HPRA announces recall of ToothFaerie Toothpaste Range
Public urged not to use products, which may be unsafe
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) today advised members of the public of a recall of the ToothFaerie brand of toothpaste products. These toothpastes are considered unsafe, and consumers are advised to stop using these products immediately.
The products are not believed to have been made widely available. However, the HPRA understands that some of the recalled products may still be available to Irish consumers, including via online supply or at local markets.
The HPRA previously requested retailers to stop selling these toothpastes as they do not meet the requirements of the European Cosmetics Regulations. For this reason, they are considered unsafe. For example;
- The products listed an ingredient which is prohibited from use in cosmetic products. This ingredient, sodium tetraborate (borax), may cause damage to the reproductive system which may affect
- One batch was tested and found to contain lead which should also not be used in cosmetics as it can damage fertility or the unborn child and can cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
- Some batches of product were tested and found to have microbial contamination at levels which may cause infection or irritation.
- No assurance was received that a Cosmetic Product Safety Report had been carried out for the products in question. Such safety reports are a legal requirement for all cosmetics on the Irish market in order to protect public health.
- Unfounded medical claims are made in the product advertising material.
To date, the company has not addressed these safety concerns. Therefore, these products are still considered non-compliant and unsafe, and are being recalled to consumer level. Any retailers who may have stock of these products are requested to remove the products from sale and contact the HPRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aoife Farrell, HPRA, advised the public not to continue to use these products.
“Unfortunately, these products do not meet the quality and safety requirements that the European legislation requires. These laws are in place to protect the public from unsafe products. It is concerning that the products contain a banned ingredient, and also bacteria, at levels that could cause infection. Our advice is for consumers to immediately stop using these products. These products were possibly purchased at small local retailers, or ordered online, and were available in six different flavours. If you are concerned about any medical issues, please contact your GP. Shoppers are also advised not to purchase any of these products, even if they find them available for sale.”
The HPRA also reminds consumers to always check that any cosmetic product they buy, whether in a shop or ordered online, has a name and address within the EU on the label. This is a legal requirement, and its absence may indicate the safety standards have not been met.
Cosmetic products on the market must meet the requirements of Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009. In Ireland, the market surveillance of cosmetic products is carried out by the HPRA and the Environmental Health Service and Public Analysts’ Laboratories of the HSE. Neither the HPRA nor the HSE has any role in refunds of recalled cosmetic products.
The HPRA product recall notice can be found at Product Recall – ToothFaerie Toothpaste Range (hpra.ie)
IBM Report: Ransomware Persisted Despite Improved Detection in 2022
Manufacturing Most Extorted Industry; Email Thread Hijacking Attempts Spike; Time to Ransom Moves from Months to Days
IBM Security has released its annual X-Force Threat Intelligence Index finding that although ransomware’s share of incidents declined only slightly (4 percentage points) from 2021 to 2022, defenders were more successful detecting and preventing ransomware. Despite this, attackers continued to innovate with the report showing the average time to complete a ransomware attack dropped from 2 months down to less than 4 days.
According to the 2023 report, the deployment of backdoors, which allow remote access to systems, emerged as the top action by attackers last year. About 67% of those backdoor cases related to ransomware attempts, where defenders were able to detect the backdoor before ransomware was deployed. The uptick in backdoor deployments can be partially attributed to their high market value. X-Force observed threat actors selling existing backdoor access for as much as $10,000, compared to stolen credit card data, which can sell for less than $10 today.
“The shift towards detection and response has allowed defenders to disrupt adversaries earlier in the attack chain – tempering ransomware’s progression in the short term,” said Charles Henderson, Head of IBM Security X-Force. “But it’s only a matter of time before today’s backdoor problem becomes tomorrow’s ransomware crisis. Attackers always find new ways to evade detection. Good defense is no longer enough. To break free from the never-ending rat race with attackers, businesses must drive a proactive, threat-driven security strategy.”
The IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index tracks new and existing trends and attack patterns – pulling from billions of datapoints from network and endpoint devices, incident response engagements and other sources.
