European risk report flags 5G security challenges

European Union Member States have published a joint risk assessment report into 5G technology which highlights increased security risks that will require a new approach to securing telecoms infrastructure.

The EU has so far resisted pressure from the U.S. to boycott Chinese tech giant Huawei as a 5G supplier on national security grounds, with individual Member States such as the UK also taking their time to chew over the issue.

But the report flags risks to 5G from what it couches as “non-EU state or state-backed actors” — which can be read as diplomatic code for Huawei. Though, as some industry watchers have been quick to point out, the label could be applied rather closer to home in the near future, should Brexit comes to pass…

Back in March, as European telecom industry concern swirled about how to respond to US pressure to block Huawei, the Commission stepped in to issue a series of recommendations — urging Member States to step up individual and collective attention to mitigate potential security risks as they roll out 5G networks.

Today’s risk assessment report follows on from that.

It identifies a number of “security challenges” that the report suggests are “likely to appear or become more prominent in 5G networks” vs current mobile networks — linked to the expanded use of software to run 5G networks; and software and apps that will be enabled by and run on the next-gen networks.

The role of suppliers in building and operating 5G networks is also noted as a security challenge, with the report warning of a “degree of dependency on individual suppliers”, and also of too many eggs being placed in the basket of a single 5G supplier.

Summing up the effects expected to follow 5G rollouts, per the report, it predicts:

  • An increased exposure to attacks and more potential entry points for attackers: With 5G networks increasingly based on software, risks related to major security flaws, such as those deriving from poor software development processes within suppliers are gaining in importance. They could also make it easier for threat actors to maliciously insert backdoors into products and make them harder to detect.
  • Due to new characteristics of the 5G network architecture and new functionalities, certain pieces of network equipment or functions are becoming more sensitive, such as base stations or key technical management functions of the networks.
  • An increased exposure to risks related to the reliance of mobile network operators on suppliers. This will also lead to a higher number of attacks paths that might be exploited by threat actors and increase the potential severity of the impact of such attacks. Among the various potential actors, non-EU States or State-backed are considered as the most serious ones and the most likely to target 5G networks.
  • In this context of increased exposure to attacks facilitated by suppliers, the risk profile of individual suppliers will become particularly important, including the likelihood of the supplier being subject to interference from a non-EU country.
  • Increased risks from major dependencies on suppliers: a major dependency on a single supplier increases the exposure to a potential supply interruption, resulting for instance from a commercial failure, and its consequences. It also aggravates the potential impact of weaknesses or vulnerabilities, and of their possible exploitation by threat actors, in particular where the dependency concerns a supplier presenting a high degree of risk.
  • Threats to availability and integrity of networks will become major security concerns: in addition to confidentiality and privacy threats, with 5G networks expected to become the backbone of many critical IT applications, the integrity and availability of those networks will become major national security concerns and a major security challenge from an EU perspective.

The high level report is a compilation of Member States’ national risk assessments, working with the Commission and the European Agency for Cybersecurity. It’s couched as just a first step in developing a European response to securing 5G networks.

“It highlights the elements that are of particular strategic relevance for the EU,” the report says in self-summary. “As such, it does not aim at presenting an exhaustive analysis of all relevant aspects or types of individual cybersecurity risks related to 5G networks.”

The next step will be the development, by December 31, of a toolbox of mitigating measures, agreed by the Network and Information Systems Cooperation Group, which will be aimed at addressing identified risks at national and Union level.

“By 1 October 2020, Member States – in cooperation with the Commission – should assess the effects of the Recommendation in order to determine whether there is a need for further action. This assessment should take into account the outcome of the coordinated European risk assessment and of the effectiveness of the measures,” the Commission adds.

For the toolbox a variety of measures are likely to be considered, per the report — consisting of existing security requirements for previous generations of mobile networks with “contingency approaches” that have been defined through standardisation by the mobile telephony standards body, 3GPP, especially for core and access levels of 5G networks.

But it also warns that “fundamental differences in how 5G operates also means that the current security measures as deployed on 4G networks might not be wholly effective or sufficiently comprehensive to mitigate the identified security risks”, adding that: “Furthermore, the nature and characteristics of some of these risks makes it necessary to determine if they may be addressed through technical measures alone.

