reduction in jobs available via the Shortage occupation list

The shortage occupation is part of the Tier 2 immigration route via the Points Based System. Highly skilled migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) seeking to work in the UK must apply for visas via this route.

Today recommendations were accepted from MAC resulting in a number of jobs covered by the list drop by 40,000, reducing the total amount from 230,000 to 190,000. Further recommendations made by the MAC include changes  where evidence from a range of industries and sectors showed resident workers are available to fill the vacancies.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
‘Alongside our limits on overseas workers we are also taking action to provide businesses with the skills they need from the British workforce and reduce their need for migrants. We want the brightest and the best people from outside the EU with the skills we can benefit from in the UK.’

Occupations that the MAC recommended be removed from the list include:
•    secondary education biology teachers;
•    speech and language therapists;
•    pharmacists;
•    orthoptists;
•    veterinary surgeons; and,
•    rank and file orchestral musicians.

Commonwealth Contractors

At
Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private
Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies
who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2
Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled
International professional and you would like to work in the UK
Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners
specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme)
visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that
either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more
Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit
your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas
of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax,
immigration and contracting.

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Blackberry confirms services are ‘fully restored’

Following a three day global blackout for Blackberry services, Blackberry founder, Mike Lazaridis confirms services are “fully restored”. Millions of customers worldwide had their messaging and email services sporadically disrupted. (more…)

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Overseas visitors will pay the price for their NHS debts

Changes to the Immigration Rules detailed in Parliament recently, meaning that those subject to immigration control who fail to settle an outstanding bill of £1,000 or more will not be allowed to enter or remain in the UK until the debt is paid off.

Damian Green said: ‘the NHS is designed to meet the healthcare needs of the UK and we won’t tolerate abuse of this service. We welcome overseas visitors, but those who use NHS facilities need to pay for them, or they will be barred from coming here. It’s very simple – pay up or you won’t be welcome in the UK.”

The NHS will provide information that will enable the UK Border Agency to identify the debtors and – when they apply to return to or remain in the UK – to refuse their applications. The information sharing arrangements are being phased in over the coming months. It is hoped that the £1,000 threshold will capture 94 per cent of outstanding charges owed to the NHS.

This change follows consultations carried out last year by the UK Border Agency and the Department of Health. A 2009 review set out to examine the rules on charging overseas visitors for access to NHS services in England.

Commonwealth Contractors

At
Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private
Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies
who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2
Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled
International professional and you would like to work in the UK
Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners
specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme)
visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that
either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more
Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit
your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas
of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax,
immigration and contracting.

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‘Alarming’ basic care provided to the elderly in hospital

Common areas of concern included a lack of support for those who needed help eating, poor hygiene and curtains not being closed properly. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said he would encourage whistle-blowers to highlight any concerns they had about the standard of hospital care for the elderly. He said: “We expect that staff across the NHS, if they see examples of poor care they blow the whistle on that, which is precisely why we have introduced changes to the staff contract.”

The inspections were ordered by Mr Lansley after several highly critical reports by campaigners, including the Patients Association. The 100 sites inspected – representing more than a third of the total number in England – were chosen through a combination of random selection and because previous research had flagged up concerns about standards.

CQC chair Dame Jo Williams said: “The fact that over half of hospitals were falling short to some degree in the basic care they provided to elderly people is truly alarming and deeply disappointing. This report must result in action.”

Mr Lansley added: “Everyone admitted to hospital deserves to be treated as an individual, with compassion and dignity. We must never lose sight of the fact that the most important people in the NHS are its patients.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At
Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private
Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies
who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2
Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled
International professional and you would like to work in the UK
Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners
specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme)
visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that
either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more
Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit
your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas
of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax,
immigration and contracting.

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UK citizenship test may include knowledge of British history

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said “there’s a whole chapter in the citizenship handbook on British history. But, incredibly, there are no questions on British history in the test. Instead you’ll find questions on the roles and powers of the main institutions of Europe and the benefits system within the UK. So we are going to revise the whole test and put British history and culture at the heart of it.”

The UK is attempting to reduce net migration into the country to the “tens of thousands”. Changes that have already been introduced include a recent cap on skilled migration and new requirements for people immigrating to Britain as family members. There are tougher English language requirements and there may be tougher financial requirements. Families who want to sponsor overseas relatives may have to post a large financial bond worth thousands of pounds.  “We will make migrants wait longer, to show they really are in a genuine relationship before they can get settlement,” Cameron said.

Commonwealth Contractors

At
Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private
Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies
who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2
Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled
International professional and you would like to work in the UK
Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners
specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme)
visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that
either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more
Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit
your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas
of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax,
immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading