28 Mar 2013 - Google Phishing Notices
FAO All Hosting Clients.
All hosting clients have received e-mails from Google warning of compromised content on their site (phishing).
The format of the phishing page is :-
The phishing URL is attempting to use the mod_userdir facility to access malicious content present on another site on the server.
Please be assured your site has not been compromised and you are not hosting compromised content.
The compromised site content was intercepted and disabled by the hosting support team before Google sent their warnings.
11 Mar 2013 - IP Address Blocklist Updated
We have updated the IP address blocklist and rolled out the new version to all subscribers.
If you wish to take advantage of this facility we can add it to your website for just £50 + vat which includes 3 months worth of updates.
We monitor a number of websites including ecommerce sites to gather information on unwanted visitors. We have analysed February's server logs (over 100,000 lines!) to further identify hacking attempts, vulnarability scanners, unwanted content scrapers, back link spammers etc. As a result of this analysis we have further blocked access from a number of ISPs including:
- Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea (Peoples Republic Of), India
- Brazil, Peru, Mexico
- USA & Canada
- Germany, Italy, France
We also detected hack attempts from a handful of UK addresses which are now included.
07 Mar 2013 - Microsoft make IE10 available to Windows 7 users
Microsoft has made IE10 generally available (it was previously only available to Windows 8 users).
IE10 further improves it's HTML5 and CSS3 support, and also adds HTML Touch support which is currently unavailable in other browsers. It also finally introduces a long awaited automatic spell checker (a feature already available in other browsers).
Microsoft have continued to improve performance with independent tests showing IE10 outstripping other browsers with page-load speed.
IE10 is a fast, standards compliant and very capable browser able to hold it's own against competition from Chrome, Firefox and Opera proving that competition is a very good thing.
Download IE10 directly from Microsoft
06 Feb 2013 - Microsoft Surface Pro Out Friday (in the US!)
The next version of Microsoft's Surface tablet, the Surface Pro is out on Friday. It's an Intel based version running Windows 8 Pro and therefore capable of running all PC desktop apps (unlike the earlier Surface RT).
Initial reviews are somewhat favourable but confused. Microsoft has effectively invented a new type of device (a hybrid), which bridges the gap between a tablet & laptop/ultrabook. Because of this, reviewers are having a hard time trying to compare it to something.
If it's compared to a tablet then it's capable of doing more than any tablet on market but also more expensive ($899 at launch), thicker, heavier & with shorter battery life.
If you compare it to an ultrabook or laptop then it's more portable, has a touch screen & highly accurate digital pen, great build quality but again has a shorter battery life.
So the big question is, will Microsoft find a market for their new invention in the way Apple found with the iPad? Only time will tell, but Microsoft have already hinted that they are working on designs for the next version of the Surface and are in the tablet/hybrid market for the long run.
Check out Techrepublic for an initial review.
01 Feb 2013 - Windows 8 app store falls short of prediction
Just before the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft VP of U.S. Sales & Marketing, Keith Lorizo made the rather foolish prediction that within 90 days of launch, the Windows 8 App Store would reach 100,000 apps. Well 90 days have passed and the grand total reached was 26,645, which is 73,355 short of the 100,000 goal. That's quite a shortfall!
For more in depth analysis, check out this Techrepublic article.
31 Jan 2013 - IP Blocklist Update
We 've updated the IP block list following of analysis of our monitored site logs.
In response to some suspicion activity and hack attempts we've add some blacklisted ISPs in Chicago USA, Turkey & Canada as well as blocking traffic from unwanted/badly behaved search engines including Twenga, Yandex (Russia), Baidu (China), SEOSpider (China).
All customers subscribing to this service now have this update.
22 Jan 2013 - Windows 8 £24.99 upgrade offer ends soon
Microsoft's £24.99 Windows 8 upgrade offer ends 31st Jan 2013.
Even if you don't plan on upgrading to Windows 8 immediately it may still be worth buying this update for future use.
More details @ Microsoft
05 Jan 2013 - IP Block List Update
We have been monitoring some attempted hacking activity from addresses in China, Taiwan, Brazil, Germany, France and Spain today.
As a response we have updated our IP Address Block List to include the individual addresses and in the case of China, Taiwan & Brazil, the entire ISP.
The block list is available installed on your website for £50 + vat which includes 3 months worth of updates
03 Jan 2013 - Ban unwanted traffic from your website
Over the Christmas period we've taken the downtime to analyse traffic coming to a few of our websites including an eCommerce site we host. The results have been fascinating.
