20 Aug 2014 - Summer Holiday Office Closure
The office will be closed from Monday Sept 1st - Wednesday Sept 17th for a late summer holiday.
As usual all e-mails will be collected and responded to the same day.
All support customers, if you need to contact us your primary method should be by e-mail. If that is not possible please use the alternate contact arrangements you have received.
If you have any outstanding issues or tasks you would like completed please bring these to our attention ASAP.
06 Aug 2014 - Russian hackers steal over a billion usernames and passwords
Russian hackers have attacked over 500m e-mail addresses and stolen over a billion usernames and passwords.
Full article @ Computerweekly.com
If you notice any suspicious e-mail activity such as a large volume of non-delivery reports to e-mails you have not sent, or you have recently been hit by a virus we strongly suggest you change your e-mail passwords or contact us if your hosting is with us.
01 Jul 2014 - Facebook under fire over secret experiment on users
Facebook has come under fire for conducting a psychology experiment on 689,000 users without their consent.
Cornell University and the University of California were involved in the experiment conducted one week in 2012 in which Facebook filtered users' newsfeeds to study the effects on users' emotions.
Full article at
How much do you pay to use Facebook?
Well stop complaining then!!
01 Jul 2014 - BT sorry after broadband customers hit by mystery outage
Thousands of BT customers across the country were left without internet access on the morning of Saturday 28 June after a mystery "network incident" brought down its service in many parts of the country.
BT provides broadband service to around seven million subscribers in the UK, but it was unclear how many of those were hit.
Read full article @
04 May 2014 - Micorosoft Issue fix to serious IE flaw and include XP users too!
Thought XP support had ended? Well so did the rest of us! But apparently this IE flaw was so bad Microsoft decided that on just this one occasion they would make the fix available to all users including those still running XP!
We highly recommend you install this update
More details @ GeeksAreSexy
Microsoft Statement @ Microsoft TechNet
29 Apr 2014 - Microsoft warns of new zero-day Internet Explorer flaw
Microsoft has issued a security warning about a zero-day vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser, which attackers could exploit to gain the same user rights as the current user.
Microsoft reported at the weekend that it is aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit the vulnerability found in Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6 to 11.
Full Article @ ComputerWeekly
27 Apr 2014 - Is Windows XP is a much greater risk than Heartbleed?
An interesting article over at Techrepublic.
Heartbleed has dominated headlines for over week, but that one vulnerability pales in comparison to the threat from hundreds of millions of Windows XP systems.
All machines are vulnerable to so called "zero day" risks these are security holes that are discovered and exploited immediately before security companies and Microsoft have a chance to react.
They have a point. Microsoft will no longer be reacting to any faults, flaws or holes found in XP, so the next big one that's found has the change to cause serious disruption to the millions of XP systems still in use out there.
It's difficult to justify sticking with XP. Windows 7 & 8 are both excellent OS's.
If you are still running XP and would like to investigate upgrading please let us know.
08 Apr 2014 - XP/Office 2003 support ended.
Today (April 8th) marks the cessation by Microsoft, of support for Windows XP and Office 2003.
There will be no more fixes or security patched issues, leaving these products open to potential future attack.
We strongly recommend that any clients still using these products either look at replacing them or carefully consider locking them down.
If you need any assistance or advice, we're here to help!
08 Mar 2014 - Update your business before Windows XP support ends in 30 days!
Only 30 days to go... until Windows XP and Office 2003 support ends!
With only 30 days left until Windows XP and Office 2003 support ends, it is essential that you understand the risk if you don't take action shortly. On the 8th April, Microsoft will end support for the decade-old Windows XP OS. This means you will no longer receive updates, including security updates for Windows XP and Office 2003. These are vital to prevent the security issues related to running unsupported software.
We don't want you or your business to get left behind or be exposed to severe security and compliance issues,
By upgrading to the latest Windows 8.1 and Office 2013 or 365 software, you can enrich your business and personal life and achieve business success like hundreds of other small business owners today. so make sure you understand the value of the update and take action.
More details @ Microsoft
23 Feb 2014 - Apple announces (quietly) Major Security Bug in latest iOS
Apple acknowledged a major security flaw in it's iOS operating system which powers its range of PCs, Tablets and Smartphones. There is also a possibility that their Mac range of desktop computers may also be affected.
However their announcement last Friday (21st) was so low-key you will almost certainly have missed it.
The security flaw is about as bad as it can get for a mobile OS, making the devices particularly vulnerable when connected to an unsecure public Wi-Fi hotspot.
Full article @ Slate
Follow-up commentary @ Slate
22 Feb 2014 - Adobe releases 2nd critical security Flash Player fix in 3 weeks
Adobe has released the second critical security update for its Flash Player plug-in in less than three weeks.
The latest update addresses a zero-day exploit reported by security firm FireEye that targeted visitors of at least three non-profit websites.
FireEye said the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the American Research Center in Egypt and the Smith Richardson Foundation were all compromised using remote code injection.