“The assessment of these measures will be undertaken in the subsequent phase of the implementation of the Commission Recommendation. This will lead to the identification of a toolbox of appropriate, effective and proportionate possible risk management measures to mitigate cybersecurity risks identified by Member States within this process.”

The report concludes with a final line saying that “consideration should also be given to the development of the European industrial capacity in terms of software development, equipment manufacturing, laboratory testing, conformity evaluation, etc” — packing an awful lot into a single sentence.

The implication is that the business of 5G security will need to get commensurately large to scale to meet the multi-dimensional security challenge that goes hand in glove with the next-gen tech. Just banning a single supplier isn’t going to cut it.

Shell urges collaboration with other industries to tackle emissions

Shell urges collaboration with other industries to tackle emissionsRoyal Dutch Shell’s chief executive took aim beyond the energy sector to call on leaders of other industries including aviation, shipping and steel to jointly draw up plans to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. Ben van Beurden also warned on Wednesday that energy companies that do not collaborate in the fight against climate under the 2015 Paris agreement risk going out of business. “Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the energy industry, but the energy industry isn’t the biggest challenge for the world trying to tackle climate change,” van Beurden told the Oil & Money conference.


Twitter says user data meant for security purposes may have gone to advertisers

Twitter says user data meant for security purposes may have gone to advertisersTwitter Inc said on Tuesday email addresses and phone numbers uploaded by users to meet its security requirements may have been ‘inadvertently’ used for advertising purposes. Social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have faced heat from users and regulators globally on how their platforms handle user data. Twitter said when advertisers uploaded their marketing lists, it may have matched people on Twitter to their list based on the email or phone number the Twitter account holder provided.


The budding industry of cannabis tech

From food and drink to health and wellness and beyond, there’s one plant we can’t seem to get enough of: cannabis. It seems like every consumer product nowadays is taking part in reefer madness.

Home cooks are taking edibles to new heights. In places like Denver and California, you can take cooking classes specifically centered around food made with Mary Jane. The editors of Vice’s “Munchies” even put out a cookbook last year called Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed. And it’s only one of many.

But marijuana culture today isn’t all based around the stuff you (er, people you know) smoked in college. Cannabis, long known for its medicinal and therapeutic purposes, is a hot commodity in food tech and other consumer products nowadays. Far more than just a way to get high, cannabis in its various forms has been used medically throughout history and in modern times as a treatment for pain and nausea, and has been found anecdotally or in limited studies to treat glaucoma, epilepsy and anxiety, among other conditions and symptoms. Businesses have caught on, and not a moment too soon.

The food products that utilize marijuana are a far cry from the old classic pot brownies (not that there’s anything wrong with those!). Thanks to modern science, producers are able to separate the two main chemical compounds found in marijuana: THC and CBD. THC has therapeutic benefits, but it’s best known as the part of weed that gets you high. This is because it’s a psychoactive compound. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive — it can (supposedly) provide many of the anti-anxiety, analgesic benefits of the plant without producing a high. For obvious reasons, this gives marijuana a new appeal. It’s now possible to reap the benefits of the plant without experiencing intoxication, so you can lessen anxiety or pain while still functioning normally.

It’s worth noting at this point that many of the health benefits of CBD and cannabis in general are not scientifically proven in statistically significant, peer-reviewed studies. This is for a number of reasons, most significantly that marijuana is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law in the U.S., making legality an issue in its study.

Clearly, the lack of scientific evidence isn’t diminishing anyone’s desire for herbal refreshment.

But what CBD and other cannabis products lack in evidence, they make up for with enthusiasm. Companies and consumers alike are eager to try CBD in various products, from food to oils to skincare, in hopes of treating anxiety, sleeplessness and other woes. If you live in a place where CBD products are legal, you’ve probably seen them everywhere. Newsweek reported that CBD sales are estimated to grow 40-fold in the next four years, reaching a value of $23 billion. The big business of marijuana and CBD — California-based Arena Pharmaceuticals is the biggest publicly traded cannabis company in the world — is only growing.

You can already find CBD candies and oils at major national retail chains like CVS and Walgreens, and in states and municipalities where it’s legal, green connoisseurs can order CBD-infused lattes and cocktails. Even retailers like Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Barneys are selling curated displays of CBD-infused beauty and skincare products. The aforementioned Newsweek article reports that big names like Coca-Cola and Molson Coors Brewing are among the hordes of companies already working on their own CBD products. Clearly, the lack of scientific evidence isn’t diminishing anyone’s desire for herbal refreshment.

