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Security and Society

It's almost too convenient: as the USA tries to find support for its push against Iran, the USA has managed to find two men it says were behind major ransomware attacks ranging from 2015 until September 2018. They are Iranian.

Even more bizarre is that some nit at the FBI thinks that a US assistant Attorney General is being original, perhaps even clever, by calling ransomware attacks "21st Century Blackmail." There are some who will be delighted at the news: US President Trump and his pro-Israeli groups...

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If enough people get to see it, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's press conference in Bourke Street, Melbourne this morning will go down as one of those jaw-dropping moments in politics. It was a no-holds barred, balls-out, unequivocal challenge to "communities" in Melbourne to identify and report indicators of extremism for the sake of Australia and, importantly, for their own sake. A straight-talking poli? Strewth.

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Last week, the USA's FBI "unsealed" an indictment against a North Korean who they say was involved in the hacking organisation "Lazarus" which has been responsible for, amongst other things, the WannaCry virus that brought government, corporate and personal computers running Microsoft Windows software, or Linux machines running Windows emulation software, to their knees.

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There's a basic truth about terrorism: terrorists need to keep themselves in the news. From stabbing attacks on "soft" targets to mass-beheading on the side of a road, Da'eas (ISIS / ISIL ) and their loose network are past masters at getting the kind of attention that ramps up shock with periodic changes in strategy. Attacks in Indonesia combined several reasons for anger and some for shock. ChiefOfficers.Net analyses why it was so successful and the fact that they have brought horror and terror, in equal measure, from an "it happens" state of mind to "it could happen to me, anytime, anywhere" and, therefore achieves the primary...

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The controversy over so-called "swatting," (a stupid name that only an idiot would come up with because it makes something heinous sound cuddly) was the first high-profile spill-over from a massive online computer game to the real world. Yesterday saw the second and it caused extraordinary disruption and expense to public services in the UK. It was launched from the USA.

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It's easy to laugh at Americans: overseas they are often loud (in clothing and sound), they all think they are superheroes (why else would they wear their pants on the outside?) and they have only recently learned to build cars that go round corners properly. And their choice of presidents seems to be ever more ridiculous. However, what's happening now in relation to gunnism is, thankfully, no joke.

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Religions (which in this context are often misdescribed as "faiths" often restrict what are often termed "inter-faith" relationships including marriage, even where restrictions also apply to marriages between those of different religions or even sects within the same faith. Compulsion is by a variety of means, in some countries backed by national law and in others by authorised religious police or by the clergy. But, as a new age of radicalism develops across parts of the world, there is increasing denouncement to the authorities and, even, calls for vigilantism.

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The Chief Inspector of of OfStEd (the Office for Standards in Education), the education regulator in England and Wales, has said that head teachers must be allowed to make rules for the benefit of the entire pupil body and must not bow to pressure from minorities and that religion must not be used for purposes of division, and that the young must be protected from indoctrination in religious schools of all faiths.

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Da'esh is proving far more difficult to eradicate than many politicians would have the world believe. Yesterday's attack on Save the Children in Jalalabad, Afghanistan,has been claimed by the group's PR division. But they claim almost every newsworthy attack these days. Does that mean they did, or didn't do it?

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At the heart of Islamic fundamentalism across South East Asia is the desire to set up a so-called Caliphate taking in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines. In the Southern Philippines, there are a number of Islamic Fundamentalist groups who have taken to extreme violence and terrorism. The largest is Abu Sayyaf with which there is, supposedly, a peace deal, of sorts, in place. But the Abu Sayyaf leadership has splintered...

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