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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Help Us Fight Fakes, Alibaba’s Security Chief Tells Global Brands

  • June 24, 2015
  • When it comes to fighting fakes, Alibaba’s head of internet security says cooperation beats the courtroom any day.

    Ni Liang, who runs the Hangzhou, China-based company’s anti-counterfeiting operations, was speaking to Reuters days after Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other luxury brands owned by Paris-based Kering SA sued Alibaba in New York, alleging the e-commerce giant had knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell fakes.

    Ni said brands had a better chance of succeeding in clamping down on the pervasive counterfeit trade if they talked to Alibaba, instead of suing it.

    alibaba-signThe company has been dogged for years by accusations that it doesn’t do enough to fight intellectual property rights violations and also listed counterfeits as a risk before its record-breaking $25 billion IPO in September.

    “I strongly believe that spending money on lawsuits could result in a completely different outcome than cooperating with us,” Ni said in an interview during a rare visit by the media to Alibaba’s Internet security headquarters.

    “If a brand doesn’t cooperate with us, we’ll still fight fakes for them … But when we cooperate, we can fight better.”

    Alibaba employs some 2,000 employees to battle counterfeits. At its internet security command center, a computer screen covering an entire wall tallies in real time attempts by vendors to list suspected counterfeits and shows which brands they were trying to sell. Vendors known to have attempted to sell fakes are also tracked.

    Another 5,000 “volunteers” around the country, including sellers and buyers, help identify vendors of phony goods, Ni said, adding that Alibaba spent about 100 million yuan ($16 million) last year to covertly buy products and check their authenticity.

    Ni said this figure could rise to 150 million this year. “I believe we spend more than any platform or company in the world on anti-counterfeit efforts,” he added.

    Alibaba has so far signed more than 1,300 memoranda of understanding on cooperation with brands, including Microsoft , Apple and Louis Vuitton, to fight fakes, Ni said.

    Overall, Alibaba’s platforms have seen a drop in the number of counterfeits as a percentage of goods traded, Ni said, but added the number of fake products discovered by the company rose two thirds to 130 million last year from 80 million in 2012.

    Brands and industry groups have complained that Alibaba makes it difficult to remove suspect product listings. Ni said last year his team removed 12 million listings after receiving complaints involving about 20 million, but the process can be lengthy.

    Reuters by John Ruwitch; Additional reporting by Jane Lee in Shanghai; Editing by Miral Fahmy

    Full article:


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Launch: Islamic Curriculum on Peace & Counter-Terrorism

  • At least 700 British people are thought to have travelled to the Middle East to join jihadist organisations, and the influence of extremism in the UK has become a growing concern.

    A new curriculum is being launched to help tackle the radicalisation of young Muslims.

    Pakistani politician and Islamic scholar Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri hopes the ‘Islamic Curriculum on Peace & Counter Terrorism’ will dissuade young British people from joining terror organisations such as Isis, and has claimed his work is a ‘Jihad against Isis’.

    He now hopes the government will implement a mandatory ‘anti-radicalisation’ sector to the national curriculum.


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UK Leads the Way with £15.8m Seizure of Counterfeit and Unlicensed Medicines and Devices

  • June 18, 2015
  • MHRA announced £15.8 million worth of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines and devices have been seized in the UK.

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today (18 June) announced £15.8 million worth of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines and devices have been seized in the UK as part of a global operation.

    The seizures – the biggest recorded to date in the UK – include huge quantities of illegally supplied and potentially harmful slimming pills, erectile dysfunction tablets, anaemia tablets and narcolepsy tablets. Unlicensed foreign medicines and fake condoms were also found and removed.

    The seizures are a result of a month-long international crackdown on the illegal internet trade of medical products that yielded £51.6 million worth of items from 115 different countries globally.

    The ‘Operation Pangea VIII’ initiative, coordinated through INTERPOL, concluded with a week of international raids between 9 and 16 June that resulted in 156 arrests worldwide.

    The operation also targeted websites that were offering falsified, counterfeit and unlicensed medicines and led to their closure or suspension by removal of their domain name or payment facility.

    In the UK, MHRA enforcement officers, with assistance from local police, raided known addresses in connection with the illegal internet supply of potentially harmful medicines.

    It resulted in the domestic seizure of almost 6.2 million doses of falsified, counterfeit and unlicensed medicines, 15,000 of which were medical devices with a total value of £15.8 million. The UK operation also resulted in 1,380 websites being closed down, 339 of which were domestic sites.

    MHRA Head of Enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey, said:

    Operation Pangea is the global response to internet-facilitated medicines and devices crime. As a result of our intelligence-led enforcement operations we have seized £15.8 million worth of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines and 15,000 devices in the UK alone – which is almost twice as much as we recorded last year, and clear evidence that this is a growing concern that has to be taken seriously.

