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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:-

  • .technology
  • .construction
  • .contractors
  • .directory
  • .kitchen
  • .lan
  • .today

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...

TechRepublic

BleepingComputer

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.

In a security advisory, Microsoft has made available a Fit It Tool as a temporary measure, which the company is urging at-risk users to install.

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

17 Sep 2013 - New eCommerce customer breaks 1 Million hits in first month!

So big congratulations go to our new customer Pretty Pink Productions for the success of their new eCommerce site Pretty Pink Princess.

 

Amazingly in the first full month of operation they surpassed over 1 million hits thanks to some celebrity endorsements and a feature on the Daily Mail Online fashion pages.

 

Thankfully we have plenty of spare hosting capacity to cope with these intense spikes in traffic and our active management made sure this site remained available during these peaks!

18 Aug 2013 - Microsoft and Google in spat over Windows Phone 8 YouTube app

Google has blocked users of Microsoft's Windows 8 YouTube app claiming the app violated its T&Cs.

Drilling down into this and it looks like Google is becoming the new Apple and playing hardball with Microsoft, making demands from the Microsoft developers that have not been made from either the Apple or Android devs.

This is a disappointing move from Google, whose informal company motto was "don't be evil" because in the end it's the user that suffers from this childish behaviour.

 

Full article @ BBC News

17 Aug 2013 - Windows 8.1 rolls out Oct 18th

The long awaited update to windows 8, roll out on October 18th.

The update called unsuprisingly v8.1 include a number of new features and tweaks aimed at some of the complaints from the desktop market.

 

The preview has been publicly available for a few weeks now and we think for desktop users it certainly makes more sense.

 

More details @ Microsoft Technet Blog

17 Aug 2013 - Microsoft warns Windows XP users risk security post April 2014

Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. After that time there will be no more secutity updated available potentially leaving users exposed to any new security flaws discovered after that date.

 

As Microsoft execs have been cautioning for more than a year, after April 8, 2014, users running Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 -- the last service pack delivered for the 11-year-old operating system -- won't get any more updates. That includes both security and "non-security" hot fixes, free or paid support options and online technical content updates.

 

Full article over at ZDNet

02 Aug 2013 - Microsoft's SkyDrive name infringes BSkyB trademark

Microsoft have agreed to change the name of it's cloud storage service "SkyDrive" after losing a legal challenge by BSkyB, who claimed the name infringed it's trademarks.

 

Microsoft have agreed to change the name worldwide after a "transition period".

 

Full article @ BBC News Website

30 Jul 2013 - 4IT Systems announce free upgrades to all hosting packages

We are pleased to announce that from August 1st we are upgrading all of our hosting packages free of charge.

The upgrades are:-

 

Basic Package

Disk Quota upgrade from 70Mb to 80Mb

 

Intermediate Package

Bandwidth upgrade from 1000Mb to 1500Mb (50% increase)

 

Advanced

Disk Quota upgrade from 300Mb to 500Mb (68% increase)

Bandwidth upgrade from 2000Mb to 5000Mb (150% increase)

 

In addition we have reduced the price of bandwith and disk quota upgrades as follows:-

Disk Quota Increase from £5/10Mb to £4/10Mb

Bandwidth Increase from £5/100Mb to £2/100Mb

 

Upgrades will happen automatically, no action is required by the customer.

 

The full hosting Price/Feature list can be found here

14 Jul 2013 - 4IT launch new eCommerce site for client.

We are please to anounce the launch of a new eCommerce site Pretty Pink Princess for our client Pretty Pink Princess Productions Ltd.

This site has been completed using the PrestaShop eCommerce software and customized by us to meet our clients requirements.

We're thrilled that in the first 14 days after launch we have registered over 1/2 Million hits.

Completing this project now adds PrestaShop & oSCommerce to our list of eCommerce offerings.

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