100 school teachers face the sack in UK extremist probe

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LONDON: An estimated 100 teachers and teaching assistants in the UK are likely to be sacked from schools after an investigation into their alleged extremist Islamist views.

The UK’s National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), the teachers’ watchdog which can ban teachers from classrooms, is working on possible disciplinary cases against current and former staff members at schools in Birmingham.

According to the ‘The Sunday Times’, the schools were the focus of the Trojan Horse scandal, which saw efforts by hardline Islamists to take control of state schools.

The NCTL is reportedly examining 30 cases with an expectation that many more will follow, as many as 100.

Allegations under investigation include claims that an al-Qaeda style video was copied at Park View Academy, one of the schools involved in the Trojan Horse affair, and that teachers punished children by making them kneel on tiles.

More than 50 staff members in schools across Birmingham also allegedly exchanged messages in a WhatsApp group which included homophobic remarks, offensive comments about British soldiers, claims that the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, southeast London, was a hoax, and

Bite back Change your diet to avoid mosquito bites

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With the summer heat lasting way past its welcome — and only a few rainy days in between — SoCal’s extended summer has begun to pose a problem. As sea level and peak temperatures have been increasing around the world, ecosystems have been displaced by the environment. And, California is not exception.  According to the California Department of Public Health, the drought has left bodies of stagnant water, which introduce a surprising new problem – waves of non-native mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus. The notion of West Nile virus in the U.S., however, is not at all far-fetched, as Orange County, south of L.A., has incurred 263 of the virus since 2003, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Though clothing and a strong insect repellant are the first and most effective line of defense against insects, there is an intrinsic component to bug bites. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, mosquitoes bite certain people who have just the right body chemistry.  Take, for example, that you go on a high-potassium diet. The excess potassium that your body does not need is secreted onto your skin, where mosquitoes can

Summer Brings Mosquito Borne Malware

Concluding their discussion of the spread of viruses to handheld devices, Cyrus Peikari, Seth Fogie, Jonathan Read, and David Hettel analyze a brand-new bug: the first Trojan in the wild written specifically to infect cellular phones.

The summer of 2003 brought a new wave of a deadly, mosquito-borne viruses. This summer, a new Mosquito-borne infection arrived. But it didn’t attack humans. Rather, it infected cellular phones.

The Symbian operating system powers many cellular phones, and also supports a wide range of third-party applications—including games. Unfortunately, one popular game turned out to have a “cracked” version that was secretly infected with a Trojan horse. The Mosquito dialer Trojan infects the popular game Mosquito with code that secretly messages pay-per-call numbers.

What Is a Dialer Trojan?

A dialer Trojan is malware coded to secretly dial phone numbers, leaving the infected victim with a large phone bill. There are two reasons why someone might code and spread a dialer Trojan. The first reason is destructive, perhaps as tool of revenge. The second reason is for financial gain. Simply set up a premium 900 number and charge $5.99 a minute. Then, all the malicious coder needs is a few hundred infected

A Trojan Horse In Clinton’s Pledge To Enhance Social Security

Unless you listened carefully, you might have missed the expanse of daylight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders when asked about their plans for Social Security at the CNN Democratic debate Tuesday.

It’s a gap that is alarming people who are fighting to protect and strengthen Social Security – just as the program is getting renewed attention because of today’s expected announcement that Social Security recipients won’t be receiving a cost-of-living adjustment in their checks in 2016.

Clinton was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash whether “Senator Sanders’ plan to expand Social Security” was “something that you would support.”

“Well, I fully support Social Security,” Clinton began. “And the most important fight we’re going to have is defending it against continuing Republican efforts to privatize it.”

Case closed? Not quite. Bash pressed on: “Do you want to expand it?”

That yes-or-no question got neither. “I want to enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security,” she said, singling out “particularly widowed and single women” who didn’t make a lot of money during their careers. “I will focus on helping those people who need it the most,” she concluded.

