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23 Feb 2017 - AMD take aim at Intel with faster cheaper processors

AMD's top-of-the-range Ryzen 7 promises better performance at half the price of rival Intel chips.

Ryzen 7 1800X nine per cent faster than Intel's Core i7 6900K - at less than half the price.

 

Full article @ AMD's Ryzen 7 to beat Intel Core i7

22 Feb 2017 - EU still unhappy with Microsoft over Windows 10 privacy

EU watchdogs say Windows 10 is still a major privacy concern.

Microsoft made some attempts to clarify its data collection policies in Windows 10, but some EU watchdogs said that it isn't enough.

Full article @ EU Windows 10 Privacy concerns

 

Worried about Windows 10 snooping? Here's a handy article showing how you can stop it :-

Full article @ Stop Windows 10 Snooping

16 Jan 2017 - Exploring the next Windows 10 major update

Windows 10 will soon be getting a new look and feel, courtesy of the forthcoming Creators Update.

The extent of those tweaks is starting to become apparent from the early builds of Windows released under the Insider program.

Updates include :-

  • Start Menu Folders
  • Web Notes
  • Flash Blocking
  • Microsoft Wallet
  • Edge Improvements
  • Windows Themes
  • Cortana

More details @ TechRepublic

05 Jan 2017 - Microsoft warn about Cerber Ransomware

Microsoft have published an excellent article warning about the dangers of the Cerber ransomware and also dissecting it in great detail to show how you get infected, how it works and what mitigations you can take.

Check out the full article at Microsoft Technet Malware Protection Centre

23 Dec 2016 - Microsoft anounce Vista, Small Business Server 2008 & Windows Server 2008 end of life in 2017

Microsoft announces end of life for the following products in 2017 :-

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008

End of life means no more on-going support, security patches or OS fixes will be provided by Microsoft.

If you are still using any of the above products, now would be an idea time to consider your migration or replacement options.

18 Dec 2016 - Yahoo announces largest data breach in history. 1bn accounts accessed

Yahoo has admitted that it was hit with the world's largest ever cyber attack involving a breach of customer data. The historic hack, which occurred in 2013, could have resulted in the company losing the personal details and passwords of one billion accounts, it admitted.

Full article @ The Telegraph

01 Dec 2016 - National Lottery hacked, thousands of details leaked

National Lottery operator Camelot says the log-in details of thousands of people who do the lottery online have been stolen.

The online log-in details of National Lottery players have been hacked, but no money has been stolen, according to National Lottery operator Camelot.

 

Full article @ Computer Weekly

23 Nov 2016 - Locky ransomware being spread via Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is being used by spammers to spread Locky ransomware.

The attack methodology was discovered by malware researcher Bart Blaze, and has been acknowledged by Facebook. It uses Facebook Messenger to spread a malware downloader called Nemucod that takes the form of an .SVG image file.

 

Locky is a strain of Dridex banking malware. Earlier this year a Locky attack hit a hospital in the US, which had to pay $17,000 in bitcoin to decrypt important data.

As with other ransomware, once activated Locky encrypts files including images, videos, source code and Office files on the infected machine and connected local networks before issuing a ransom demand for payment in bitcoin for them to be decrypted. In this case payment is requested via a site on the "dark web".

 

Full article @ Computing

18 Nov 2016 - Three Hacked. Data of 6m customers at risk

UK telco Three has been hacked, with up to six million customers' data sets now understood to be under threat.

Three confirmed the breach on Thursday, revealing that hackers used an employee log-in to gain entry into its database of customers eligible for a phone upgrade.

 

Full article @ Computing

03 Oct 2016 - Amended office hours - 03/10/16-07/10/16

The office will be closed from midday Monday 3rd Oct and will reopen in the afternoon of Friday 7th October.

Telephone and remote support will be available as normal for all support clients.

01 Oct 2016 - Yahoo hack, 500 million accounts stolen

Yahoo confirmed on Thursday data "associated with at least 500 million user accounts" have been stolen in what may be one of the largest cybersecurity breaches ever. The company said it believes a "state-sponsored actor" was behind the data breach, meaning an individual acting on behalf of a government. The breach is said to have occurred in late 2014.

More details @ CNN

The hack leaked user account details (e-mail addresses and passwords), and reiterates the need for the end user to take some basic security measures to reduce their risk exposure when these hacks inevitably occur.