Traffic to these sites was redirected to a server that contained a hidden iframe running the exploit.
The security firm's researchers said the attacks may be related to a May 2012 campaign outlined by ShadowServer, based on consistencies in tradecraft, attack infrastructure and malware configuration.
FireEye said they believe those responsible for the attacks have sufficient resources, such as zero-day exploits, and are committed to infecting those visiting foreign and public policy websites.
"The threat actors likely sought to infect users to these sites for follow-on data theft, including information related to defense and public policy matters," FireEye said in a blog post.
In a security bulletin, Adobe said the updates address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.
19 Feb 2014 - 7 new domain names now available to all customers
Today we can announce the availability of 7 new domain names:-
You may already have a .com or a .co.uk, but if you have a website that relates to one of the above sectors, then having one of these domain extensions could benefit you.
If you are interested in acquiring one of these names, please give us a call.
18 Feb 2014 - Windows Easy Transfer Tool
Thinking of replacing your old XP or Vista machine with a Windows 8 one? Microsoft provide a free tool called Windows Easy Transfer (WET) which eases this process. WET will transfer your files and some settings from your old PC to your new one via either a network connection or external HDD.
There are plenty of online guides showing you step by step what you need to know such as these...
There is however 1 important 'gotcha'.
If you are migrating to Windows 8 from either Windows XP or Windows Vista, you must use the Windows Easy Transfer tool BEFORE you install the Windows 8.1 upgrade.
Installing the Windows 8.1 upgrade also upgrades the WET tool to the latest version which no longer supports XP & Vista migrations (only migrations from Windows 7 are supported).
07 Feb 2014 - Windows XP & Office 2003 support ends in 60 days
Did you know that support for Windows XP and Office 2003 ends in just 2 months?
On the 8th of April this year, Microsoft will end support for these old products, so if you are running Windows XP or Office 2003 you will need to take action now to ensure you avoid exposing your business to potential security and compliance risks.
Don't put it off and risk missing this date, think about your action plan today and join the other businesses benefiting from the latest new features of our new innovative technology.
If you would like to discuss your upgrade options please give us a call.
30 Jan 2014 - LogMeIn Free Discontinued
From Feb 06 2014 LogMeIn are discontinuing their free product. Users wishing to continue to use the service will have to pay a yearly fee starting at approx. $50 (discounted) for the first year and rising to approx. $100 after that.
In the past we have recommended LogMeIn primarily because it was a free service, however users may now wish to look elsewhere.
There are alternative free solutions such as TeamViewer, VNC etc.
There is a good breakdown of free remote access offerings here
08 Jan 2014 - Intel phases out McAfee brand
Intel has announced that, as it introduces new security products, it will replace the McAfee brand with that of 'Intel Security'.
The red shield logo will remain to represent the core values of security and protection, Intel said, while the re-branding is set to begin immediately. Intel said it expects to complete the re-branding exercise within a year.
08 Jan 2014 - Windows XP End Of Life Looms
The Windows XP end-of-life date, April 8, 2014, is fast approaching.
Even though it is more than 12 years old, Windows XP remains the second most popular installed version of Windows after Windows 7, running on 31% of all PCs, according to NetMarketShare.com. Many organizations never bothered to upgrade from XP to Vista due to the latter's poor reception. This led to a number of customized enterprise applications becoming even more entrenched in the XP environment. As more time and resources were invested in XP, the case for upgrading became far less compelling.
However, despite its popularity, Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. There will be no more Windows XP security patches, no more automatic updates and no new support information. Research suggests that Windows XP is 21 times more likely to be infected by malware than Windows 8 and, although machines running XP after April will start and run as usual, the chances of infection could jump by two-thirds (based on malware infection rates in the two years after Windows XP Service Pack 2 went out of support).
Our advice? Begin working your migration strategy now if you haven't already. Don't be forced to react in a panic once the reality of unsupported software has already disrupted enterprise operations.
30 Nov 2013 - Microsoft issues warning of zero day XP bug
Microsoft has issued a warning about a bug in Windows XP and Server 2003 which is being actively exploited by cyber-thieves.
Microsoft have issued an advisory Microsoft Security Advisory (2914486) containing an immediate workaround whist it works on addressing the issue. However the workaround involves turning off some services and will break TAPI, RAS & VPNs.
Once again Windows has been targeted via an insecure third party application. In this case various versions of Adobe Reader.
Full details @ FireEye
26 Nov 2013 - Free Winter IT Audit
Winter is upon us and until the end of February 2014 we are offering a free IT audit for your office or business.
We will audit your IT infrastructure, identify your current and future needs and produce a machine by machine report for you with our recommendations and advice. All with absolutely no obligation whatsoever!
09 Nov 2013 - Microsoft warns of security flaw in key software products
Microsoft has warned that hackers could exploit a zero-day vulnerability in the graphics component of several key products to gain control of users' computers.
The vulnerable component is found in Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Office 2003-2010 and Microsoft Lync.
