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New Text Message Warning.

It was only a matter of time before criminals would begin to target eFlow charges, in an effort to extract funding from the more gullible and those who insist in remaining IT illiterate.

With Tolls having being increased in January 2022 by 10% on 7 of the 8 PPP toll roads around the country – from €2.90 to €3.00 (M4) and from €1.90 to €2.00 (M1, N6, M7/M8, N8, N25WF, LT), it was inevitable that criminals would attempt to expand their existing criminal activities .

In numerous text messages sent out today, same show the senders Tel. No. 35385 1051698, demanding supposed outstanding overdue eFlow payments.

Text Messages Being Received read:-

eFlow: you have an outstanding amount due from a journey made in 2022.
Please pay now to avoid incurring any penalty charges. [The link shown to make payments is https://toll-online- service.com/]

Note: No details of arrears are shown and attackers on toll-online-service.com may trick you into doing something silly and indeed dangerous; e.g. like installing software or revealing your personal information such as your passwords, personal phone number, or credit card details.

All such messages should be immediately deleted on sight, and any attached links should not be activated.


EIRSAT-1 Ireland’s First Satellite Ready For Launch.

Ireland’s first satellite EIRSAT-1 (Educational Irish Research Satellite 1), which has taken just over five years to develop, is now ready for launching, possibly between mid-January and mid-February of this current year.

The satellite was designed, developed, built and tested at University College Dublin (UCD) and will be launched 520km into the sky from the European spaceport in French Guiana, on the northeast coast of South America, before orbiting the Earth for some five years; to return to earth and UCD.

Last year the Irish Government signed of an agreement to facilitate the launch of the developed EIRSAT-1 satellite, having received funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI); the Irish Research Council; Enterprise Ireland, UCD, Openet, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), and the European Space Education Resource Office (ESE).
The Irish government intend to register the satellite on the UN Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space.

Assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at UCD, Dr David McKeown, was the engineering manager on the project, and this being the first Irish designed satellite; Dr McKeown hopes this project will lay the ground work for larger satellites into the future.


‘Republic Of Work’ Set To Open New Co-Working Hub In Tipperary.

‘Republic of Work’ offices on South Mall, Cork City.

Co. Cork’s popular co-working hub, ‘Republic of Work’, is to expand; locating in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, thus offering a much-needed solution to Ireland’s fast growing and emerging flexible working quandary.

This first co-working hub outside of Cork city, is expected to open in January 2023, with the team hoping it will encourage people living in Clonmel to ‘stay local‘, rather than having to commute daily or relocate to reside in costly accommodation in Irish cities, in order to work.

‘Republic of Work’ first announced their plans for the Clonmel hub last October on social media and will now hold an open day on Thursday December 15th next, [10:00am to 5:00pm] at the hub on Clonmel’s Dr. Croke Place, to give locals a chance to meet its members and discuss how the new space will operate into the future.

‘Republic of Work’ was first established in Cork city five years ago with a hub situated on South Mall, one of the main streets of Cork city, running from Grand Parade in the west to Parnell Place in the east.


Pouldine Area Of Tipperary Without Broadband Services Following Collision.

Thurles Gardaí have arrested a male on suspicion of drink driving after his motor vehicle lost control and crashed into an ESB pole and a fibre broadband junction box in the area of Pouldine cross located between Thurles town and the village of Horse & Jockey. The area is expected to be without a broadband service for possibly up to 7 days.

Meanwhile, Tipperary Roads Policing Unit have also removed two other cars from our roads yesterday.
The first vehicle was intercepted in Thurles, with the driver found to have no insurance and no Road Tax.

The second vehicle was seized in the Templemore area, with the driver found to be without Insurance; NCT; Road Tax; being a Learner Driver unaccompanied, and exhibiting no L-Plates.

All drivers now face court proceedings.


Joint Public Awareness Campaign For European Cyber Security Month Launched.

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) launch joint public awareness campaign for European Cyber Security Month.

  • These bodies work closely to identify methods used by cyber-criminals; and to advise businesses and the public how to avoid falling victim to cyber-crime.
  • An increase in ransomware attacks against businesses is evident, where payments are demanded.
  • Phishing attacks continue to target the most vulnerable in our communities – to steal personal data and money.

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Mr Ossian Smyth TD; Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD and Assistant Garda Commissioner, Mr Paul Cleary have, this week, launched a joint public awareness campaign for October’s European Cyber Security Month.
This year’s campaign focuses on the twin themes of phishing and ransomware, urging vigilance and outlining their potential impacts on the everyday lives of Irish citizens and businesses. The campaign is being jointly promoted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB).