What alarmed Social Security activists is that underneath Clinton’s positive language – “fully support,” “enhance” –

Computer Trojan Horse Steals Credit Card Details From Hotel Reception Software

A remote access computer Trojan (RAT) designed to steal credit card details from hotel point-of-sale (PoS) applications is being sold on the underground forums, researchers from security firm Trusteer said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Trusteer security researchers found an advertisement on a black market forum for a custom RAT designed to infect hotel front desk computers and steal customer credit card and billing information.

The seller was offering the computer Trojan, together with instructions on how to trick hotel front desk managers into installing it on their computers, for US$280. The seller also claimed that the malware won’t be detected by any antivirus program when it’s delivered to the buyer.

Malware writers often repackage their malicious installers with new algorithms in order to evade signature-based antivirus detection, said Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at antivirus vendor BitDefender.

The repackaged samples can then be delivered via email or instant messaging without being stopped at the network perimeter. However, if an antivirus product with strong heuristic and behavioral detection capabilities is running on the targeted systems, the malware should be blocked at execution time, Botezatu said via e-mail.

The hotel RAT’s seller specified in the ad that the malware doesn’t collect card security numbers,

Chromecast is Google’s hugely successful Trojan Horse into your home

Google’s secret weapon for getting inside our homes and deeper within the fabric of our daily lives is not smart appliance maker Nest or even its ubiquitous Android operating system. It’s a $35 HDMI stick that lets everybody else in the tech industry do all the hard work. The Chromecast, which Google refreshed today with a 2.0 version for video and a new device solely for audio streaming, has sold 20 million units since 2013. And the expanded product family is poised to continue sucking up key infrastructure in the home media system thanks to its low-cost and ever-expanding feature set, which now includes Spotify support and universal search.

By providing a stripped-down tool instead of an all-in-one solution, Google is able to serve as the interface between apps and hardware. Plus, Google doesn’t have to worry about where the media comes from or what software controls it. The Chromecast is a no-frills device — you just tap its icon in whatever app you’re looking at and the Chromecast moves, or “casts,” the image to your TV. The dongle’s success can be measured by copycat products like Amazon’s Fire Stick and Roku’s Streaming Stick. While Amazon has never disclosed sales figures for

Trojan horse Greek mythology

Trojan horse, huge hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance into Troy during the Trojan War. The horse was built by Epeius, a master carpenter and pugilist. The Greeks, pretending to desert the war, sailed to the nearby island of Tenedos, leaving behind Sinon, who persuaded the Trojans that the horse was an offering to Athena (goddess of war) that would make Troy impregnable. Despite the warnings of Laocoön and Cassandra, the horse was taken inside the city gates. That night Greek warriors emerged from it and opened the gates to let in the returned Greek army. The story is told at length in Book II of the Aeneid and is touched upon in the Odyssey. The term Trojan horse has come to refer to subversion introduced from the outside. Beginning in the late 20th century, the name “Trojan horse” was applied to deceptively benign computer codes that seem like legitimate applications but are written to damage or disrupt a computer’s programming or to steal personal information.

What lessons from Trojan Horse case

More than 18 months after the Trojan Horse allegations first made the headlines, the arguments over claims of a take-over of Birmingham schools are being fought out in a series of disciplinary hearings.

The claims of an organised covert attempt to impose a hardline Muslim ethos on a group of state schools emerged in a letter describing a so-called Operation Trojan Horse.

There have been investigations by the Department for Education, Ofsted and the local authority – and disputes about the plausibility of the letter. But there has never been any consensus about what really happened.

You can talk to people close to events who will say the entire story was an overblown hoax, unsubstantiated claims built up by a climate of fear about Islamic extremism. They say it’s been more Salem than Birmingham, with high-achieving schools being unfairly condemned.

Or you can talk to others privately who will say that this was only the tip of the iceberg. They say teachers have been bullied and schools have been manipulated by closed groups, operating to their own religious and cultural agenda. They also suggest that this isn’t only a problem for Birmingham.

Nothing so far has brought these deeply-held and contradictory views any closer.

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