  1. Do NOT use the same password on multiple accounts. Each account should have its own password. In the event of a hack, their access will be limited to that one account.
  2. Use a password generator to create different random complex passwords for each of your online accounts. E.g. passwordsgenerator.net
  3. Use a password manager to help you record and remember your complex passwords. Eg. Roboform or Lastpass

29 Sep 2016 - Windows 10 Upgrades/Updaes and Bitdefender Endpoint Security

To any of our clients planning on upgrading from Win 7/8.1 to 10 or running Windows 10 and about to install the anniversary update (version 1607).

If you currently use the Bitdefender Endpoint Security anti-malware solution, we've identified an issue where the user is unable to access the internet with any browser after the upgrade/update has occurred. Your local network is unaffected.

This seems to be related to the Bitdefender firewall module. A simple solution is to uninstall Bitdefender prior to the upgrade/update then reinstall after.

If you have already upgraded/updated and have lost internet access simply uninstall Bitdefender, reboot and reinstall.

31 Aug 2016 - Ransomware: The smart person's guide

One of our clients was recently hit by ransomware. They unfortunately opened an attachment in a fake e-mail because they "thought" they recognised the source (upon closer inspection this wasn't actually the case).

The attachment contained malicious code that encrypted all documents and pictures on the hard drive before placing a ransom notice on the desktop. Although we were able to recover a small number of files, the vast majority were lost as no backups existed.

Ransomware is a real threat. The #1 solution to this threat is user education. Although we've repeated this many times, never ever EVER open e-mail attachments unless you are expecting them and you can verify the source.

Make sure you are doing backups and that they are up to date.

Check the Techrepublic website for a good guide to Ransomware here

23 Aug 2016 - Windows 10 Anniversary Update kills some webcams.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update kills webcams, no fix until September.

The issue renders USB webcams and network-connected webcams inoperable in programs like Skype. Built-in webcams for laptops don't seem to be affected.

The reason for this behaviour seems to rest in the changes that were made to how the OS access the camera in the Anniversary update. Before the update, only one application could access the camera at a time. With the Anniversary update, also known as version 1607, a new service called the Windows Camera Frame Server allows for multiple connections at once, and that's causing some problems.

Full article @ TechRepublic

18 Jul 2016 - Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coming 2nd August

Microsoft is marking the first birthday of Windows 10 by giving the OS a major upgrade.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will add a variety of features to the OS, as well as extending and fixing what's already there.

Updates and fixes include the Start menu, Edge Browser, Taskbar, Lockscreen, Cortana and many more.

Full article @ TechRepublic

11 Jul 2016 - Malware infects 10 million mostly-Chinese Android devices

A new malware called HummingBad, associated with Chinese cyber criminals Yingmob, has infected millions of devices and brings in millions of dollars of fake ad revenue.

Full article at TechRepublic

04 Jul 2016 - Huge increase in Zepto encrypting ransomware

Security researchers have raised concerns that attackers are gearing up for a massive Locky-related ransomware campaign.

Ransomware locks up your critical data and demands payment to release. It continues to increase in popularity with cyber criminals, and a fresh campaign is underway, warn researchers.

Zepto has a professional build and there is still no known method of decrypting the information.

As always ensure you have up-to-date backups and never click on e-mail attachments unless you know and trust the source (even then you should be careful).

 

Full article @ ComputerWeekly

14 Jun 2016 - EU fires antitrust salvo at Google

European Commission formally objects to Google's Android dominance. Pre-installing Google Search and Play on devices is anti-competitive and limits consumer choice, claims EC.

 

Full article @ Computer Weekly

10 May 2016 - Amended office opening hours 12/05/16 - 16/05/16

The office will be closed from midday Thursday 12th May and will reopen in the afternoon of Monday 16th May.

Telephone and remote support will be available as normal for all support clients.

09 May 2016 - Microsoft automatic update strips features from Windows 10 Pro

Microsoft strips features from Windows 10 Pro to stop admins blocking Windows Store access.

Microsoft has come under fire for making changes to Windows 10 Professional seemingly intended to strong-arm businesses - especially small businesses - into spending more to acquire a Windows 10 Enterprise licence.

It follows a string of updates to Windows 10 Professional - under Windows 10, updates are automatically applied - that has stripped a number of enterprise-grade features from the operating system.

