‘Full Cost To The State Has Been [REDACTED]’


STNE/DTPH   13-9-07 Irish Entrepreuner Denis O'Brien. City Profile Pictures by Philip Hollis for The Sunday Telegraph

Denis O’Brien

And sure why wouldn’t it be?

Gavin Sherian and Tom Lyons, in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post, reported:

“A company [Another 9 or A9 Business Recovery Services] backed by billionaire Denis O’Brien is being paid substantial sums of money to protect Irish Water’s website from “severe” cyber attacks, with six serious incidents identified in just five months alone.”

“…The company is chaired by Leslie Buckley, an O’Brien associate, who is the chairman of Independent News & Media. Shareholders in the company are Baycliffe, an Isle of Man investment company used by O’Brien, and Steve O’Brien, a businessman.”

“The full cost to the State of services provided by the company – including hourly rates charged by security engineers – has been redacted by Irish Water citing confidentiality reasons. The documents state the “yearly charge” for “hosting and security charges” is €1.2 million to Ervia over five years. It does not appear to include other potential charges.”

“…The form of cyber attack that Another 9 is defending Irish Water against is called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack…”

“…Another 9 lists O’Brien’s company Digicel as well as AIB, Volkswagen and Pioneer Investments as among its clients. The company’s website describes O’Brien as “shareholder” and as “one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs”.”

There you go now.

O’Brien-backed company battles Irish Water hackers (The Sunday Business Post)

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45 thoughts on “‘Full Cost To The State Has Been [REDACTED]’

    1. phil


      with any luck the result of the GE will put an end to this carry on, but I aint holding my breath , Im sure there are some FF cronies and friends that are thinking if we could just get back into power we could stop enriching FG’s buddies and I guess …. start enriching their own

      1. ahjayzis

        It’s pretty much a dead cert Kenny will still be Taoiseach after the GE. Hence the sigh…

        My only real hope for the election is that it forces FG and FF to come together and maybe it’ll convince the public they’re the same bloody party and the half-time substitutions masquerading as elections for good.

        And I hope Labour is completely destroyed so maybe it’ll finally convince the remains of the centre-left in this country that when you hit a high-point, and then join a right-wing government, it puts you back to the start again, in the wilderness for 20 years, only for that cycle to repeat again.

          1. ahjayzis

            That’s what’ll scotch it. Grasping vipers like Hanafin who know the truth – FG and FF have had it stitched up since day one.

          2. ahjayzis

            I mean that kind of awareness will mean FG and FF won’t go into coalition – they know they’ll be exposed as never really being any different to each other and so we’ll have a real left/right divide.

    1. Willie Banjo

      Arguably, Irish Water is a Poo Factory….located beside the factory that makes fans in the back row of the What Could Possibly Go Wrong Business Park.

    2. JC

      This comment made me laugh louder than i wanted to. Well done Bob, you win the comments section today.

  1. BS

    Il give you a ballpark figure of what a security engineer will be charged at. At least €200 an hour, going up to €500 an hour. Per consultant/engineer. 24 hour monitoring of their site against ddos would be an additional charge, probably close to 100k per year.

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      Likely more than that if the whole set up is corrupt and designed to make lots of lovely money for a shareholder/ one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    The site describes Denis O’Brien as “one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs”…. if I paid a TD with an envelope of cash to get my business going and gain a licence for a mobile provider, as was proven in the Moriarty Tribunal to have been done by DOB, does that count as being an entrepreneur or a corrupt individual?

    I thought it was the latter, and he’d be no where without that envelope… that’s not ‘entrepreneurship’ in my book. That’s just corruption plain and simple.

    1. phil

      It always annoys me that large debt is seen as an asset for rich ppl , but not for the rest of us….

      This whole idea of ‘business men’ I just dont get, say for instance , you decide to setup a coffee shop, you apply for local seed capital from some government incentive (thats ‘helping’ business) , you furbish your premises, and then hire 2 Brazilians on minimum wage, one of those Brazilians has an MBA from home but working for you was the best he could so with visas and other issues, he will run the books for you , and the the other will deal with customers.

      You never show up to work and draw 70k out of the business every yr for your wages, as you have a vat number you run everything you buy thru your ‘business’ .

      Does that make you a successful business man ? plenty would say so , and the person I know who did this would say to same.