Some of the key findings in the 2023 report include:
- Extortion: Threat Actors Go-to Method. The most common impact from cyberattacks in 2022 was extortion, which was primarily achieved through ransomware or business email compromise attacks. Europe was the most targeted region for this method, representing 44% of extortion cases observed, as threat actors sought to exploit geopolitical tensions.
- Cybercriminals Weaponize Email Conversations. Thread hijacking saw a significant rise in 2022, with attackers using compromised email accounts to reply within ongoing conversations posing as the original participant. X-Force observed the rate of monthly attempts increase by 100% compared to 2021 data.
- Legacy Exploits Still Doing the Job. The proportion of known exploits relative to vulnerabilities declined 10 percentage points from 2018 to 2022, due to the fact that the number of vulnerabilities hit another record high in 2022. The findings indicate that legacy exploits enabled older malware infections such as WannaCry and Conficker to continue to exist and spread.
Extortion Pressure Applied (Unevenly)
Cybercriminals often target the most vulnerable industries, businesses, and regions with extortion schemes, applying high psychological pressure to force victims to pay. Manufacturing was the most extorted industry in 2022, and it was the most attacked industry for the second consecutive year. Manufacturing organizations are an attractive target for extortion, given their extremely low tolerance for down time.
Ransomware is a well-known method of extortion, but threat actors are always exploring new ways to extort victims. One of the latest tactics involves making stolen data more accessible to downstream victims. By bringing customers and business partners into the mix, operators increase pressure on the breached organization. Threat actors will continue experimenting with downstream victim notifications to increase the potential costs and psychological impact of an intrusion – making it critical that businesses have a customized incident response plan that also considers the impact of an attack on downstream victims.
Thread Hijacking on the Rise
Email thread hijacking activity surged last year, with monthly attempts by threat actors doubling compared to 2021 data. Over the year, X-Force found that attackers used this tactic to deliver Emotet, Qakbot, and IcedID, malicious software that often results in ransomware infections.
With phishing being the leading cause of cyberattacks last year, and thread hijacking’s sharp rise, it’s clear that attackers are exploiting the trust placed in email. Businesses should make employees aware of thread hijacking to help reduce the risk of them falling victim.
Mind the Gap: Exploit “R&D” Lagging Vulnerabilities
The ratio of known exploits to vulnerabilities has been declining over the last few years, down 10 percentage points since 2018. Cybercriminals already have access to more than 78,000 known exploits, making it easier to exploit older, unpatched vulnerabilities. Even after 5 years, vulnerabilities leading to WannaCry infections remain a significant threat. X-Force recently reported an 800% increase in WannaCry ransomware traffic within MSS telemetry data since April 2022. The continued use of older exploits highlights the need for organizations to refine and mature vulnerability management programs, including better understanding their attack surface and risk-based prioritization of patches.
Additional findings from the 2023 report include:
- Phishers “Give Up” on Credit Card Data. The number of cybercriminals targeting credit card information in phishing kits dropped 52% in one year, indicating that attackers are prioritizing personally identifiable information such as names, emails, and home addresses, which can be sold for a higher price on the dark web or used to conduct further operations.
- North America Felt Brunt of Energy Attacks. Energy held its spot as the 4th most attacked industry last year, as global forces continue to affect an already tumultuous global energy trade. North American energy organizations accounted for 46% of all energy attacks observed last year, a 25% increase from 2021 levels.
- Asia Tops the Target List. Accounting for nearly one-third of all attacks that X-Force responded to in 2022, Asia saw more cyberattacks than any other region. Manufacturing accounted for nearly half of all cases observed in Asia last year.
The report features data IBM collected globally in 2022 to deliver insightful information about the global threat landscape and inform the security community about the threats most relevant to their organizations. You can download a copy of the 2023 IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Report here.
FSAI publishes scientific report on vitamin D nutrition for people aged 5 to 65 years in Ireland
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today published a report on vitamin D recommendations for people aged between 5 and 65 years in Ireland. The publication marks the first time that vitamin D nutrition has been examined in terms of how people aged 5–65 years can achieve optimal intakes for long term health. In addition to food sources, vitamin D supplements are recommended for everyone, in particular teenagers, pregnant women and people of dark-skinned ethnicity who are at highest risk of vitamin D deficiency.
