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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 8th Sep 2015

Mark Rolph, Century lighting Ltd sent us a note we would like to share with you.........

Friends and Colleagues,

Last year I embarked on a Redditch to Paris cycle ride to raise money for the Alex Hospital, however it was as an epic fail as I got as far as Oxford before ending up in hospital myself!

My broken arm has now recovered and I am back in the saddle and about to take on the challenge again, this time cycling from Birmingham to Paris.

I am privileged to have been invited to by a team of cyclist from Rexel to join them on their charity bike ride to the Rexel Head Office in Paris, starting from the Newey and Eyre office in Birmingham.

We are raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Electrical Industries Charity.

If you would like to make a donation to these very worthy causes, then please visit http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/NeweyandEyre2015 and I will promise I will do my best not to fall off this time!

Thank you,

Mark Rolph

Good luck Mark, we wish you well and thank you for your efforts.

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 4th Aug 2015

Hacking is the new spying. And, as we've learned time and time again, both government and private organizations are using cyber-spy techniques to gain as much intelligence as they can.

But getting this data can be difficult. In fact, some of the most previous of digital information is safeguarded by machines that have no contact with the outside world.

So can this internet-less data be hacked? Well, yes.

With some help from the research of the security firm Kaspersky Lab, as well as some of our own personal digging, here's a look into some of the insane and creepy technologies used to hack offline devices.

Both the US and the USSR have spent decades looking into the electromagnetic radiation that an electronic device emits. Kaspersky Lab writes that once a device is plugged into a power line it "generates electromagnetic radiation that can be intercepted by proven technologies."

Now people have figured out how to harness this information to track keystrokes. Writes Kaspersky Lab:

Keystrokes can be remotely tracked with high accuracy at the 67-feet (20-meter) distance by using a homemade device that analyzes the radio spectrum and costs around $5,000. It is interesting to note that the attack is equally effective against common cheap USB keyboards, expensive wireless keyboards with a signal encryption, and built-in notebook keyboards.

Power consumption analysis
While on the topic of electricity, it's also possible to deduce a person's device activity based on the power their gadgets consume. A technique called Load Monitoring monitors voltage and current changes to understand activity. It's been used by electricity companies to better understand what is causing certain changes in electricity usage in a specific place.

But in Japan load monitoring has been shown to be able to pinpoint exactly what device is running at what time. Similarly, researchers have begun looking at electricity consumption as a way to detect when a computer malware has been injected into a computer network.

What's inside your smartphone
It's true that smartphones are connected to the internet, but there are other parts inside it that also give away a slew of information.

For example, the accelerometer inside a phone — which is the sensor used to track a phone's tilt and motion — can be used to detect what someone is typing on a computer. According to Kaspersky Lab, if a smartphone is near a computer keyboard it "provides an approximate 80 percent recognition accuracy rating" at tracking what a person is typing.

But wait there's more...
Not only can accelerometers analyze what a person is typing, they have also been proven successful at tracking where people go if they are traveling on an underground train. The way it works is that the bumps and duration of each individual trip between train stations works as a sort of fingerprint of motion.

So if a spy is trying to track someone on the subway, they could look at their accelerometer and deduce which train station the person traveled to.

Beware the laser!
There are other, more futuristic-sounding methods for keylogging. For example, aiming a laser ray at a computer is a way to "register vibrations," says Kaspersky Lab. This method is more accurate than using the accelerometer, but it requires that laser being pointed at a part of the device that reflects light.


Radio waves that intercept the most secure of networks
This one is a bit more complicated, but is probably the most sophisticated sort of cyberspying. Oftentimes organizations holding very confidential data don't connect the computers holding this information to the internet. Instead, these devices are considered air-gapped. This means they are completely isolated from any external networks.

It may seem impossible to hack into these devices, but it turns out there is a way. If a spy wants to get this data, they could implant a small device onto the computer that infects the closed-off network with a piece of malware. Then, this malware can collect data on the infected network and send it via radio signals that every computer video card automatically generates.

And here's where it gets even crazier: People's smartphones can work as the way to deliver this data. So if someone with a mobile phone is nearby, they can unwittingly receive data sent from the device to the mobile phone via FM waves and then send that data to a hacker.

To set this up would require both getting the malware onto the air-gapped computers, as well as infecting a mobile phone to receive this data. But it's not impossible, and it's likely a variation of this method that the well-known Stuxnet worm was first implanted.

Your computer's heat...
This is another complicated tactic to extract data from air-gapped, or offline, computers. And it uses the heat from the motherboard as a method of wireless data transfer.

According to Kaspersky Lab, air-gapped computers are often put next to internet-connected computer for ease. If both computers are infected with a special malware, some crazy spying can ensue.

It works like this: "The malware reads classified data and periodically changes the system temperature by adjusting the load level and producing a modulated heat signal. The second computer reads and decodes it and sends the classified data over the Internet."

So the changes in heat send a 'signal.' Of course, this sort of communication is very slow. And Kaspersky says the maximum transmission speed is eight bits per hour.

Talking through steel walls
Even if a device is shielded in a closed-off room, sometimes even those walls can be permeated. For example, there is a spy device that can send and receive data through steel walls.