Some of our sites have been getting a huge number of hits from IP addresses in Russia, China and the USA. Analysis showed these to be unwanted foreign search engine spiders/bots, content scrapers (companies harvesting website data to resell), and other websites hotlinking to images & PDF documents (stealing bandwidth). All this impacts both the sites performance and its monthly bandwidth usage/limit.
To combat this we are now offering the following services:-
IP Address Ban list
Using the log data analysed, we've built up a list of offending IP addresses and address ranges. Once installed, your webserver refuses all requests from these sources stopping this nuisance in its tracks. We are continuing to build on this address list as and when we identify more offending addresses.
The address list is available, installed on your server, for £50 + vat and includes 3 months' worth of updates.
We will configure your site to redirect any websites attempting to hotlink to your images to a custom static images hosted on our FlickR account.
For an example click here.
Custom Image and Hotlink protection is £50 + vat
Individual Traffic Analysis
If you believe your website requires more in-depth analysis we can undertake this for you at our standard consultancy rate of £70 p/h
01 Jan 2013 - Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to all our customers and friends.
We look forward to servicing all of your IT needs in 2013!
06 Dec 2012 - Microsoft kills off Small Business Server?
The current version of Windows Small Business Server (2011) will be the last one in the current configuration. Instead it will be replaced by Windows Server 2012 Essentials or Windows Server 2012 Foundation depending on requirements.
One of the killer features of SBS was the inclusion of Exchange Server all at a budget price (approx. £600). However Windows Server 2010 Essentials and Foundation will not include Exchange, forcing adopters to purchase this separately. (Although prices for Exchange 2013 are not yet available, Exchange 2010 [5 user] would have cost an additional £1100 [+ £250 for each additional 5 users!])
Microsoft will continue to sell SBS2011 until December 2013.
Our recommendations are, if you are thinking of having a server hardware refresh cycle, do it within the next 12 months!
03 Dec 2012 - Is Windows 8 any good?
The short answer is Yes!
It's based on the same Windows core introduced in Vista and refined to great acclaim in Windows 7, so it's slick, responsive and your existing devices should still work.
The caveat is the interface change. Windows 8 was designed with tablets / phones in mind so the traditional desktop plays second fiddle to the tile based interface (formally called Metro). The desktop also goes through a bit of a major change. The traditional Start menu that we've all been using since Windows 95 is gone! No Start Menu, no all programs list, no control panel arghh!!!...
Well of course those things are still all there but you now need to use other mechanisms to get to them and this can initially be very frustrating when you have been using the traditional desktop for the past 17 years! However most users should be able to adapt within a few hours with a minimum of training.
So should you upgrade?
Well unless you have a touchscreen probably not. Selling Windows 8 to a desktop user of Windows 7 going to be a hard sell. Windows 7 is hard to beat!
I would instead recommend you wait for your usual machine refresh cycle when it will be pre-installed on your new pc purchases.
28 Nov 2012 - The Windows 8 tablet season kicks off
Microsoft kicked off the Windows 8 tablet season with the launch of the much anticipated Surface.
Initially only the Arm based Windows 8 RT Surface is available. However an Intel/Windows 8 Pro based Surface will follow nearer Christmas.
Reviews of the RT version have been overall positive with some reviewers getting hung up on the restricted nature of the RT version. (The RT version only runs Apps downloaded from the Microsoft App store and will not run your traditional desktop apps.)
Microsoft has been praised for the hardware quality and the magnetic click-on keyboard is hugely popular.
Lenovo have beat Microsoft to market with release of its Windows 8 Pro tablet the
Thinkpad 2 and it looks sweet. Nice specification plenty of ports (USB/HDMI), twin cameras, NFC chip and 10 hour battery life.
26 Oct 2012 - The (2012) top 25 passwords.....
Ok so we all know we shouldn't use simple passwords but I wonder how many of us still do?
The good people over at Gizmondo have compiled this years top 25 lists..
The top 10 are :-
- password (Unchanged)
- 123456 (Unchanged)
- 12345678 (Unchanged)
- abc123 (Up 1)
- qwerty (Down 1)
- monkey (Unchanged)
- letmein (Up 1)
- dragon (Up 2)
- 111111 (Up 3)
- baseball (Up 1)
Click on the Gizmondo link to see the full article.
Oh, an if your password appears on this list, slap your own legs and change it!
18 Oct 2012 - Apple loses UK tablet design appeal versus Samsung
In sharp contrast to the recent success in a Californian court, Apple has lost both the original UK patent infringement case against Samsung and a subsequent appeal.
