11 Dec 2018 - 4IT launches fantastic new Web and WordPress Starter Products

We've happy to announce a number of new web starter products designed to rapidly get you a web presence. All options are mobile friendly and come with free hosting and domain ( or .com) for the first year so are great value.
Clients can choose from Standard websites (Bootstrap/HTML5/JavaScript) or WordPress Websites (a good choice for easy future development) and prices start from just £199
Full details are in the Website Starter Packages & WordPress Starter Packages sections
Click here to see the Standard Website template choices
WordPress layout choices are here
Both template pages lead to full working demos of the templates.

If you would like to discuss your requirements more please get in touch.

05 Dec 2018 - BT/EE ditches Huawei hardware from 4G networks and bars it from 5G bids

BT is to remove Huawei networking equipment from the core 4G network of its EE mobile subsidiary, and will also bar the Chinese company from bidding for core 5G contracts. However, BT will continue to buy and use Huawei kit on the edge of its networks, such as equipment on masts.
The news comes after Huawei, along with ZTE, were effectively barred from bidding for 5G contracts in Australia and New Zealand, while Germany and Japan are mulling similar bans.
The moves come after China passed wide-ranging laws obliging citizens and Chinese companies to cooperate with the security services in any capacity. At the same time, the US government has strongly pressured allies to impose bans on Chinese networking hardware in national networks on security grounds.

Full article @

05 Dec 2018 - Microsoft prepares to ditch Edge browser

EdgeHTML browser engine fails to keep pace with Chromium.

Microsoft is building its own Chromium browser to replace the default on Windows 10. The software giant first introduced its Edge browser three years ago, with a redesign to replace Internet Explorer and modernize the default browsing experience to compete with Chrome and others. While the modern look and feel has paid off for Edge, the underlying browser engine (EdgeHTML) has struggled to keep up with Chromium. Microsoft is finally giving up and moving its default Windows 10 browser to Chromium.

Full article @ The Verge

04 Dec 2018 - Are SME's getting a raw deal from the Mobile providers?

Only one in 10 SMEs get a fair deal from their mobile providers, claims a new study.
The mobile provider market for SMEs is uncompetitive and Ofcom is not doing enough to correct it, claims a new report from Billmonitor.
Billmonitor claims that the average SME can save as much as 49% on its mobile phone bills, with the largest able to save more than £24,000 each year.
The company alleges that Ofcom's hands-off approach has created an uncompetitive market, in which mobile providers take advantage of SMEs

Full article @

30 Nov 2018 - 500 million customers affected in massive Marriott hack

The records of 500 million customers of Marriott Hotel Group have been leaked in a huge data breach, with payment details included

Full article @

27 Nov 2018 - Regulators fine Uber for 2016 hack

The Information Commissioner's Office and Dutch Data Protection Authority have issued Uber with combined fines of more than £900,000, for its failure to protect customers' personal information when it was breached in 2016.
The ICO, which has levelled a £385,000 penalty, said that Uber had shown a "complete disregard" for the affected parties. It added, "A series of avoidable data security flaws allowed the personal details of around 2.7 million UK customers to be accessed and downloaded by attackers from a cloud-based storage system operated by Uber's US parent company."

Full article @ Computing

14 Nov 2018 - Microsoft resumes rollout of Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Microsoft is resuming the rollout of the next big feature update to Windows 10 after a month-long hiatus to fix a series of bugs.
The rollout of build 1809, originally known as the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, was halted on October 6th, after a number of PCs were hit by a file-wiping bug. Following the decision to pause the rollout, a number of other issues were discovered with build 1809, including incorrect information about CPU utilization, an issue handling .ZIP folders, and driver clashes.
Now Microsoft has announced build 1809 is available once again via the  Windows 10 Download page, although it won't start arriving via Windows Update until a later date, and even then may take a long time to arrive due to the phased nature of the rollout.

Full article @ TechRepublic

13 Nov 2018 - Major Hosting Announcement

4IT Systems are pleased to announce that we are making major changes to our hosting business. These changes allow us to offer vastly improved allowances on all our existing plans, at no additional charge to you, as well as offering new services such as Windows based hosting, Specialist WordPress hosting and also unlimited plans.
Improved plan allowances mean more space for your website files and more bandwidth for your traffic (eliminating those pesky monthly bandwidth warning emails!). Mailboxes are now excluded from the storage quota allowance and will have their own separate allowances allowing IMAP usage if wanted.
We are now also offering free SSL certificates on all websites (previously an extra charge of £74+vat p/a per site)

See the table below for examples: -


Basic Plan

Intermediate Plan

Advanced Plan







Disk Quota


500Mb Web

10 x 1Gb Mbx


1000Mb Web

20 x 5Gb Mbx


3000Mb Web

100 x 10Gb Mbx























The complete list of plans and prices can be found here.