Except for the FDA, that is. The legality of marijuana and CBD is a confusing and often contradictory topic, and a hard one to keep track of because it’s changing all the time at the federal, state and municipal levels. But what can be ascertained is that because so much of the CBD industry is operating outside of any kind of government oversight, legally or otherwise, the quality of products can vary widely. This is something about which the FDA and independent doctors and pharmaceutical experts have raised concerns. Apart from companies making unfounded claims about the effects of their products, the actual ingredient makeup may be inconsistent, with some products containing less CBD than their labels claim. Little regulation and nascent standards of quality mean consumers might not always know what they’re getting.

But given the broad interest in CBD, that’s unlikely to remain the case forever. The FDA may have started cracking down on extralegal CBD product sales, but in the grand scheme of things, that only means that the agency recognizes the significance of the compound. CBD probably isn’t going away anytime soon, and among the food, drug, health and cosmetic industries, the race to do it best and biggest has already begun.

Google makes moving music and videos between speakers and screens easier

Google today announced a small but nifty feature for the Google Assistant and its smart home devices that makes it easier for you to take your music and videos with you as you wander about the different rooms in your home.

‘Stream transfer’ as Google prosaically calls it, allows you to simply ask the Assistant to move your music to a different speaker, or — if you have the right speaker group set up — to all speakers and TVs in your home. All you have to say is “Hey Google, move the music to the bedroom speaker,” for example. In addition to your voice, you can also use the Google Home app or the touchscreen on your Google Nest Home Hub.

This will work with any source that can play to your Chromecast-enabled speakers and displays.

It’s all pretty straightforward — to the point where I’m surprised it took so long for Google to enable a feature like this. But maybe it just needed to have enough devices in peoples’ homes to make it worthwhile. “Now that millions of users have multiple TVs, smart speakers and smart displays (some in every room!) we wanted to make it easy for people to control their media as they moved from room to room,” Google itself explains in today’s announcement.

Iraq May Be the Next Flash Point for Oil Markets

Iraq May Be the Next Flash Point for Oil Markets(Bloomberg Opinion) — It’s now been a week since mass protests sprang up in southern Iraq, sparking unrest that has left dozens dead and continues to flare. What began as spontaneous expressions of discontent over high unemployment, government corruption and Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs has quickly turned into a movement that could soon have severe consequences for global oil markets. This new danger comes just as supply concerns following last month’s attacks on a key Saudi Arabian facility have begun to die down.Southern Iraq is home to most of Iraq’s oil industry and the protests have reached the city of Basra, where thousands of people took to the streets last week. The situation there is particularly volatile because that city is responsible for the majority of Iraq’s oil exports. So far, Iraqi security forces have responded to the disturbances with deadly force. Still, the protests, some of which have turned into violent riots, show no signs of abetting. In fact, given the anti-Iranian tenor the protests have taken on, the situation could get worse before it gets better as millions of Iranians prepare for an annual religious pilgrimage to Karbala, a city in southern Iraq.Iraq’s oil industry is the lifeblood of the government and an important input in the global supply chain, so any disruptions caused by the unrest would send ripples through the broader market. The port at Basra exported 3.5 million barrels of oil per day in September, according to calculations from TankerTrackers.com, representing 90% of all of Iraq’s oil exports.  (Iraq is the second-largest oil producer within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, known as OPEC.) These exports alone generate approximately $213 million every day for Iraq, TankerTrackers estimates, without which the government wouldn’t be able to function.Heavy oil from Iraq is particularly valuable in the current market and is an important source of crude for China, India, the Netherlands and South Korea. In the U.S., heavy oil from Iraq helps make up for the loss of heavy oil from Venezuela, which refineries in the U.S. can no longer import due to sanctions on that country. Iraq is also an important exporter of petroleum products, many of which are produced at refineries in Basra. Iraq’s role in the refined petroleum market is even more significant now, with Saudi Arabia’s ability to produce petroleum products impaired following last month’s attacks. In fact, Saudi Arabia is currently importing Iraqi petroleum products to fill voids left by the damage.In an oil market that just lost the cushion of Saudi Arabia’s spare capacity, a disruption to Iraqi oil production for any length of time could pressure prices. Iraq isn’t Saudi Arabia, and doesn’t have workarounds and spare capacity built into its system to compensate for outages due to sabotage or strikes. Traders and market watchers should be monitoring Iraq and the developing situation there closely.In the next two weeks, approximately 3 million Iranians are expected to travel to Karbala to commemorate the death of Hussein, an important Shi’a figure and the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. When the protests began, Iran briefly closed two key border crossings it maintains with Iraq at Khosravi and Chazabeh, though other border crossings remain open in preparation for the event. An influx of Iranian pilgrims into Iraq could easily exacerbate an already tense situation. The irony is that less than two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia and Iran were seen as most likely to start an international conflagration and disrupt oil supplies. While diplomats and politicians tried to pin blame on Iran and demand a global response at the United Nations General Assembly meeting for the missile and drone attack that disrupted Saudi oil production, domestic unrest was brewing in Iraq. These protests – which have taken a decidedly anti-Iranian turn – could easily and quickly affect Iraq’s oil supply and therefore present a more serious and longer-term risk to global oil supplies than last month’s attack.To contact the author of this story: Ellen R. Wald at [email protected] contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at [email protected]omberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ellen R. Wald is president of Transversal Consulting and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


