Discus Systems PLC - IT Support Company in Birmingham West midlands
0800 880 3360

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 24th Oct 2017

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionChristopher Wray said more than half of the devices the FBI had tried to access in 11 months had been impenetrable

Agents at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been unable to extract data from nearly 7,000 mobile devices they have tried to access, the agency's director has said.

Christopher Wray said encryption on devices was "a huge, huge problem" for FBI investigations.

The agency had failed to access more than half of the devices it targeted in an 11-month period, he said.

One cyber-security expert said such encryption was now a "fact of life".

Many smartphones encrypt their contents when locked, as standard - a security feature that often prevents even the phones' manufacturers from accessing data.

Such encryption is different to end-to-end encryption, which prevents interception of communications on a large scale.

Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward at the University of Surrey said device encryption was clearly frustrating criminal investigations but it would be impractical and insecure to develop "back doors" or weakened security.


"Encryption that frustrates forensic investigations will be a fact of life from now on for law enforcement agencies," he said.

"Even if the equipment manufacturers didn't build in such encryption it would be possible to obtain software that encrypted data in the same way."

Referring to the trade-off between cyber-security and investigative hacking, the FBI director said: "I get it, there's a balance that needs to be struck between encryption and the importance of giving us the tools we need to keep the public safe."

Mr Wray was speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia on Sunday.

In 2016, the FBI asked Apple to unlock an iPhone used by San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook.

Apple refused, explaining that its phones had been designed so that even their manufacturer could not access them once encrypted.

The FBI later said a third party firm had discovered a way of breaking intoFarook's device.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that the FBI did not have to reveal the identity of the firm or how much the agency paid for its services.

The ruling followed freedom of information requests filed by journalists.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Sun 8th Oct 2017

Simple Education & Schools IT Support 30 day contract pricing


  Education & Schools IT Support (4 hour response)
On-Site Tech Day £500.00 + VAT per day
Server Monitoring £66.00 + VAT per month
Cloud Service Support £66.00 + VAT per month

Please call 0800 880 3360 (01675430080) for more information or email u2us@discus.co.uk

Business Pricing - Click here

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Sun 1st Oct 2017

Simple 30 day Business IT Support contract pricing


  Business IT Support (4 hour response)
Server Support £166.00 + VAT per month
Workstation Support £20.00 + VAT per month
Cloud Service Support £66.00 + VAT per month
On-site Technican £680.00 + VAT per day

Please call 0800 880 3360 (01675430080) for more information or email u2us@discus.co.uk

Education Pricing - Click here

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 17th May 2017
  • A spam email is sent to as many email addresses as possible, these are obtained from various sources, previous hacks, social media etc
  • Anti-Spam filters will stop the majority – 99%, but some still get through
  • The email is either a link to a compromised website (such as WordPress) or it is an attachment with a zip file which anti-spam filters cannot scan
  • Gateway Security – stops traffic to some of the locations where these files are hosted but not all…
  • The user receives the email, it’ll look legitimate, possibly even with personal information to validate it. Your home address, sometimes even your phone number and or full name will be on it. It’ll have a zip file or a link, with a password to open it.
  • Most users will ignore the email and dismiss it as spam, some will open the link/attachment and let the virus run.
  • Once the Virus is executed, it’ll use the machine as a temporary host, then start searching for any potential venerable machine, searching for any potential weakness it can exploit, it’ll run this constantly until it is destroyed by a virus checker or a kill switch is activated.


If you need further help contact Discus Systems plc on 01675 430080

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Sat 18th Feb 2017

On Thursday 16 February 2017, we experienced a major outage which may have affected some of our Customer’s email & website services.

The issue was due to circumstances beyond our control, our upstream domain hosting company suffered a serious and prolonged outage. This outage caused DNS problems which in turn resulted in the failure of some companies receiving email and/or web issues. DNS converts the website addresses like www.discus.co.uk to an IP address on a webserver, if this fails the website or service would be unreachable.

We have been using the provider of this service successfully for in excess of ten years and this failure was most unexpected. The issue first became apparent at around 10am on Thursday which we responded to immediately and we had resolved the issue at 12pm by relocating the affected domains to a new provider with proven and appropriate redundancy. However, due to the changes needed to propagate around the internet the issues would have been still occurring after the initial resolution.