The report issued by the FSAI’s Scientific Committee: Vitamin D: Scientific Recommendations for 5 to 65 Year Olds Living in Ireland details the health consequences of vitamin D deficiency, which mainly affect bone health (rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults). Although vitamin D deficiency has been linked with higher risk of respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory disorders, certain cancers and infectious diseases including COVID-19, this is not proven.
The report will now inform the Department of Health’s national guidelines on how to achieve optimal vitamin D nutrition in people aged 5–65 years. The report complements three previous FSAI reports which focussed on vitamin D nutrition for infants (first year of life), young children (aged 1-5 years) and older adults (aged 65 and older).
The publication describes foods that help to meet vitamin D requirements, including foods naturally rich in vitamin D (such as oily fish, meats, and eggs), and vitamin D-fortified foods. How inadvertent sunlight exposure during summer contributes to vitamin D is explained. It also describes why children and adults, who get this sunlight exposure during summer, should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D as follows:
- For healthy children (5-11 years) a daily vitamin D supplement containing 10 µg (400 IU) should be taken:
- during extended winter (end of October to March) for those of fair-skinned ethnicity
- throughout the full year for those of darker-skinned ethnicity
- For healthy teenagers and adults (12-65 years) a daily vitamin D supplement containing 15 µg (600 IU) should be taken:
- during extended winter (end of October to March) for those of fair-skinned ethnicity
- throughout the full year for those of darker-skinned ethnicity
- throughout the full year for those who are pregnant, regardless of ethnicity.
Professor Kevin Cashman, Chair of the Public Health Nutrition Subcommittee that prepared the report highlighted the importance of vitamin D and not being deficient in it in certain life stages.
“Vitamin D is involved in calcium metabolism and sufficient intake is essential for good bone health throughout the lives of children and adults. It also contributes to the normal function of the immune system and maintenance of normal muscle function. In certain life stages, it is important to ensure that we are not deficient in vitamin D. For example, during the teenage years when vitamin D facilitates the important gains in bone mineral mass, and during pregnancy where vitamin D is needed for the skeletal development of the foetus and to protect the mother’s bone health. At all ages, people of darker-skinned ethnicity have higher vitamin D requirements because the increased content of melanin in darker skin reduces the body’s ability to make vitamin D from UVB rays from sunlight.”
Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, FSAI welcomed the report clarifying optimal daily doses, current dietary intake and how Ireland can resolve this common nutrient deficiency.
“The weaker sunlight available from October to March in Ireland is not a source of vitamin D. People may be unaware that even on sunny days in winter, the sun’s rays are the wrong type for the production of vitamin D. As a result, we depend on our diets to supply this key vitamin, but levels of vitamin D are limited in our food supply. This results in vitamin D deficiency being common among children and adults in Ireland. We consider the prevention of vitamin D deficiency to be a public health nutrition priority and this report outlines how we can combat this deficiency through using both natural food sources of vitamin D and fortified foods along with appropriate doses of vitamin D supplements.
“We urge the population to be mindful of the daily recommended dose and not to exceed this unless advised by a medical professional. The tolerable upper limit intake level is 50 µg daily for children and 100 µg daily for adults, as declared by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).* The recommended daily dose of 10 µg or 15 µg for children and adults, respectively, is overall a safe level** of supplemental vitamin D, even when combined with vitamin D intake from diet and fortified foods. Following our previous reports on young children and older adults, we welcome this report covering the remaining population in Ireland. Collectively, we hope these reports informing policy and practice will enable the prevention of vitamin D deficiency in Ireland in the not-too-distant future,” added Dr Byrne.
The report Vitamin D: Scientific Recommendations for 5 to 65 Year Olds Living in Ireland is available to view and download for free here: link.
Protein Power: Brand New Myprotein Frozen Meal-prep Range Launches Exclusively At Iceland Ireland
- The launch of the new and exclusive Myprotein range allows Iceland Ireland shoppers to get their hands on affordable, nutritional pre-prepared meals packed full of protein starting from just €4.50.
