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.
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:-
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
07 Mar 2016 - Apple users targeted by ransomware
A virus is encrypting files on some Mac computers until users pay £280 for access, in the first such infection on Apple devices.
A virus which locks computer users out of their files until they pay a ransom has started targeting Apple devices for the first time.
Hackers have infected a number of Macs with "KeRanger" malware which demands owners pay one bitcoin (about £280) for their files to be unencrypted.
Full article @ Sky News
03 Mar 2016 - Reset your Windows 10 system with the Keep My Files option
If your Windows 10 system goes awry, it's good to know that you have tools to help revive it--without losing any data.
Microsoft went to every effort to ensure that Windows 10 is a solid OS, but you still might encounter a situation that causes your system to become unstable. You could suffer a nasty virus infection, install an incompatible software application, or possibly even install a rickety device driver. Whatever the cause, Windows 10's Recovery Drive tool can help you revive an unstable system without losing your data.
Full Article @ TechRepublic
03 Mar 2016 - Windows 10 Business adoption outstrips Windows 8
Windows 10 is being adopted by business at nearly twice the rate of Windows 8.
Microsoft's latest OS is proving more attractive to firms than Windows 8 - particularly among larger businesses.
Businesses are proving far more willing to experiment with Windows 10 than they were with Windows 8.
Full article @
14 Jan 2016 - Microsoft ends support for Windows 8, IE 8, 9 & 10
Microsoft kicks off 2016 by ending support for Windows 8 & IE 8,9 & 10.
All Windows 8 users should by now have upgraded to Windows 8.1.
All windows 7, 8.1 and 10 users should have upgraded to IE11
Of course Windows 7, & 8.1 users can, optionally, also take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10.
If you need any further advice on this please get in touch.
14 Dec 2015 - Office 2016 released. Important info before you upgrade.
Microsoft have release Office 2016, however there is an important compatibility issue users need to consider before purchasing.
Office 2016 no longer supports Exchange 2007, this also includes Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 (which runs Exchange 2007).
If you wish to use Office 2016 you will need to migrate to a later version of Exchange (2010 / 2013) or a later version of SBS (2011).
If you need further details or advice please get in touch.
21 Nov 2015 - 5 Performance Benchmarking Apps
Fancy yourself as a DIY gaming PC builder? If you do you 'll need to benchmark your creation to see just what a beast you've built.
Check out these 5 benchmarking apps..
Article @ TechRepublic
10 Nov 2015 - Microsoft U-Turn over unlimited OneDrive Storage
Microsoft have ditched their unlimited OneDrive storage plans for Office365 users and also reduced the allowance for free users.
This has been in response to a small number of users abusing the unlimited backup facility by backing up multiple PCs and storing entire movie collections. In some instances this exceeded 75Tb (75,000Gb!!)
Full article @ Microsoft News
07 Nov 2015 - Surface Book: Microsoft just made the PC cool again
Microsoft's latest Surface Pro 4 and the flagship Surface Book offer impressive performance without sacrificing style or that illusive awe factor typically missing from PCs in general.
A hybrid device that attempts (successfully) to give the user a fully fledged PC experience in a pseudo-tablet form factor.
Check our the full article @ TechRepublic
31 Oct 2015 - The 18 scariest computer viruses of all time. Happy Halloween
Getting into the Halloween spirit, here's a run down of the top 18 scariest virus of all time.
Full list @ Techrepublic
19 Oct 2015 - 5 Reasons To Buy The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
The top-end Lumia's have always had an exceptional hardware specification, but could Microsoft's latest flagship be the phone that finally lures you away from your Apple / Android?
Full article @ Forbes
17 Sep 2015 - Windows 10 upgrades
As you are probably aware, Microsoft released its newest Windows version "Windows 10" about a month ago. As an early adopter we have been putting Windows 10 through its paces and have so far been impressed. The launch went pretty smoothly and Windows 10 has already been installed on millions of machines.
Microsoft have departed from their usual business model with Windows 10 and are instead offering it as a free upgrade for the majority of Windows 7 & Windows 8 users.
Home users and business users without a Microsoft server will receive the update notification automatically via the "Get Windows 10" app, however this upgrade method is NOT available if you are a business user with a windows server (a.k.a. Domain joined).
Domain joined machines must be manually updated via a downloadable DVD image.
If you wish to take advantage of Windows 10 please get in touch to arrange an assessment. We can then validate your machines to see if a windows 10 upgrade is available, do a single machine test upgrade to ensure any third party business systems you are using are fully compatible then finally upgrade the remainder of your machines.
02 Aug 2015 - Windows 10 is here. What SMB's need to know..
From upgrade expirations to free updates, Windows 10 big changes for the OS.
Here's a quick run down of the top 10 points to know.
Top 10 article @ TechRepublic