Please accept our apologies for this issue and be assured we have taken appropriate steps to prevent it happening again in the future.


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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 8th Feb 2017

London - 8th February 2017 - Repairly - the on-demand technology repair service - has today announced it has closed a £265,000 Seed investment from various investors to expand their service throughout London.


Repairly is disrupting the billion-dollar technology repair services industry by offering collection and delivery. Repairly’s mission is make it ridiculously simple to get your phone, tablet or laptop repaired.


The introduction of Repairly means that people no longer have to go to the expensive Apple Store or inconvenient corner shops. Customers don’t even have to leave their desk. Repairly collect, repair and return within an average of 2 hours and 6 minutes.


Richard Edwards, co-founder of Repairly, says: “We ensure busy people with broken technology are back up and running as soon as possible.”


“We saw how much technology had advanced but the support for that technology was lagging behind. People were waiting for up to 2 weeks without their phone. That seems crazy in today’s technology-reliant society.”


The business was started in 2015 after Fraser Williams dropped out of University. Richard Edwards was an early team member of the online cleaning marketplace, Hassle.com, which was acquired by Rocket Internet in July 2015.


Repairly is a graduate of the UK accelerator programme Virgin Media Techstars. The Seed investment came from investors such as Richard Fearn, Daniel Murray (CEO, Grabble) and Richard Pleeth (Ex-Google).


Richard Fearn, investor, comments: “Repairly's business is growing quickly into a large market, with strong unit economics and great customer reviews”


Fraser Williams, co-founder and CEO at Repairly, says: “Over 32,000 phones get broken every day in the UK alone. People don’t know where to turn when this happens. Repairly turns people’s negative experience into a positive one, and if you can find delight in a phone repair, you can find it anywhere.”


About Repairly

Founded by Richard Edwards and Fraser Williams, Repairly is an on-demand technology repair service. It allows you to order a phone, tablet or laptop repair via it’s online platform and your device will be collected, repaired and returned in an average 2 hours and 6 minutes.


Repairly is disrupting the billion-dollar technology repair services industry. Repairly’s mission is to make it ridiculously simple to get your phone, tablet or laptop repaired.


Repairly has been backed by leading investors including Virgin Media, TechStars, Richard Pleeth (ex-Google), Daniel Murray (CEO, Grabble) and Richard Fearn.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 6th Feb 2017

Poor old Janet Jackson. She was at the end of a triumphant, hit-laden medley when Justin Timberlake ripped the front off her bodice, revealing a heavily-bejewelled superboob.

Few ever believed that the "wardrobe malfunction" was indeed a malfunction - but if you look at the photographs taken immediately after the event, Jackson appears mortified (notably, these were not the pictures printed by the press).

Nonetheless, America went apoplectic. The Federal Complaints Commission reportedly got more than 200,000 complaints, while Janet was blacklisted by MTV and radio. Her career never fully recovered.

But there is a bright side to this story. A PayPal employee called Jawed Karim missed the half-time show and grew frustrated that he couldn't watch the incident online. 

In response, he and his friends Steve Chen and Chad Hurley began coding a website where people could upload their own content. That site would end up being YouTube. 


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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Mar 2016

After a career spanning 45 years, Martyn Harrison has decided to retire from his role in the IT services world on Thursday 24th March 2016.

Martyn has spent the last 8 years of his career with Discus and we’re very disappointed to see him go. Martyn joined Discus in 2008 to become part of our sales and technical team. He proved he could turn his hand to many roles with his wide range of skills and knowledge picked up over the years. He has been a great asset to Discus.

Although Martyn will be greatly missed by all, we would like to reassure customers that normal service will continue as Leon Mais will be fulfilling the role Martyn previously held. He can be contacted on 01675461316 or Leon@discus.co.uk and is willing and able to help you with all your IT business needs.

We wish Martyn a happy retirement and Leon best wishes in his new role.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 12th Oct 2015

Humankind is hot on the trail to designing and building the next-generation of super computers, called quantum computers.
Capable of easily cracking encryptions that would be impossible with the average classical computer, a quantum computer will not only revolutionize computing speed but also render most common-day encryption methods obsolete.