- This is the first time Myprotein has offered frozen meals, and in such a fantastic selection, with a supermarket
- The brand new and exclusive Myprotein meal prep range is available instore and online now
The brand new range from Myprotein launches exclusively at Iceland Ireland, with a plethora of delicious and nourishing lunch and dinner time options. The range consists of over 10 low-calorie, high-protein frozen meals and snacks, starting from €4.50. This is the first time that the world’s leading sports nutrition brand, which is on a mission to help people live healthier and more active lives, has offered customers such an extensive selection of pre-prepared frozen meals through a supermarket. Through this range, Iceland Ireland and Myprotein have taken the prep out of meal prep. Each dish is packed full of protein, ranging from 19g up to a whopping 60g of protein, low in fat, with over half the dishes containing less than 10g of fat, and high in fibre. Each Myprotein meal also comes prepared in reusable packaging, allowing customers to reduce their waste and tackle their own meal prep in the future.
Dinner time is covered with a huge selection of pasta options including Myprotein Beef Lasagne (€4.75, 400g, 36g protein) prebaked with minced beef ragu, layered between egg pasta, topped with creamy béchamel sauce, sprinkled with grated Eatlean™ tasty 10% fat mature cheese. Not to mention the Myprotein Bolognese Pasta (€4.75, 350g, 34g protein), with juicy mince in a herby, Italian sauce, fresh cherry tomatoes and spinach, as well as the Myprotein Meat Feast Pasta (€5.75, 550g, 47g protein) loaded with 47g of protein and delicious pork, chicken and beef meatballs and lashings of pepperoni. For a healthy twist on a classic comfort food, there’s also the Myprotein Pulled Pork Mac N’ Cheese (€4.75 350g, 31g protein).
But pasta’s not the only delight on the menu, with plenty of other cuisines on offer like Myprotein Singapore Style Noodles (€5.75, 550g, 41g protein) with delicious chicken chunks on a bed of egg noodles, cooked char siu pork, carrot, spring onion, red pepper and babycorn in a curry flavoured sauce. This is the ideal weeknight treat – warming and spicy for the chilly winter evenings.
The range continues with the juicy, fiery goodness of Myprotein Jerk Style Chicken with Mango (€5.75, 500g, 34g protein), which features delicate, diced chicken thighs in a spicy mango and coconut sauce plus helpings of green beans, to Myprotein Katsu Chicken (€4.75, 500g, 24g protein) that comes with fragrant jasmine rice, golden, breaded chicken breast chunks and a moreish sweet curry sauce. And who could resist the Myprotein Piri Piri Chicken (€5.75, 550g, 59g protein), with seared chicken breast strips in a spicy piri piri sauce with long grain rice, and a vegetable mix of grilled red pepper, sweetcorn and peas?
Finally, never skip breakfast again with the Myprotein Breakfast Wrap (€4.50, 320g, 41g protein) and the Myprotein Veggie Breakfast (€4.75, 400g, 20g protein). All brekkie options are packed full of favourite fillings such as halloumi, tomatoes, spinach and egg, meaning Iceland Ireland shoppers will have the fuel to take on any day. They each come loaded with over 20g of protein too, so shoppers can start their new year health kick in the best possible way!
A spokesperson from Iceland Ireland said: “At Iceland Ireland, we’re constantly striving to bring our customers not only the best quality products but also the best possible price, so it goes without saying that we are particularly delighted to partner with Myprotein to offer delicious, nutritious and affordable healthy meal options for all our customers as we head into the new year.”
A spokesperson for Myprotein said: “We are delighted to reveal our new frozen meal prep range in collaboration with Iceland Ireland, helping drive our range expansion for Myprotein customers while providing Iceland Ireland’s customers with access to the highest quality, curated nutritional frozen food.
“For over 15 years Myprotein has built a trusted reputation for delivering best-in-class nutritional product, convenience and value. We’re excited for our existing customers to try this new range – and for new customers to join the Myprotein community.”