No one could prevent another ‘WannaCry-style’ attack, says DHS official

The U.S. government may not be able to prevent another global cyberattack like WannaCry, a senior cybersecurity official has said.

Jeanette Manfra, the assistant director for cybersecurity for Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF that the 2017 WannaCry cyberattack, which saw hundreds of thousands of computers around the world infected with ransomware, was uniquely challenging because it spread so quickly.

“I don’t know that we could ever prevent something like that,” said Manfra, referring to another WannaCry-style attack. “We just have something that completely manifests itself as a worm. I think the original perpetrators didn’t expect probably that sort of impact,” she added.

The WannaCry cyberattack was the first major global security incident in years. Hackers believed to be associated with North Korea used a set of highly classified hacking tools that only weeks earlier had been stolen from the National Security Agency and published online. The tools allowed anyone who used them to infect thousands of vulnerable computers with a backdoor. That backdoor was used to deliver the WannaCry payload, which locked out users from their own files unless they paid a ransom.

Making matters worse, WannaCry had wormable properties, allowing it to spread across a network and making it difficult to contain.

Although the National Security Agency never publicly acknowledged the theft of its hacking tools, Homeland Security said at the time that users were “the first line of defense” against the threat of WannaCry. Microsoft released security fixes weeks earlier, but many had not installed the patches.

“Updating your patches would have prevented a fair amount of people from from being a victim,” said Manfra. Yet data shows that two years after the attacks, more than a million computers remained vulnerable to the ransomware.

Manfra said “bad things are going to happen,” but that efforts to mobilize government and the private sector can help combat cyberattacks as they emerge.

“Luckily, there was a an enterprising individual who was able to find a way to kill it and it didn’t impact the U.S. as much,” she said.

Marcus Hutchins, a malware reverse engineer and security researcher, registered a domain name found the ransomware’s code which when registered acted as a “kill switch,” stopping the ransomware from spreading. Hutchins was hailed as an “accidental hero” for his efforts. Hutchins and his colleague Jamie Hankins spent a week ensuring the kill switch stayed up, helping to prevent millions of further infections.

Manfra’s remarks came just weeks after her department warned of a new, emerging threat posed by BlueKeep, a vulnerability found in Windows 7 and earlier, which experts say has the capacity to trigger another global incident similar to the WannaCry attack. BlueKeep can be exploited to run malicious code — such as malware or ransomware — on an affected system.

Like WannaCry, BlueKeep also has wormable properties, allowing it to spread to other vulnerable computers on the same network.

It’s estimated that a million internet-connected devices are vulnerable to BlueKeep. Security researchers say it is only a matter of time before bad actors develop and use a BlueKeep exploit to carry out a similar WannaCry-style cyberattack.