In our opinion the UK judgement is entirely correct and proper. The Californian judgement is ridiculous and looks increasingly isolated as Apple continues to lose more of these cases around the world.
The only people to benefit from Apple's bully-boy tactics are the lawyers. This kind of oppressive litigation is bad for innovation, bad for the market and bad for the consumer.
More details @ BBC News
08 Oct 2012 - Monday morning IT blues!
It never rains but it pours!
The gremlins seem to have paid us a visit overnight and we've been greeted with multiple IT failures this morning including a drive failure in our primary server and a key workstation that's refusing to boot!
The knock on effect is that we may not be checking e-mails as frequently this morning as per usual so if you have an urgent issue please call the office.
Normal service should be resumed later today.
Please note this is a 4IT Systems internal IT issue only and does not affect any of our customers' hosted accounts.
29 Sep 2012 - Windows 8 tablets to run Android Apps!!
Chip maker AMD has announced a partnership with emulation software Bluestacks to allow AMD based Windows 8 devices to run the 500,000 Apps more usually found on Android phones.
This is a major develpment as the size of the App store is a key factor in the success or failure of a mobile device ecosystem. Currently it is rumoured Microsofts own App store for Windows 8 at launch stood at just 2000 Apps. (WP 7.5 has approx 30,000 Apps)
More details @ BBC News
14 Sep 2012 - Windows Server 2012 is here
Microsoft has released final versions of Windows Server 2012. Industry reports so far seem extremely favourable with some pundits calling it "the best release of Windows Server yet from Microsoft"!
- Hyper-V improvements
- Failover Clustering
- DCHP failover
- Simplified domain controller deployment
- Remote Group Policy update
- The new Server Manager
- Storage Spaces
- Server Core enhancements
- Windows PowerShell 3.0
As Microsoft partners, we already have access to all of Microsoft's new products and plan to roll out Server 2012 internally within the next few weeks, so watch this space!
15 Aug 2012 - Summer break office closure & support arrangements
The 4IT office will be closed for a late summer break between Fri Aug 24th - Thurs Sept 13th.
Support will continue to be available, as before, via e-mail, remote access & Skype.
The primary method of contact is e-mail. All support e-mails will be responded to on the day of receipt starting from 2pm BST.
Please do not leave telephone messages at the office/mobile number as these will not be picked up until the office re-opens.
If you are having issues with e-mail, use your webmail web interface (4IT hosting clients only) or a third party e-mail account ie. Hotmail/GMail to report this.
In the event of loss of internet service, please ensure that you familiarise yourself with your modem / router reset instructions. Make sure you have filed a copy of your ISP's username & password and are able to re-enter these into your router should that be required. Finally should the issue still persist please direct your support requests directly to your ISP's support teams via their helpdesk telephone number. (Plus Net customers use 08451 400 200).
If you need assistance with any of the above, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
05 Aug 2012 - Microsoft forced to ditch "Metro" name
Microsoft have been forced to ditch the name of its new block-tiled user interface "Metro" first seen on Windows Phone 7 and fully developed in Windows 8.
It's believed to be in response of a legal threat from a German supermarket chain "Metro AG", however in a recent press release, Microsoft have now claimed "Metro" was a development code name and not in fact the actual release name!
But at the time of the press release it would seem that the actual release name was still unknown/undecided and is expected to be released by the end of next week.
More details @ BBC News
02 Aug 2012 - Windows 8 released to manufacturing (RTM)
Windows 8 development has now been finalised and the final product is being handed over to Microsoft's partners for them to prepare new WIndows 8 PCs and devices.
More details @ Blogging Windows.
End users will be able to get Windows 8 from October 26th, we should have our copy by August 20th
11 Jul 2012 - Windows 8 arrives in October
Microsoft have announced that Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August, with general availability scheduled for the end of October.
(RTM it the date of availability to parters and customers with Microsoft Software Assurance.)
Microsoft have also announced a pricing deal for users offering Windows 8 Pro upgrade for just $40! More details @ TechTarget
This announcement also serves to lock in the schedule for Microsoft's Surface tablet. Last month, in its Surface announcement, the company said that the Windows RT version of the tablet will be available at the same time as Windows 8 general availability. The Intel-based Surface model is expected to be available 90 days thereafter. That would make the Intel version release date a post-Christmas one.
10 Jul 2012 - Microsoft Surface, a real iPad rival?
Undoubtedly the iPad has been a huge success and attempts to steal market share with the wave of Android powered devices has been a bit hit and miss.