Full article @ Computing website.

23 Apr 2016 - China shuts down Apple services. Relations deteriorate

China bans Apple services in latest blow to US tech industry.

While Beijing has largely left Apple alone in the aftermath of the Snowdon US surveillance disclosures, their relations are beginning to deteriorate.

A report by The New York Times on Friday said that the Chinese government had shut down Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies, six months after their debut.

Full article @ ZDNet

18 Apr 2016 - Web host 123-reg deletes sites in clean-up error

Web hosting firm 123-reg has accidentally deleted an unspecified number of its customers' websites.

Oops

More details @ BBC

17 Apr 2016 - Windows users advised to urgently remove Apple's Quicktime

Apple will no longer be providing security updates for QuickTime for Windows, leaving this software vulnerable to exploitation and The Zero Day Initiative has issued advisories for two vulnerabilities found in QuickTime for Windows.

Windows systems running QuickTime are exposed to elevated cybersecurity dangers, such as increased risks of malicious attacks or electronic data loss. Exploitation of QuickTime for Windows vulnerabilities could allow remote attackers to take control of affected systems.

QuickTime is now obsolete, our advice is to remove QuickTime immediately from all machines. If you have iTunes installed you may have QuickTime installed without your knowledge.

Check your installed programs list by visiting Control Panel -> Programs and Features.

Full advisory @ US Government CERT website

07 Apr 2016 - Extended support for SQL Server 2005 ends on April 12, 2016

The end of support for SQL Server 2005 is April 12, 2016. Customers are encouraged to migrate to SQL Server 2014, or SQL Server 2016, which is coming soon and which offers faster analytics, unique hybrid capabilities, industry leading security and much, much more.

 

More details @ Microsoft website.

29 Mar 2016 - Ad Networks serving Malware on popular sites

MalwarebytesLABS reported in February that several major ad networks have been serving up malware disguised as advertisements on popular sites like BBC, NYTimes, MSN and TheWeatherNetwork:

This was then followed in March by another report of rogue ads displayed on the DailyMail site, but thankfully there is a way to counter the danger posed by compromised Ad networks. Roll out the Ad-Blockers!

Read the Malwarebytes reports here:-

MalwareBytes Malvertising Report

MalwareBytes UK Report

Trend Micro Malvertising Report

25 Mar 2016 - Modified Stagefright could put Android users at risk

Researchers have developed a Stagefright based exploit that could mean hundreds of millions of Android devices are at risk despite mitigations and an available patch.

A new proof-of-concept Stagefright exploit called Metaphor has been created and could mean that hundreds of millions of Android devices are in danger of a drive-by download attack.

This is as yet a proof of concept and has not been seen in the wild because the Metaphor attack code must be tailored to work on a specific model of Android hardware. This would mean making a universal exploit is less likely, but not technically impossible.

Full detail @ TechTarget

25 Mar 2016 - Apple zero-day vulnerability fully compromises your devices

A zero-day vulnerability discovered within Apple's OS X operating system allows hackers to exploit key protection features and steal sensitive data from devices.

Full Article @ ZDNet

25 Mar 2016 - SMEs complain of unwanted Windows 10 upgrades

As Microsoft continues to push Windows 7 and 8.1 users to upgrade, tech support firms report a rising number of complaints from small businesses that have inadvertently made the switch.

SME's need to evaluate their move to Windows 10. If not possible then implement blocking strategies.

Full article @ TechRepublic

09 Mar 2016 - Microsoft's March Patch Tuesday addresses Windows 10, IE & Edge vulnerabilities

Microsoft released its March 2016 Patch Tuesday fixes today, which included 13 bulletins, five of which are rated critical.

Top priority for patching should go to MS16-023, the standard cumulative Internet Explorer (IE) patch bulletin, and MS16-024 which covers patches for the newer Microsoft Edge browser.

Other patches cover Windows elevation of privilege flaws, font handling flaws and critical bulletins resolving RCE vulnerabilities.

08 Mar 2016 - Revive Windows 10 with System Image Recovery

Your hard disk just went belly up, but all is not lost. Armed with a recent system image and the System Image Recovery tool, you'll be back in business before you know it.

For this type of backup to be truly effective, you need to regularly create new system images so that you'll have a recent version of your system if you need to recover it.

 

Full Article @Techrepublic

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