    Criminals involved in the illegal supply of medical products through the internet aren’t interested in your health – they are interested in your money and are able to get this by selling you a potentially dangerous product, or by stealing your bank details. To protect your health, visit your GP, get a correct diagnosis and buy medicines from a legitimate high street or registered pharmacy which can trade online.

    A breakdown of the UK seizures highlights the growing trend towards lifestyle medications and products that are unlicensed, falsified or controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

    The majority of the products seized in UK originated from India, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    MHRA has continued to target YouTube accounts and videos as criminals seek to exploit new channels to profit from the illegal sale of medicines – resulting in the removal of more than 320 videos.

    Internationally, results show that almost 150,000 packages were inspected by regulators and customs officials, resulting in the seizure of over 20.7 million doses of unlicensed and counterfeit medicines worth approximately £51.6 million.

    If you suspect your medicine may be counterfeit, contact the MHRA’s designated 24-hour anti-counterfeiting hotline on 020 3080 6701 or [email protected].







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Paddington Bear Writer Awarded CBE for Services to Children’s Literature

  • June 14, 2015
  • Surelock is proud to act for Paddington and Company Limited for protection of its intellectual property rights.

    • Michael Bond, 89, said he may take much-loved character to the ceremony
    • The author was also given an OBE in 1997 for his creation Paddington Bear
    • Big screen success introduced the bear to a new generation of children

    Paddington Bear may be getting a trip to Buckingham Palace to see his creator collect his CBE.

    Michael Bond, 89, joked he may take the much-loved children’s character along, provided the bear does not try to sneak in a marmalade sandwich under his hat.

    13068686000005DC-0-image-a-16_1434145055249Mr Bond, who has been awarded a CBE for services to children’s literature to add to the OBE he received in July 1997, said: ‘I think it (the award) will be good for children’s books as a whole. I am delighted but I do think that my pleasure is mostly directed at Paddington getting it because he is a very real person to me.’

    Recent big screen success has introduced the clumsy but impeccably polite bear to a new generation of children. Paddington hails from ‘darkest Peru’, loves marmalade sandwiches and is adopted by the Brown family.

    Mr Bond’s first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958. The Paddington books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide and been translated into over 30 languages.

    Mr Bond said: ‘I got the OBE some years ago. I took him to the palace and read the notice I had from the palace about what you can and can’t do. Then I saw it said that no food must be taken in and I realised he probably had a marmalade sandwich under his hat – that was quite a worry.

    ‘To me he is very real and sometimes he makes me laugh when I am writing him. He is so accident-prone but I admire his confidence.’

    He said he will ‘probably’ take Paddington to the palace, saying: ‘Yes, if I am allowed to because the time before people wanted a photograph of him.

    ‘I think the award is more for the Paddington books than anything else (I have done).’

    Mr Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, and educated at Presentation College, Reading. He served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. He began writing in 1945 when he was in the Army.

    234EB07400000578-0-image-a-17_1434145075720The dream of becoming a writer was born after he was paid seven guineas when his first short story was sold to a magazine called London Opinion.

    With a mass of short stories and radio plays under his belt, his agent suggested that he could consider writing for children.

    Mr Bond turned a television play into a children’s play and eventually the married father-of- two from Maida Vale, London, crafted a career as a successful children’s writer.

    Full article:



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    by dave

Alert: Scammers are Changing Tactics to Commit Courier Fraud

  • June 10, 2015
  • The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) proactive intelligence team is warning people about a new variation of courier fraud involving Foreign Exchange Bureaus.

    As with traditional types of courier fraud, the victim receives a phone call and they are told that they’re speaking to a police officer and that the police want them to assist in an investigation.

    The police officer provides them with a phone number and asks them to call back so that the victim can verify their identity, or will direct the victim to contact their bank. The victim will physically put the phone down, but the fraudster will actually stay on the line – keeping it open. When the victim phones back they are still speaking to the fraudster who tells the victim that they are at risk of being defrauded and to stop this they need their assistance.

    Action Fraud has previously warned about a variation of courier where the victim is asked to buy an expensive item such as a watch or a designer coat. Fraudsters are now evolving their tactics by directing victims to visit Foreign Exchange Bureaus and withdraw foreign currency.

    Withdrawing cash in Euros

    A convicted courier fraudster interviewed by City of London Police detectives said: “The banks are catching on to this now. Whenever an elderly person comes into the bank to withdraw cash saying that they’ve been a victim of fraud they get suspicious. What we do now is tell the victims to draw the cash out from a foreign exchange bureau in Euros. They don’t ask them any questions.”

    The fraudsters will then arrange for the cash to be collected by taxi or courier service.