Complete list of hosting features are in the High Performance UK Web Hosting & Email Supply section.

11 Nov 2018 - 4IT Website Updates

We've taken the opportunity, during our hosting move, to update our website making it compatable with the latest versions of PHP & MySql. We have also modified the RSS feed so only the most recent 160 articles are served.
If you experience any issues please let us know at

30 Nov 1999 - Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies of cancer at age 65

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Monday afternoon.
Allen's Vulcan Inc. announced that he died in Seattle at 65 years old.

Full article @ CNBC

30 Nov 1999 - Google kills off Google+

Google is pulling the plug on it's social network platform Google+ due to poor adoption and after a security beach which exposed up to 500,000 accounts.
Google+ was the IT giant's FaceBook alternative, which although had early adoption by some more technically savvy users, never made in-roads in to the general population.
Their decision to kill off the platform was crystallised after a data breach which dates back 2015, but was only discovered and addressed in March 2018. Google then failed to disclose this for a further 6 months.

More details @ ABC News

02 Oct 2018 - Major hosting announcement coming soon

We are in the process of a major revamp of our hosting business which will see us rolling out considerable plan upgrades free of charge to all our customers as well as offering a range of new products and services.
Full announcement coming soon..

12 Sep 2018 - Trend Micro apps on Mac accused of stealing data

Researchers claimed Trend Micro apps in the Mac App Store were stealing data. The company removed the offending features, but researchers are still not sold on Trend Micro's excuse.
According to researchers, multiple apps in the Mac App Store were stealing data, and Apple removed the offending apps from the store. But, now, Trend Micro is refuting the claims against its apps.
At least eight apps -- six Trend Micro apps and two published by a developer who goes by the name Yongming Zhang -- were found to be gathering data from user systems, including web browsing history, App Store browsing history and a list of installed apps.

Full article @ TechTarget

10 Sep 2018 - Microsoft offers alternate Windows 7 support arrangements

Following pressure from sysadmins, Microsoft has offered alternate Windows 7 support arrangements.

Microsoft are continuing with their plan of extended support — under which the OS receives security and reliability fixes until January 14, 2020. After this for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise editions for customers using Volume Licensing there is now an option for extended support until January 2023 under a new paid program.

Microsoft are also modifying Windows 10 support arrangements to increase support for feature updates from 18 months to 24 months.

4IT Systems Ltd recommend all clients currently running Windows 7 should start planning for migrations to Windows 10 before the end of support. Free upgrades are still available from Microsoft using their MediaCreationTool

09 Sep 2018 - Targeted Extortion Spam

We’ve noticed a spate of targeted extortion spam emails. 4IT e-mail customers, so far, will have had all of these blocked by our Spam Experts filter.
These e-mails are initially alarming because the e-mail subject is a password that you have previously used on site somewhere, which has obviously been subsequently hacked.
The body of the e-mail is pretty generic and similar to previous extortion e-mails:-
“We know your password, We have evidence of you accessing porn, we have web camera recordings of you etc etc …
Pay us $5000 by bitcoin or we’ll tell everyone you know…”
These e-mails can be safely ignored but they do underline a security point that we have blogged about before :- See article 01 Oct 2016 - Yahoo hack, 500 million accounts stolen.
Users must accept that any site on which they have registered could be hacked, you should therefore use different passwords (randomly generated) on each site and make use of a password manager to remember these.

31 Aug 2018 - Rise of Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams

According to a Thursday report from Barracuda, cybercriminals are increasingly targetting business using BEC scams causing billions of dollars in fraud losses over the past few years.

The most common BEC attack involved the hacker trying to trick a recipient to do a wire transfer to a bank account owned by the attacker (47%). Other types of attacks included trying to get a recipient to click a malicious link (40%), establishing rapport with the victim (12%), and stealing PII like W2 forms (1%).

We've seen (and blogged) about these scams before and once again reiterate how important end user vigilance is.

Full article @ Techrepublic

28 Aug 2018 - Microsoft Launch Windows Server 2019 this Autumn

The latest version of Windows Server is nearly upon us.