The full Myprotein frozen meal range available exclusively at Iceland Ireland:
- Myprotein Piri Piri Chicken – (€5.75, 500g) (58.8g protein, 550kcal)
- Myprotein Jerk Style Chicken with Mango – (€5.75, 500g) (34.4g protein, 589kcal)
- Myprotein Chicken Tikka – (€4.75, 350g) (34.6g protein, 320kcal)
- Myprotein Singapore Style Noodles – (€5.75, 550g) (45.9g protein, 527kcal)
- Myprotein Katsu Chicken – (€4.75, 500g) (28.3g protein, 573kcal)
- Myprotein Beef Lasagne – (€4.75, 400g) (36.2g protein, 443kcal)
- Myprotein Bolognese Pasta – (€4.75, 350g) (38.5g protein, 421kcal)
- Myprotein Meat Feast Pasta – (€5.75, 550g) (61.0g protein, 633kcal)
- Myprotein Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese – (€4.75, 350g) (31.9g protein, 415kcal)
- Myprotein Breakfast Wrap – (€4.50, 320g) (40.6g protein, 508kcal)
- Myprotein Veggie Breakfast – (€4.75, 400g) (19.5g protein, 316kcal)
Need some fuel to take on a health-kick this January? Myprotein’s new range is available exclusively instore and online at icelandfoods.ie
Iceland Ireland have also recently launched Same-Day Online Delivery, Free Next Day Online Delivery and Free Click-and-Collect Services at participating stores*. Visit icelandfoods.ie to register or find out more.
It’s one smooth operator – KitKat Chunky Caramel hits Irish shelves
Crisp KitKat wafer meets smooth caramel to create off the chart levels of deliciousness – it can only be the brand new KitKat Chunky!
Launching in August, the latest edition to the Chunky line-up features a thick layer of runny caramel atop the brand’s classic wafer, all covered by KitKat’s trademark smooth milk chocolate.
Maria McKenna, Confectionery Marketing Manager at Nestlé Ireland said: “A new KitKat Chunky is always one of the year’s most anticipated confectionery launches, and we think fans will be delighted with our latest innovation.
“Caramel is a much-loved flavour among Irish consumers, and we’ve taken it to the next level by combining a delicious layer of runny caramel with our crisp KitKat wafer to create a taste sensation. When we trialled the newest Chunky flavour, we got a rapturous response, so we can’t wait to hear what everybody thinks!”
The limited edition KitKat Chunky Caramel 43.5g bar and multipack ranges will be available from supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide from early August.
Since launching in 1999, KitKat Chunky has delighted fans with its exciting limited editions, including Salted Caramel Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Cookie Dough, Coconut, Chocolate Fudge and New York Cheesecake.
Like the rest of the KitKat range, Chunky is made with 100% certified sustainable cocoa. More widely, the KitKat brand is striving to become carbon neutral by 2025; and Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland is aiming to halve the carbon footprint of its local fresh milk supply by 2026. This involves helping farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices that will help protect and restore natural resources such as soil, water and biodiversity around their farms over the years to come while continuing to produce the best quality milk for Nestlé products.
IBM Grants $500,000 in-kind to City of Dublin Education Training Board to Boost Cybersecurity Preparedness
City of Dublin ETB one of 10 recipients globally as part of the IBM Education Security Preparedness Grants programme
As schools become more dependent on technology, ransomware attacks against schools are increasing. To help schools worldwide proactively prepare for and respond to cyberattacks, IBM today announced the first eight recipients of the 2022 IBM Education Security Preparedness Grants, totaling USD$5 million in in-kind services, including $500,000 to the City of Dublin Education Training Board. Each grant will sponsor IBM Service Corps volunteers to address the selected school districts’ cybersecurity resiliency.
With cybercriminals continuing to view schools as compelling targets, IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report* revealed that the cost of a data breach averages $3.86 million for education institutions. While the report found that 49% of data breaches the industry experienced were caused by a malicious attack, nearly 30% occurred due to human error, emphasising the need for proper cybersecurity training and education in schools.