There is one sector however where iPad sales have been poor, within the business community. Companies tend to run Microsoft software making the iPad a poor fit for the enterprise user. Repeated surveys show that corporate users are holding back on purchases until a decent Windows powered device is released.
Enter Microsoft's Surface, a Windows 8 powered device with a magnetically attached removable keyboard which acts as a screen cover.
According to TechRepublic's CIO Jury, the buzz around Microsoft's new tablet is strong even among iPad users.
The release of Surface will be a boost for the Windows Phone platform. Essentially all devices, phone, tablet and PC will be running the same OS with the Metro Tile Interface, this means a HUGE potential market for app developers leading to a much bigger app store and addressing the current key criticism of Windows Phone platform, the relatively small App Store when compared to Apple iOS & Android.
The next 12 months will be very interesting!
02 Jul 2012 - IMPORTANT ** Fraudulent Credit Card Charges **
We have had a number of reports of unknown transactions appearing on people's credit card statements listed as made by either www.4it.co.uk or www.4-it.co.uk.
These transactions have not been made by us.
We believe these transactions are fraudulent and should be reported to your card issuer and the police as soon as possible.
Please note 4IT Systems Ltd (www.4-it.co.uk) does not and has never had the ability to process credit/debit card transactions..
We have reported this to the police, however as we are not the actual victim of this crime (the card holder is the victim) there is little more that we can do about this.
08 Jun 2012 - Flame malware receives terminate order
The Flame "super virus" has been sent a kill order instructing it to erase itself from infected machines.
Security firm Symantec spotted the order on one of its 'honeypot' machines setup to monitor Flames actions.
This is no doubt in response to the huge publicity following Flame's discovery last week. It's not unreasonable to assume that the state sponsored group behind Flame are now desperately trying to cover their tracks.
More details @ BBC News Website
05 Jun 2012 - Microsoft issues emergency 'Flame' Patch
Microsoft have issued an out-of-band patch to address a vulnerability in the Windows Update service exploited by the Flame "super virus".
More details on Flame can be found @ TechWeek.
Flame is incredibly complex and believed to have been created by a nation state (probably Western) as a form of cyber-espionage or cyber-weapon and currently seems to be targeting machines in the Middle East & Israel.
Flame is able to spoof the security certificate used by Microsoft's Windows Update service to spread and infect other computers.
It is imprtant that all users apply this update.
More details on the Flame patch @ TechWeek
28 May 2012 - New 4IT Website Launched
Our new website is now live.
Although not 100% complete we were keen to show off the weeks of hard work!
We have diabled some of the links in the bottom grey bar whilst we finish them but the rest of the site should be fine and as always with our sites, has been tested as valid w3c compliant code.
We are shocasing some of our standard SEO techniques inclluding fully valid W3C compliant code & url rewriting.
If you would like us to apply SEO to your site, or your site fails W3C validation please contact us.
To verify whether your site is W3C compliant visit the W3C Site Validator
23 May 2012 - 123-Reg hosted websites under Chinese DDOS attack
Clients of web hosting company 123-REG have seen their sites go offline after reports of an attack on the firm claimed to have originated from China.
Many site are either offline or loading very slowly whilst 123_REG try and mitigate this attack.
If you are a 123-REG customer and would like to move your site to a fully managed & secure hosting provider then contact us!
19 May 2012 - New 4IT website coming soon
We've been working hard on our new look website which is now almost ready.
The new site will be launching some new services, including reduced price PAYG support when block booking and some competitively priced support contracts.
So as they say, watch this space!
05 May 2012 - New Intel 3rd Generation Core Processors (Ivy Bridge) Now Available
On Monday 30th April Intel launched their exciting 3rd Generation Core Processors - Code named Ivy Bridge.
Launching first with lines in their I5 & I7 range (I3 versions coming out in June), these processors use a 1155 socket so are compatible with current H67/H61/Z68 & P67 chipset boards * and the new H77/Z77 boards making any transition very easy.
Features of the new range are
New 22nm Design
Intel Turbo Boost Technology & Intel HD Graphics with Dynamic Frequency
Performance : Estimating up to 2x increase in transcode performance
Performance : Estimating >30%** increase in 3D graphics
22nm Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture
16 lanes PCI-Express*
Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) - 2ch DDR3, 2 DIMMs/ch, up to 1333. Support for SO-DIMM
Next generation Intel HD Graphics with DX11 or Discrete graphics support (1x16, 2x8)
Next generation Intel Quick Sync Video Technology
Enhanced AVX acceleration