Over the course of Cyber Security Month, which runs throughout October, the NCSC will raise awareness on phishing and ransomware across online and traditional channels. This will take place alongside work by the GNCCB; both bodies are engaging with target audiences — for example the elderly and SME businesses — to highlight the risks involved and the steps that can be taken against both phishing and ransomware attacks.

Phishing emails, used by attackers to lure people into disclosing personal details or clicking on malicious links, are used by cyber-criminals to gain unauthorised access to a computer or network. Hackers continue to design smarter and more sophisticated phishing emails, in the hope of gaining people’s trust and pressuring them into acting without thinking.

Throughout October 2022 a key focus will be on informing the public, in particular the elderly, on how to avoid becoming a victim of email phishing, how to spot the tell-tale signs of these types of emails and what to do if a person has fallen victim to an e-mail phishing attack.

Commenting on the launch, Minister McEntee said: “I know I am not alone in being bothered by fake calls and text messages, and I share people’s frustrations at having to fend off these criminals and their often sophisticated scams. The simple truth is that the same technological advancements that have made our lives easier in so many ways also open us up to new forms of criminality. And, by its nature, those seeking to take advantage of today’s global connectivity often sit outside the easy reach of domestic law enforcement. That is why we need to do everything we can to help people and businesses protect themselves.

The ability of international criminal gangs to launch ransomware attempts against Irish entities from anywhere in the world reinforces the importance of having well-designed and resilient cybersecurity procedures and systems in place.

European Cyber Security Month is a valuable opportunity for us all to work together to raise awareness of the dangers of cybercrime and try and protect those most at risk. And the continued expansion of the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau and the National Cyber Security Centre under this Government demonstrates our commitment to doing so”.

Assistant Commissioner Cleary, Organised & Serious Crime, commented: “We have seen an increase in ransomware attacks against businesses, where payments are demanded to regain access to critical data information systems. The impact of these types of crime can be significant where companies are no longer able to function and recovery costs are potentially severe.

At the same time, phishing attacks can target the most vulnerable in our communities — to steal their personal data and their money. The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau and the National Cyber Security Centre work closely to identify the methods being used by cyber-criminals, so that we can advise companies and the public how to avoid being victims of cyber-crime and enable them to recover from a cyber-attack when it does occur.

Our collaboration for European Cyber Security Month is an important part of our cyber-security strategy and demonstrates the commitment of both agencies, and of Government, to make the online environment safer for businesses and the public”.

Tactics of criminal ransomware groups.
The second area of focus is ransomware. Focus will be on the stages of a ransomware attack chain, the impacts they have, and the important actions that can be taken in ‘breaking the chain’ and stopping an attack from occurring. Previously issued guidance will also be promoted, including a ‘Cyber Vitals’ checklist and ‘12 Steps to Cyber Security’ for businesses — to help to build and improve their cyber resilience (to defend against ransomware attacks).

The NCSC and GNCCB have seen a noticeable change in the tactics of criminal ransomware groups, whereby rather than largely focussing on Governments, critical infrastructure, and big business, they are increasingly targeting smaller businesses. Both agencies advise that ransom payments should not be made to criminal groups, highlighting that there is no guarantee that paying a ransom will lead to your data being successfully decrypted or prevent the data from being leaked online.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Smyth said: “As the National Cyber Security Centre and Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau have highlighted recently, there is an increasing and worrying trend globally of SMEs being targeted by ransomware groups, with Irish businesses being amongst those impacted. Organisations are facing a very real threat from cyber-criminals looking to disrupt these organisations from functioning properly – in return for a ransom.

We are also aware of the different forms of phishing out there. These can have a very damaging impact on citizens and businesses. European Cyber Security Month is a terrific way to raise awareness of these issues – amongst small and medium sized businesses and amongst all Irish citizens. This will ensure they have the necessary defences to protect themselves against these cyber-related threats”.

The NCSC and GNCCB will also take part in a webinar on ransomware hosted by IBEC and the Small Firms Association during the second half of October.
The webinar will involve panel discussions on key cyber-security challenges and what key steps businesses can take to defend against these types of online crimes. In addition, the Bureau will take part in a series of roadshows around the country organised by ISME to discuss cyber risks and awareness from the small and medium enterprise business sector. Full details of locations and dates are available on the www.isme.ie website. Similar support is being provided by Age Action and Age Friendly Ireland, who will use their networks to get the European Cyber Security Month 2022 cyber safety message out – to senior citizens and the wider community.

The NCSC will conduct several briefings for Operators of Essential Services (OES) and Government Departments to raise awareness of Cyber Security threats during October. The NCSC will also host the first session of the Cyber Irelands National Conference on Enhancing Resilience in an Uncertain World on 5th October.