Johnson Doubles Down on Oct. 31 No-Deal Divorce: Brexit Update

Johnson Doubles Down on Oct. 31 No-Deal Divorce: Brexit Update(Bloomberg) — Boris Johnson doubled down on his pledge to take Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal if necessary, two days after it emerged he’d promised to obey a law forcing him to send a letter requesting a delay if he can’t get an agreement with the bloc.The U.K. premier’s latest promise to deliver Brexit in an op-ed in The Sun on Sunday comes as he tries to persuade the EU to negotiate a new deal along the lines of the one he proposed during the week. It envisaged keeping Northern Ireland in regulatory alignment with the Republic of Ireland, so long as the region’s political leaders agree to it every four years.But the EU so far has pushed back, and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has suggested Friday is a “reasonable” deadline for Johnson to come up with revised proposals.Key Developments:Johnson says Brexit will happen on Oct. 31Ireland says “reasonable” to expect revised Brexit plans from U.K. by FridayFinnish Premier doesn’t see solutions in time for Brexit deadlineLabour says Johnson can’t circumvent lawFinland Doesn’t See Solutions Agreed by Oct. 31 (10:29 a.m.)Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said he doesn’t expect a proposal from Downing Street that could hold water in the two weeks before the Oct. 17-18 summit in Brussels.“It seems that Johnson has only now realized what a huge mess this is and has difficulties making a proposal that he can push through,” Rinne told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “So I fear that at the October summit, it could be more about an extension than concrete solutions.”Rather than risk a no-deal Brexit, Rinne said he would be prepared to consider a request to extend negotiations beyond Oct. 31.Separately, Rinne on Saturday spoke by phone with Johnson, according to a statement from the Finnish premier. Rinne said he told his U.K. counterpart to put forward written proposals, but that the current plans don’t meet EU goals of protecting the Irish peace process and EU unity or of maintaining a "well-functioning internal market."Barclay Suggests U.K. Can Move in Talks (10 a.m.)Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay suggested on the BBC TV’s “Andrew Marr“ show on Sunday that there is scope for the U.K. to alter its position in discussions with the European Union on the issues of customs checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the principle of consent, whereby politicians in Northern Ireland would have an effective veto over regulatory alignment with the EU.“We’ve set out a broad landing zone,” he said when asked about customs checks post-Brexit. “In the detail of the negotiation of course we can get into detail as to how operationally they work.”On the issue of consent, Barclay said the principle is “key,” but that how it’s done can be discussed. “Of course in the mechanism as part of the intensive negotiations, we can look at that,” he said.Labour Says Johnson Can’t Circumvent Benn Act (9:45 a.m.)There’s no way for Boris Johnson to circumvent the law passed by Parliament requiring him to delay Brexit if he can’t get a deal or approval for a no-deal Brexit through the House of Commons, Labour’s shadow attorney-general, Shami Chakrabarti, told BBC TV on Sunday.The law, known as the Benn Act, “was drafted with great care after a great deal of cooperation across the House of Commons,” Chakrabarti said. “It’s very, very specific and explicit about personal duty on the prime minister.”At the same time, Chakrabarti said Johnson speaks “with a forked tongue,” making promises to a Scottish court on Friday that he would write the letter required of him by the law, and saying another thing in broadcast interviews. “He seems to have a very casual relationship with the law. He seems to think that he’s above the law,” she said. But, she warned that attempts to undermine an extension request would be unlawful.“If you send the letter as you are required to under the law and then seek to undermine it by other means, you have not kept faith with the law,” she said. “You have not fulfilled your specific statutory duty to seek an extension. That would be unlawful conduct on his part.”Latvia: EU Has Little Wiggle Room (9:30 a.m.)The European Union has little room for maneuver in negotiating a new Brexit deal, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said Sunday in a BBC television interview, while adding that he thinks a deal can be done by Oct. 31.The difficulty in getting 27 nations to agree to big changes to the existing deal means that “the EU doesn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room,” Karins said. Still, “we are open to working for a real compromise.”Nevertheless, Karins indicated that the time pressure of the current deadline may end up working in favor of getting an agreement. “Sometimes when you’re down to the wire, some decisions can be made more quickly than when you’re not down to the wire.”Johnson Not Winning Over Labour Opponents (8:55 a.m.)The Prime Minister isn’t making any headway in winning over Members of Parliament from the opposition Labour Party, even those that have said they want to be able to support a Brexit deal. One of those MPs, Lisa Nandy, told Sky News on Sunday that all Johnson has done is alienate people like herself.