The flaw lies in the handling of the Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) image files by the graphics processing component in the affected software.
27 Oct 2013 - Contact form issue resolved
An error with our website contact form which prevented users from validating and submitting the form has now been resolved.
We apologise to anyone who has experienced difficulties with this.
20 Oct 2013 - Apple slashes iPhone 5C production amid poor sales
Reports from China claim Apple have slashed production of the iPhone 5C due to dismal sales.
This was entirely predictable.
It's difficult to understand Apple's thought processes around the 5C. It needed to produce a cheaper phone to allow it to penetrate the Asian markets, the 5C was announced, it looked cheaper, felt cheaper but they didn't drop the price.
Full article @ pocket-lint.com
20 Oct 2013 - Windows 8.1 update publically available
Microsoft's update to Windows 8 is now available to download from the Store.
Windows 8.1 offers some significant enhancements particularly for desktop users to address their usability concerns.
We recommend all windows 8 users install this update.
For install details and whats new with 8.1 checkout this Techrepublic article.
17 Oct 2013 - D-link begin fixing router backdoor
Networking equipment company D-Link has begun releasing security patches to close the backdoor discovered on some of its routers.
Security researcher Craig Heffner reversed engineered publicly available d-link router firmware for the DIR-100 revA model, his investigations discovered a backdoor where any browser that connected to the router with a specially crafted User-Agent String would get immediate access to the administration page bypassing the usual username/password controls.
The User-Agent string was : xmlset_roodkcableoj28840ybtide which when written backward contains : edit by 04882 joel backdoor !
A quick check discovered at least a further 11 routers possibly affected and although most of these are consumer (home) grade many will be used by small and medium businesses representing a significant risk to their networks.
D-Link recommends all users check for firmware updates on the D-link site and upgrade if available.
Full article @ Computer Weekly
Craig Heffner blog post (highly technical)
11 Oct 2013 - More woes for Apple's flagship iPhone 5S
Hot on the heels of the embarrassing lock screen security bug found within 24 hours of release of iOS7, reports are now emerging of iPhone 5S's crashing with their very own Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD).
It would seem that Apple are learning the meaning of schadenfreude...
Full details @ The Telegraph
07 Oct 2013 - Get ready for your upgrade to Windows 8.1
Microsoft Windows 8.1 is set to be released in October 2013.
If you already have a Windows 8 computer, you will be able to upgrade to 8.1 for free. We have used the 8.1 preview and think if you are already using Windows 8, the free upgrade to 8.1 is a no-brainer - you want it!
If you are using Windows 7 on a computer without a touchscreen, there is really no compelling reason to upgrade now. However, when buying or building a new PC, there is also no compelling reason not to install Windows 8.1 instead of Windows 7. Despite what you may have heard, once you reach the Windows 8 Desktop, there is really not much difference from a user perspective between 7 and 8.
23 Sep 2013 - Blackberry sold for $4.7bn
As we predicted only yesterday, Blackberry has been sold to a Canadian consortium for $4.7bn ($9 a share).
Full details @ ZDNet
22 Sep 2013 - More woes for Blackberry
Faced with anticipated losses of $1bn Blackberry are cutting 4,500 jobs (40% of its entire worlwide workforce).
In our opinion the outlook for Blackberry looks grim. We anticipate it will go into liquidation within 6 months unless it's bought out by a 3rd party (as Microsoft has done with Nokia)
More details @ BBC News website
20 Sep 2013 - Embarrassing security flaw surfaces in iOS7 within just 24 hours
Apple's 'more secure' iOS7 upgrade has an embarrassing security flaw discovered within just 24 hours of it's release.
The bug allows anyone to unlock an iPhone bypassing the lock screen security and allowing full access to the phones content.
Videos showing the bug in action have already appeared in YouTube.
18 Sep 2013 - Latest iPhones underwhelm
Apple's latest iPhone releases have been met a rather muted response by IT industry insiders. Traditionally the driver of design and innovation, Apple's last few releases have been less about innovation and more about playing catch up.
The iPhone5 was a belated and half-arsed attempt to address Samsung's Galaxy 3, HTC One X & Galaxy Note but just simply didn't go far enough. The new iPhone5S is chasing the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone5C is cloning the Nokia Lumias, but with a price tag that is still far too high.
There are a few items to note. The iPhone5S now carries the 64-bit A7 processor but analysts already doubt this will have much effect on the immediate phone market. Applications are still only 32bit and one of the main benefits of 64 bit technology (being able to address more than 4gb of RAM) are a long way off being met/needed in phones. To counter, Samsung have already announced their next iteration of the Galaxy will also be 64-bit.
The iPhone 5S on-board fingerprint scanner has also raised some privacy and security concerns, particularly with Apple's track record (see Siri Spies on you)
Android still has the lion's share of the phone market outselling iOS by over 4:1. Meanwhile Windows Phone also continues to grow, particularly in the business sector, and could find fresh impetus now that Microsoft is acquiring Nokia's handset business.
More details @ Techrepublic