Now, a team of scientists at the The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia and Keio University in Japan have just made a significant breakthrough in the field using a special material: Silicon.

By modifying a standard silicon transistor — the backbone of all modern-day electronic devices — the scientists have performed the world's first calculation with what are called quantum bits, instead of classical bits, with a silicon-based material.

Quantum bits are the coded language by which quantum computers would speak to one another and transmit and store information. Never before has anyone managed to get two of them to communicate using silicon.

This is a tremendous achievement.

"Our results mean that all of the physical building blocks for a silicon quantum computer have now been successfully constructed," Menno Veldhorst, who is the lead author of the paper where the team reported their results, said in a UNSW video. The paper was published in Nature on Oct. 6.

In addition to having everything they need to start the real task of designing a quantum processor, the engineers can proceed with a material that is both ubiquitous and cheap.
"Because we use essentially the same device technology as existing computer chips, we believe it will be much easier to manufacture a full-scale processor chip than for any of the leading designs, which rely on more exotic technologies,"Andrew Dzurak, who is the team leader and director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at UNSW, said in a press release.

Next steps
Other researchers have successfully performed calculations between two quantum bits, but they used expensive materials like diamond and cesium. In addition to being pricey, these materials do not play nice when it comes to large-scale manufacturing. The crucial advantage of silicon transistors is that you can, in theory, connect hundreds of them together to work as a quantum computer.

"The silicon chip in your smartphone or tablet already has around one billion transistors on it, with each transistor less then 100 billionths of a meter in size," Veldhorst said in the press release.
Now that the team has successfully managed to get two qubits talking to one another, the next step is to get three qubits communicating, and then tens, hundreds, and eventually billions.

Classical computers use what are called bytes, which are comprised of 8 individual bits, so if your computer has an 8 GigaByte hard-drive, that means it has the capacity to store billions of bits of information like important PDF documents and vacation photos. If quantum computers are ever going to compete with what we have today, then they're going to have to run on a lot more than just a few quantum bits.

Right now, the most qubits anyone has ever connected is D-Wave System Inc., which broke the 1,000 qubit barrier earlier this year. Though some question D-Wave's technology as genuine quantum computing.

But the UNSW team is taking it one step at a time and has high hopes.

"I believe that a Si-CMOS qubit prototype containing between tens and hundreds of qubits could be made within five years, provided we have the right level of investment and the right industry partners," Dzurak told Gizmag.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 6th Oct 2015

Revolutionary Security. Ultimate Performance. Minimal Management.

Discus Systems preferred security agent ....................................

Webroot SecureAnywhere®Business – Endpoint Protection offers a
revolutionary approach to malware protection. It brings together Webroot’s
innovative file pattern and predictive behavior recognition technology, with
the almost limitless power of cloud computing, to stop known threats and
prevent unknown zero-day attacks more effectively than anything else.

Using the world’s lightest and fastest endpoint security Agent, scans are
unbelievably fast (normally less than 30 seconds 1) and they never slow
end-users down. And, because detection is truly real-time it is always
up-to-date, and provides protection against all the latest threats and
attacks without any of the hassles of managing daily signature or definition
file updates.

Best ‘unknown’ malware prevention
Revolutionary file pattern and behavior recognition technology
Predictive intelligence accurately detects if any file activity is benign,
or malicious
Virtually eliminates the window of vulnerability from new
‘unknown’ threats
Extremely fast and easy to deploy
World’s smallest endpoint security client/agent (<750KB 1) Takes 5 seconds to install
Works alongside other security and software applications
Doesn’t slow down PCs or hinder user productivity
Initial scan uses 15MB of RAM and scheduled
scans <30 seconds!
Minimal CPU usage during scans
Sophisticated remediation eliminates the need for most
system reimaging
Always up-to-date and protected
No large daily definition file updates to steal network bandwidth
Off-network users always remain protected and never need any
protection updates
All users instantly protected against any new threats
Easy to manage

Centralized web-based management of all endpoints
Highly automated management and reporting
No on-premise management server hardware or software
Full remote policy and endpoint management
Online and offline protection
Separate policy controls for offline endpoint user management
Ability to define security control levels for devices such as USB, CD
and DVD drives

For further details please contact 0800 880 3360 ask for Damien

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