      1. ahjayzis

        Business man or not, what really grinds my gears is the whole “wealth creator” sh1t.

        Who’s are the wealth creators? The guy you just posted about, or his customers spending in his coffee shop, paying the wages of the workers, suppliers?

        Society is the wealth creator – increasing inequality where the business man takes more and more for himself actually damages real wealth creation.

        Billionaires don’t share.

    2. ahjayzis

      Possibly ground-breaking economic theory there. Allow every citizen to buy a money-printing machine off a politician and we’ll be a nation of entrepreneurs!

      If we can just increase the corruption and venality of our political class, we’ll be ROLLING in daring, go-getting self-bought men like [REDACTED]

      1. Clampers Outside!

        Who do I give my brown envelope to so that I can start a business and then feck off to Spain with over 1/4 Billion tax free, because once I get the deal in the bag, I mean envelope, I’ll be claiming to live elsewhere….

        ….if that’s what is classed as an ‘entrepreneur’ these days…

  3. kevM

    water protesters have known that for months. It was on politics.ie or some such last year. Business Recovery Services Limited is/was the name of O’Brien’s company hosting the website.

  4. Ms Piggy

    I saw some technologically-literate types speculating on Twitter yesterday that these DDOS attacks might just possibly have been spikes of customers trying to use the site at or around deadline dates. An intriguing idea, might be worth asking for the dates of the attacks and comparing them to size deadlines?

    1. Nice Anne (Dammit)

      You would need a lot more information than a few dates to work out if something was a DoD or even a DDoS attack. In fact starting with the dates is working on the presumption that the connections were just normal “Joe Soaps” connecting.

      The first question I would ask is how they profiled the connections to their servers to identify connections that were part of an attack. It could be they profile their threats badly. They would not be the first company to do this. Shouting “the sky is falling in” is very common in companies without proper security measures in place based on what actually constitutes a risk to BAU.

      The next would be if the attack was an internal or an external one. This may impact the SLAs in place and effect how much they can charge IW for their “services”

      The next question would relate to the connection capacity the servers were designed and tested to be able to handle. (Performance testing is a thing)

      The last thing I would ask for are the server / firewall / switch logs for the attack dates – I mean they wouldn’t just make this stuff up, would they now? Shure that would be AWFUL.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        Considering DOBs track recrod of not being completely truthful and his indulgence in corruption, it could be made up. Sure, it’s not like he has a good name and reputation or anything, sure he killed that off himself.

    2. Lorcan Nagle

      I find it almost impossible to accept that an influx of new customers would be enough to crash Irish Water’s site. If they went with even the most basic hosting package out there they should be able to take a couple thousand connections a minute. A typical DDoS attack would involce millions of connections at the very least, and even the most clueless of ‘hackers’ can get access to a botnet to do that with.

      1. Ms Piggy

        but you’re presuming that they wouldn’t just make stuff up, which as Nice Anne says, would be awful :-)

  5. Steve

    Question for commenters above.

    If the metering and IT services were provided to IW by companies where DOB had no interest in, and were proven to be properly procured under EU public procurement rules, would ye still be up in arms?

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      Doubt it. Back to reality though, and the multiple conflicts of interest run deep.

      1. Steve

        Agreed. I think it would be best for all concerned if DOBs companies exited the scene, i.e promoting piblic confidence in IW. I’m not a procurement exit but I’m sure there are some “exit” clauses in there for the parties involved.

    2. Jonty

      No, but considering one of DOB’s companies won a tender to install water meters that it applied for AFTER the deadline expired, calling into question all deals done by him is fair game.

  6. Clampers Outside!

    If you buy a failing company with no future, say a fencing company, but you know that you have govt contracts in the bag and then buy that failing company and change that company so that it can work on those lucrative govt contracts, does that make you an entrepreneur?

    No. No it does not.
    Entrepreneurs take risks.

    Knowing that the contracts are in the bag before you buy means that you take no risk so that is not entrepreneurship, that’s…. well, simply….. cronyism.

    1. Owen

      One error, if I may….. the fencing company was not changed so it can work. There are many holes in the now half built fence, and many of the fences are outside the wrong houses.

  7. Frilly Keane

    At this stage I’m beginning ta’think this lad, Daddy O’Brien, should be congratulated

    He’s riding us every which way
    He’s not done

    And never will be

    And doesn’t pay a pingin against it

Comments are closed.

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