Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Taoiseach Enda Kenny announces collaboration between SFI Research Centre Lero and major U.S. research centre

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD has announced the signing of a new agreement between Lero, the SFI Research Centre for Software, and the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering at the University of Maryland, which will see both centres of excellence engage in extensive research collaboration in the coming years. The collaboration will focus on evolving critical systems and digital transformation.

The MoU was signed as part of a broader Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) programme of engagements in the U.S. which included the awarding of the prestigious SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD.

Speaking of the announcement, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, said: “I am delighted to announce this new research agreement between the SFI-funded Lero Software Research Centre and the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering in the University of Maryland. Ireland’s reputation as a centre of ICT excellence is unrivalled. By growing and expanding international links through partnerships and collaborations with world-leading organisations, we will create further opportunities for innovation.”

Professor Mike Hinchey, leading researcher at Lero and consultant to NASA, said: “The Fraunhofer Institutes are the global hallmark of excellence for application-orientated research and it is a tribute to our team of researchers in Ireland that the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering Research is committing to this research partnership with Lero in areas of synergy.”

Prof Hinchey, who has previously acted as Director of the Software Engineering Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, added: “Fraunhofer research has been adopted by major US organisations such as NASA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), amongst others.”

“The SFI Research Centre, Lero, is recognised as a world class research centre with research skills and interests that complement our own. We look forward to collaborating with the Lero team,” said Prof Adam Porter, Executive and Scientific Director, Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “I very much welcome this exciting cross-Atlantic collaboration between Lero, the SFI Research Centre for Software, and the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering in the University of Maryland. It is further evidence of the strong links between American and Irish research teams, and demonstrates how highly regarded Irish research is internationally. This collaboration presents us with an excellent opportunity to promote closer linkages between our top-class researchers and their peers across the globe.”

Lero (www.lero.ie) is Ireland’s national software research centre. It combines the best in Irish software talent by bringing together researchers from Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland as well as by contracts from Irish and international technology corporations.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Another Email scam hits Irish Inboxes

ESET Ireland continues its regular reporting on most common scams targeting Irish email addresses. In recent days: fake Facebook, Eir and Bank of Ireland emails.

Knowing about threats is the best way to avoid them. This is why ESET Ireland keeps warning Irish computer users of current email scams, targeting Irish mailboxes.

Bank of Ireland customers continue to be a popular target of the scammers. Last week we’ve seen two varieties. The first said:

“Your 365 Online personal banking details (e.g. User ID, PIN and/or other login details) was entered incorrectly more than 3 times.
For the protection of your account we have blocked access to it.
To restore access please Login to 365 Online correctly.”

And the second:

“An attempt to access 365 Online Banking was
denied. Please "Login" now.”

In both cases, the victims are asked by a fake phishing website, in both cases registered by the same address in the US, to enter their login details and other personal info, so the scammers can later use them to steal their identity and access their funds.

Another email came with the subject “Eircom is now Eir. Your action is required.” And claimed:

“Alert : My Eir information is no longer saved and you can't access your account !
Due to recent changes to our website, Eir users may be prompted for their account information.
Eir users should provide their account information to regain access to their account.
However, in the event that there are no security questions set on your account, you will need a complete a verification process.”

This one also takes the victims to a phishing website, registered to a P.O. box Panama, which aims to extract their My Eir accounts’ login and other details.

The last one, equipped with Facebook graphics, came from what appears to be a Dutch email address and was brief:

“Hi, Here's some activity you have missed on Facebook.
5 friend request “

The link, however, does not lead to Facebook, but to a website that calls itself Canadian, is registered in Russia, but geolocated to Latvia, that tries to sell you Viagra, Cialis and similar medicines.

Ireland being targeted from all these scams from all over the world, just testifies how even small countries are not immune to the global threat that cybercrime has become.

Anyone receiving these emails shouldn’t click on the links, but should instead mark them as spam and delete them immediately.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Augmented Human Demonstrator Event

Event Notice: The Insight Centre for Data Analytics presents The Augmented Human Demonstrator Event

Where: Cusack Stand, Croke Park

When: 23rd March 2017

Time: 12.30 – 16.00

Evolution 2.0: Humans Merge with Technology to Enhance Skills and Adapt to the Digital Ecosystem

About: How can we use data to boost our potential as human beings? Can data help us increase the capabilities of our bodies and minds?

These are the questions at the heart of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics’s new Augmented Human research theme.

Insight has an excellent track record of achievement in research and innovation related to measurement or enhancement of human performance in all walks of life. Achieving a more effective Augmented Human relies on augmenting our capacity in terms of intelligence, decision-making and performance against a backdrop of giving us control over our data. With this in mind, there are three elements to the theme, Augmented Cognition, Augmented Performance and, because for citizens to be truly empowered by data, they need knowledge and control of that data, Augmented Privacy.

Insight’s Augmented Human Demonstrator event will showcase this work and bring the Augmented Human concept to a wider audience. The event is free but please register here on Eventbrite as numbers are limited.

For further information contact:
Louise Holden, 00 353 87 2423985
Grainne Faller, 00 353 86 840 4761