The IBM Education Security Preparedness Grants program, now in its second year, received more than 120 applications from schools across the U.S. and will award six school districts with grants. This year the program is also expanding overseas with grant recipients in Ireland and UAE being announced today, and with recipients in Costa Rica and Brazil to be announced at a later date.
“Ransomware operators are increasingly setting their sights on schools and colleges, putting more pressure on these institutions to prioritise their cybersecurity. The impact of cyberattacks on schools also cascades down to students and their families, and so can have a significant impact on the wider community,” said Deborah Threadgold, IBM Ireland Country General Manager. “IBM is proud to be able to support schools through this initiative and I’m delighted that City of Dublin ETB will be one of the recipients. The team at IBM Security here in Ireland are looking forward to partnering with City of Dublin ETB over the coming months to build cyber resilience and address any gaps in cyber security planning and preparedness.”
Commenting on the partnership announcement, Blake Hodkinson, Director of Further Education and Training at City of Dublin ETB said, “Cyber security is of huge importance to City of Dublin ETB. In recent years, particularly after Covid-19, digital teaching, learning and data have become increasingly important to us and our learners. We have over 48,000 learners and anything that might inhibit from delivering on our primary functions is a key concern.”
“The new partnership between City of Dublin ETB and IBM will help us protect our learners and staff from unwanted cyber threats impacting on the educational services we deliver. It will allow us to confidently continue to develop innovative digital learning techniques. It will also reassure learners that their data is safe with us. This partnership is a significant step forward for City of Dublin ETB and we are delighted to be chosen as the programmes first European partner.”
The grant applications that IBM received shed light on the schools’ levels of cybersecurity awareness, preparedness, and training, confirming that there is always a growing need for improved security education and skills across industries and around the world.
Key findings from applications included:
- Targets of Cyberattacks – One in four applicants has experienced a cybersecurity breach or ransomware attack, indicating that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the sectors’ security constraints.
- Absence of Readiness – The majority of school districts say they do not have a cybersecurity plan in place and have not received any cybersecurity training, increasing the security risk posed by human error.
- Lack of Resources – Just 20% of districts has personnel dedicated to cybersecurity.
IBM Service Corps volunteers are expected to be working with the schools to help them proactively prepare for and respond to cyber threats. Depending on each school’s needs, the engagements may include the creation of incident response plans, ransomware playbooks, updating technology, cybersecurity training for school communities, and more.
“We’re excited that the City of Dublin ETB will be participating in this global programme as part of IBM’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to help schools strengthen their security postures in response to the growing threats in the education space,” said Deirdre Kennedy, CSR Leader IBM Ireland. “At IBM we’re committed to supporting schools around the globe via our education and volunteer programs in order to help create equitable impact.”
The 2022 IBM Education Security Preparedness Grant recipients are:
- City of Dublin Educational Training Board – Ireland
- Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence – UAE
- Cupertino Union School District – Sunnyvale, CA
- Rossville Cons. School District – Rossville, IN
- East China School District – East China, MI
- Newburgh Enlarged City School District – Newburgh, NY
- Goffstown School District – Goffstown, NH
- Prince William County Public Schools – Manassas, VA
About IBM Securitywww.ibm.com/security, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter, or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog.IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM Security X-Force® research, enables organisations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research, development, and delivery organisations, monitors 150 billion+ security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. For more information, please check
IBM Corporate Social ResponsibilityIBM.com/impact.IBM’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives enable IBM’s technology and talent to address society’s challenges at scale. Pro bono consulting initiatives such as IBM Service Corps, which demonstrate the power of technology when combined with humanity, enable employees to assist communities with economic development, education, safety, sustainability, and more. To learn more about IBM’s CSR and companywide Good Tech initiatives, please visit
IBM Service Corps deploys teams of IBM volunteers worldwide who perform multi-week pro bono consulting engagements to help the prosperity and well-being of communities, helping them apply technology and related know-how involving projects that touch education, environmental sustainability, and public health and safety. Since 2008, IBM Service Corps has engaged over 4,000 employees in teams to undertake 456 projects in 54 countries.
* Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022, conducted by Ponemon Institute, sponsored and analysed by IBM