“I could support a deal, I would support a deal,” Nandy said. “The problem is at the moment that we don’t have a deal. What we’ve got is a proposal which stands virtually no chance of being accepted by the EU.”Nandy said she wants to see promises on future workers’ rights and the environment –- negotiated by Labour with Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, incorporated into legislation and put before a vote in the House of Commons. But, she said, Johnson hasn’t engaged with her or her colleagues.“For all of this talk about getting Brexit done, he doesn’t seem to be serious at all about trying to agree a cross-party deal and move us forwards,” Nandy said. “From the word go he’s alienated those MPs that he would need to rely on to get a deal.”We’ll Seek No Brexit Extension: Minister (8:47 a.m.)Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on Sunday stuck firmly to the prime minister’s line that the government will deliver Brexit on time.“This government has no intention of extending Article 50,” he told Sky News on Sunday, referring to the treaty clause under which Britain is negotiating Brexit. “All of our efforts now are focused on trying to get a deal.”He dismissed as “tittle tattle” the notion that the government might be trying to persuade another EU nation to veto any extension request that comes from the U.K. “I’ve not heard any serious talk of that beyond the speculation that I’ve seen in the papers,” he said.U.K. Leaves EU in 25 Days, Johnson Says (Earlier)The U.K. will be leaving the European Union on Halloween as planned, regardless of whether the EU accepts the U.K.’s latest offer for a deal, Johnson wrote in The Sun on Sunday newspaper.“We will be packing our bags and walking out on Oct. 31,” Johnson wrote in the paper. “The only question is whether Brussels cheerily waves us off with a mutually agreeable deal, or whether we will be forced to head off on our own.”He said his plans represent Britain “jumping to the island in the middle of the river,” and now the EU must join it from the other side.The statement is at odds with court documents released on Friday that showed the premier has committed to send a letter seeking a delay to Brexit, as compelled to by the Benn Act, a piece of legislation passed by his Parliamentary opponents in September. Under that law, he has until Oct. 19 to secure a deal or persuade Parliament to accept a no-deal departure. Failing that, he must seek a delay.Cox Told Johnson to request Extension: Mail (Earlier)Attorney General Geoffrey Cox told Johnson he’d quit his post if the premier didn’t abide by the law requiring him to delay Brexit if he doesn’t have a deal by Oct. 19, the Mail on Sunday reported, without saying were it got the information.Paper: Johnson to Sabotage EU if Forced Into Delay (Earlier)Johnson plans to sabotage the running of the European Union if he’s forced into seeking a delay to Brexit, the Sunday Telegraph reported, citing two unidentified cabinet ministers. Measures could involve blocking the EU’s seven-year budget, and sending a Euroskeptic commissioner to Brussels, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage mooted as a contender, the newspaper said.Varadkar Wants New Proposals by Friday (Earlier)Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar pointed to Friday as a “reasonable” deadline for an improved offer from the U.K. to break the Brexit impasse, as the deadlock over the Irish border continued.Speaking to reporters in Dublin on Saturday, he said the ideas submitted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson fell short of providing the basis for deeper negotiations before leaders gather on Oct. 17 to consider the state of play on Brexit.“Plenty of time” remains for the U.K. to come up with a better plan, Varadkar said, adding Friday isn’t an “absolutely rigid” deadline. “If you know over the next 24 hours, an extra 48 hours are needed, we’re not going to give up on the prospects of the deal over that.”Johnson to Challenge Queen to Fire Him: S. Times (Earlier)Prime Minister Boris Johnson is prepared to challenge Queen Elizabeth II to dismiss him rather than resign as he attempts to push through Brexit by the Oct. 31 deadline, the Sunday Times reported, citing senior aides.Johnson would not step aside if his Brexit proposals were rejected by the European Union, and even if members of the U.K. Parliament declare no confidence in his government and agree to a caretaker prime minister to replace him, according to the report.Earlier:Irish PM Says Friday ‘Reasonable’ Deadline for New Brexit OfferAfter Another Week of Brexit Bluff and Bravado, What’s Next?Rory Stewart Embraces Love, Quitting Tories in Bid to Run London\–With assistance from Peter Flanagan, Robert Hutton, Dominic Lau, Patrick Donahue and Frances Schwartzkopff.To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at [email protected] contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at [email protected], James Amott, Andrew DavisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.