If you'd like to see what new in this version check out the article on the Windows Server Blog

Everything you need to know about Windows Server 2019 " Part 1

Everything you need to know about Windows Server 2019 " Part 2

24 Aug 2018 - Windows Tip: Disable Automatic driver updates on Windows 10

Microsoft occasionally uses Windows Update to deliver updated drivers for devices, especially when those drivers have been shown to cause compatibility issues. In Windows 10, these updates are delivered alongside regular security and reliability fixes and are installed automatically.

 f you'd prefer to handle driver updates yourself, you can disable automatic driver updates in Windows 10. To turn on this setting in the Pro or Enterprise edition, open the Local Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc) and go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. Double-click the Do Not Include Drivers With Windows Updates policy and set it to Enabled.

If you're working on a PC running Windows 10 Home, this isn't an option, because Group Policy is not supported. In that case, open Registry Editor and navigate to the key HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdate. Then add a new DWORD value, ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate, and set it to 1.

Credit : Ed Bott @ Microsoft Weekly

24 Aug 2018 - Windows 10: Microsoft and Intel patch latest Spectre and Foreshadow CPU vulnerabilities

New Windows 10 updates contain Intel's latest microcode fixes for the recently discovered Spectre variant 3a and 4 vulnerabilities, as well as Foreshadow.

Microsoft has released out-of-bounds patches for Windows 10 to help protect against new Spectre and Foreshadow CPU attacks.

The Windows 10 updates, made available late on Monday, contain Intel's latest microcode fixes for the recently discovered Spectre variant 3a and 4 vulnerabilities, which affect many modern computer processors.

Full article @ Techrepublic

16 Aug 2018 - Another Intel chip flaw, Foreshadow, surfaces

Like the Spectre and Meltdown exploits earlier this year, the new L1TF / Foreshadow vulnerabilities allow for a form of speculative execution attack. Unlike those earlier exploits, these affect modern chips with SGX architecture extensions, designed to protect data and applications from interference.

The vulnerabilties allow data to be read from an area of fast memory known as the L1 cache, which is available to each processor core. An attacker could use the exploits to read any data held in the cache, including protected information belonging to the System Management Mode (SMM), the operating system's kernel, or to other virtual machines (VMs) running on third-party clouds.

Full Article @ TechRepublic

12 Aug 2018 - Enterprise Apple Mac's vulnerable fresh out of the box

A new report from Wired reveals a Mac bug allowing a common vulnerability that exploits DEP and MDM platforms.

Despite Apple's supply chain being among the most closely monitored and analyzed in the world, its devices are not immune to all potential hacks. According to a report from Wired, it's possible that a brand new Mac could be remotely compromised the first time it connects to Wi-Fi out of the box.

According to the report, when a Mac's serial number is enrolled in DEP and MDM, it will automatically run a series of checks—both with Apple's servers and the MDM vendor's servers. Researchers found the issue arises in one key step of the process.

The hacker, the report noted, could lurk between the MDM web server and the victim's device, allowing the hacker to replace the download manifest with a malicious one that forces the computer to install malware instead.

Full article @ TechTarget

24 Jul 2018 - Summer Office Holiday Closure

The office will be closed Wed 26th, Thurs 27th and Fri 28th July.

All e-mail will be answered as normal.

All support queries should be made by e-mail if possible or by using the alternate mobile number supprt clients already have.

26 Jun 2018 - Microsoft drops Windows 7 support for old CPUs

Microsoft abandons support for Windows 7 on Pentium III-era machines.

We expect this to have little or no impact for our clients as these processors are over 17 years old.

But clients should take this as a reminder that Windows 7 security updates would only continue to be issued until January 2020.

Clients still running Windows 7 now have 18 months to plan for rolling out Windows 10.

Full article @ ZDNet

25 Jun 2018 - Bitdefender scores full marks in independent Windows 10 test

Bitdefender has once again scored full marks for both protection and performance in the independent AV-TEST Institute tests.

For the protection of corporate networks, the laboratory of AV-TEST tested 16 solutions under Windows 10 in terms of their protection, performance and influence on usability.

Bitdefender has scored consistently well over the years, which further vindicates 4IT Systems decision to become a Bitdefender partner and to recommend this excellent security platform to our clients.

Full AV test article and results @ AV Test Website

20 Jun 2018 - EU follows US lead, bans Kaspersky

Following a vote by the European Parliament to implement a Kaspersky ban in the EU, Kaspersky announced it would halt ties with the No More Ransom project and Europol.

After the European Parliament voted to institute a Kaspersky ban on the use of its products in the European Union, Kaspersky Lab temporarily suspended its involvement with Europol and the No More Ransom project.