    Action Fraud has also received reports where suspects posing as police officers or bank staff tell victims told to move their money to a ‘safe’ account that has been created in their name to stop ‘further’ funds being stolen.

    The fraudster also said: “Courier fraud gangs are getting squeezed out of London. What they do now is go to hotels in cities like Manchester and Bristol and stay there for a couple of weeks. They work out of the hotels targeting victims using details from the local telephone and online directories.”

    Protect yourself

    • A genuine police officer would never contact you in this way.
    • Banks and the police would never ask someone to aid an investigation withdrawing or transferring money
    • If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately.

    Victim advice

    • Report this to Action Fraud
    • If you have handed over any bank account details to the fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.
    • If you want to call your bank, then do it from another telephone. If you don’t have another telephone to use, call someone you know first to make sure the telephone line is free.

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    by dave

Clydebank Shops Could be Stocking Dangerous Fake Booze, Warns Top Cop

  • June 5, 2015
  • Shops in Clydebank could be selling bottles of fake alcohol containing a poisonous chemical, a top cop has warned. Chief inspector Kenny Thomson, from Police Scotland’s specialist crime division, said people in the town are at risk of consuming dodgy booze that could cause serious health problems. The fake alcohol sold in shops and online could be spiked with the toxic chemical IPA Isopropanol Alcohol — which is generally found in screen wash for vehicles. Chief Inspector Thomson recently joined police colleagues in Clyde Shopping Centre to warn shoppers about the dangers of this alcohol and various other counterfeit goods sold in shops. He told the Post: “With alcohol, sold online, in some corner shops or abroad, counterfeiters substitute the alcohol to increase the volume. “For example, the vodka will more often than not contain a form of screen wash containing IPA Isopropanol Alcohol. IPA poisoning causes confusion and can be extremely painful. Even when consuming just low levels of the alcohol it will cause dizziness, low blood pressure, abdominal pain and nausea.”



    Fake vodka has been known to kill people before, due to toxic substances being included to increase the alcoholic volume. Linnvale Grocers, in Clydebank, was the first premises in West Dunbartonshire to have its licence revoked after trading standards officers uncovered the fake wine and reported it to the area’s licensing board in 2012. Police insist the problem remains and officers showed examples of counterfeit clothing, footwear, cosmetics, aftershaves, perfumes and electronics from a stall they had set up within the town’s shopping centre. Chief inspector Thomson continued: “Fake make-up products such as Mac have been found to contain chemicals, rat poisoning and lead. Some even contain rat droppings which apparently help to keep the colour. The sets of Mac brushes are poor quality and there have been occasions when there have been insect type eggs found in them as the fakes haven’t been properly sterilised.” And what may seem like a good deal could indeed be funding organised crime from the far east who exploit child labour, the top cop pressed. He added: “Counterfeit goods and illicit trade have links to organised crime and we are focused on targeting these people who put harmful products into our communities for their own financial gains. All they care about is making money — they don’t care about the consequences of selling these products to unwitting customers. “If you want to spot counterfeit goods, the price, packaging and where they’re being sold from are normally good indicators as to whether the item is genuine or not. If the price seems too good to be true then it probably is. “Fake products are often sold at markets and on unofficial internet sites so always buy your goods from a source you trust. You can also look out for products sold in packaging that features spelling or grammatical mistakes.”

    ALAN FERGUSON | [email protected]










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Five Steps to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attack

  • June 4, 2015
  • A cyber attack is unauthorised access to your IT network by an outsider.   This is commonly done with malware (malicious software), unwittingly downloaded through spam emails, intentionally downloaded software or harmful websites. They run on your computer, sometimes relaying everything you type to hackers.

    Other methods include accessing your network through poorly protected Wi-Fi networks, phishing (emails pretending to be from banks or customers that encourage you to pass over sensitive information), or via the physical theft of computers. Remember – smart phones are targets too.

    There are five simple steps you can take to significantly reduce the chances of such attacks.

    Data Encryption

    Passwords, bank codes and data are valuable to hackers. Whenever such information is stored make sure it is encrypted. Encryption tools come as standard on most computers – on Windows it’s called BitLocker, on Macs it’s FileVault – learn how to utilise them effectively.

    Office Security

    Don’t let your laptop fall into the wrong hands. Make sure your premises are secure. You can even tie down your hardware – there are numerous locks on the market.

    Secure Wireless Networks

    Adjust settings so your Wi-Fi network is not publicly visible and periodically change network name and passwords.

    Install Anti-malware and Anti-virus Software

    If they are not then you should so– and make sure the protection is up-to-date. There are a number of free and subscription-based options on the market.

    Educate Your Employees

    It’s no good being security conscious if your employees aren’t.  Write a formal internet policy and make sure your staff is aware of the risks

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    by dave