In a plenary session, the European Parliament voted on a cyberdefence strategy report written by Urmas Paet, the Estonian member of the European Parliament on the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The resolution included an amendment from the Polish MEP that "calls on the EU to perform a comprehensive review of software, IT and communications equipment and infrastructure used in the institutions in order to exclude potentially dangerous [programs] and devices, and to ban the ones that have been confirmed as malicious, such as Kaspersky Lab."

Full article @ TechTarget

12 Jun 2018 - FBI arrest 74 e-mail scammers. Recover $14 million

The US Justice Department on Monday announced the arrest of 74 individuals, including 42 in the US, for their involvement in e-mail scams designed to steal money and valuable information from both businesses and individuals.

In addition to the 42 in the US, the arrests included 29 in Nigeria, as well as three in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland. Federal authorities also seized nearly $2.4 million, and they disrupted and recovered approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers.

Full article @ ZDNet

10 Jun 2018 - New Flash exploit bypasses browser, infects via Office documents instead

If you thought you were safe from malware spread via Adobe Flash think again, a new attack hides Flash scripts in Office files to download its payload.

A newly discovered Adobe Flash zero-day exploit is using Microsoft Office files to spread a stack-based buffer overflow attack, but with a twist: The malicious file doesn't contain any actual malware.

Discovered by 360 Core Security and security firm ICEBRG, this new Flash zero day was specifically found to be targeting users in the Middle East, with a potential focus on Qatar.

Malicious Office files aren't a new way to spread malware, but this particular attack has a trick up its sleeve: It remotely downloads the Shockwave Flash (SWF) file containing its payload once opened. That means the file itself doesn't contain any malware, making it easier to fly under the radar.

Adobe has released a patch to address the zero-day exploit, and those still using Flash are advised to update now.

Full article @ TechRepublic


4IT Comment:-

This exploit once again stresses the importance of NOT opening e-mail attachments from unknown OR unexpected sources. Office documents are a favourite method of delivery by the malware writers and we have seen a sharp spike in e-mails containing fake orders, invoices etc., inviting you to open the attached Word or Excel document.

Remember no matter how good your security systems are the weakest link in the chain is always the user.

10 Jun 2018 - VPNFilter router malware more serious than first thought

A new research report indicates the VPNFilter malware has a longer reach than first thought, and simply rebooting your router is not enough.

VPNFilter is a novel type of malware that infects a number of home and small business routers including those from Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link, ASUS, D-Link, Huawei, Ubiquiti, UPVEL, and ZTE.

Official guidance from the FBI was to reboot your router to remove the infection, however after further investigation this may not be enough.

It is strongly recommended you check your device manufacturers website and install the latest firmware available. If you already have the latest firmware you should still reinstall it to ensure removal of any infection.

Full article @ TechRepublic

07 Jun 2018 - Power users rejoice! AMD/Intel bringing 20+ core processors

Good news for PC power users: AMD and Intel bringing 20+ cores to workstation CPUs

Announced at Computex 2018 in Taipei. Both Intel and AMD are placing a great deal of emphasis on a relatively recent category of CPUs that are architecturally more similar to lower-end server CPUs than high-end workstation CPUs. This design choice brings a double-digit core count to workstation CPUs, which has been rare to find for performance workstation/desktop systems until now.

AMD's second generation Ryzen Threadripper CPUs are "on track" for launch in Q3 2018. The new CPUs will feature either 24 or 32 cores, with two threads per core, for a total of 48 or 64 threads.

Intel's newest offering is a 28 Core i9 CPU (48 threads) running at 5 GHz.

Full article @ TechRepublic

Alternate article @ Computing Website

29 May 2018 - British hacker gets 10 years

'One man crime wave' hacker Grant West was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison on Friday for a crime spree that netted him millions from the sale of stolen data.

Twenty-six year old West from Sheerness in Kent had pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy to commit fraud, computer misuse and drug offences on 2 May.

A prolific criminal, he hacked multiple firms including Asda, Ladbrokes, Barclays and BA, costing them hundreds of thousands of pounds.

He also used phishing emails to trick people into giving away their financial information. One such email, sent in 2015, purported to be a survey from Just Eat. It promised discount vouchers for those completing it. That email alone netted him £180,000, according to the Met Police.

A total of £84,000 was stolen from hacked Barclays accounts, costing the bank more than £300,000 to put right.

BA lost £400,000 as a result of West's hacking of accounts the Avios travel awards site.

West sold the information on Alpha Bay, the 'dark web' site that has since been taken down. The proceeds were converted into Bitcoin which he stashed in multiple accounts.

Full article @

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