Kaspersky Lab explains, "One unit is inconspicuously placed inside of the classified room, while the other is placed somewhere outside of it. The data transfer rate through steel for ultrasound reaches up to 12 MB/s. Additionally, no power supply is required for one of the units, as the energy is transmitted along with data."

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 15th Jun 2015

Sage updates and downloads are stored in:

C:\ProgramData\Sage\SBD Software Updates\Downloaded

This folder is hidden by default, but you can un-hide it by going into your folder options and showing hidden system folders and files.

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 8th Jun 2015

Click below for a larger version...

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Sun 3rd May 2015
When browsing certain websites you'll find that your browser auto launches the app store.
There are two ways to address this issue:
1) Disable popups within Safari
  • Settings
  • Safari
  • General Section
  • Block Pop-Ups
2) In the event you do not want to block popups or this does not work... We have found that if you turn on restrictions on the app store (parental lock) this stops the app from working - until such time you need it.
  • Settings
  • General
  • Restrictions
  • Set to ON / Set password
  • "Allow" section
  • Second section turn off iTunes store, iBooks Store, Podcasts, Installing apps, in-app purchases

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 22nd Apr 2015

Did you know the 21st of April was not only the Queen’s actual birthday but also the day Google gave priority to sites that are mobile-friendly when someone uses their phone to search for something online?

What does this mean?

Have you got a good ranking in google? Well come the 21st, you will be losing a hefty amount of ranking if your site is not user friendly

Why are Google making this change?

Google say “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Conclusion

If you want to maintain your website ranking you will need to become mobile friendly. This situation will not change because Google wants its users to get the most relevant results based on the device they’re searching from. Currently when people search from phones, they may be faced with websites which aren’t compatible, giving them a poor experience.

If you want to test your website visit http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly

If you want further help or information please contact Damien or Borna on 0800 880 3360.

 
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Posted by Delete Delete on Fri 2nd Jan 2015

 The group which claimed responsibility for hacking Sony Pictures has leaked the phone numbers and travel aliases of Hollywood stars including Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig and Natalie Portman, according to a recent report.

This latest development will likely pile extra pressure on the comprehensively pwned entertainment giant.

Contact details for Pitt, Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks were leaked along with aliases used by Daniel Craig, Natalie Portman, Sarah Michelle Gellar when they are travelling, purportedly by the "Guardians of Peace" hacking group, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The celeb leak is the latest embarrassing consequence of the deep impact hack on Sony Pictures network last month.

Sony Pictures computer network was compromised to spread wiper malware that hobbled many computers. Days later, unreleased Sony Pictures' movies were leaked onto file-sharing networks. Purported confidential data about Sony staff and leaks of sensitive network configuration files followed.

Rumours that the hack had been accompanied by an attempt to extort money quickly gave way to the theory that North Korea had launched the assault as a reprisal for Sony's forthcoming spy-caper film The Interview, in which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen play journalists roped into a CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

Last weekend North Korea officially denied any involvement in the Sony cyber attack while congratulating the actions of the hackers involved as "righteous". Pyongyang previously denounced The Interview, due to be released in the US at Christmas, as "undisguised sponsoring of terrorism" and worse.

A (since pulled) Pastebin message purporting to be from the Guardians of Peace demanded that Sony not show "the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the war" defiantly adding "you, Sony and FBI, cannot find us".

The FBI are investigating the hack. Sony has drafted in FireEye's Mandiant team to handle incident response. The malware used in the hack was custom built and appears to be related to the Dark Seoul malware slung against South Korea two years ago. This link is the one piece of solid evidence implicating the NORKS in the unfolding Sony Pictures mega-hack.

Risk Based Business has put together a detailed timeline on the Sony Pictures hack, including details of what was leaked and when, here.

 
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Posted by Delete Delete on Fri 2nd Jan 2015

Twitter is rolling out a new feature that will collect tweets in a Facebook-style news feed.

The “While you were away” feature pulls together posts that you might have missed, and is being gradually rolled out to users.

Like the Facebook news feed, the feature seems to choose tweets based on how much interaction they receive and whether an algorithm thinks users will be interested in them.

Some users appear to have got access to the feature in early December, but the number of posts about it seem to indicate that it has been rolled out more quickly in recent weeks.

Twitter announced the feature in November, saying then that it was “experimenting with ways to give you what you come to Twitter for: a snapshot of what’s happening”. It said that the feature would use information like who you follow and what you engage with to pick out highlights, showing them “as you log back in or come back to the app”.

When it announced the feature, following a shareholder conference, it also said that it was working on other ideas including an instant timeline for users that don’t want to work on of their own.

Both features are likely to be an attempt to challenge the dominance of Facebook, which continues to boast many more users than Twitter. The non-stop nature of the Twitter home page and the work it takes to create a news feed when users sign up have both been cited as reasons that Facebook continues to pull in more users.

 
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Posted by Delete Delete on Fri 2nd Jan 2015

Every year the behoodied prince of Facebook sets himself a personal goal, and this year he’s asking the public to tell him how to spend 2015 doing something new.

“Every year I take on a challenge to broaden my perspective and learn something about the world beyond my work at Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote on his public social networking page.

“At our last town hall Q&A, someone asked me what my challenge will be for the new year and I said I'd love ideas from our community. I have an idea of what my next challenge might be, but I'm open to more ideas before the new year officially begins. So share your ideas here!”

In previous years Zuckerberg has learned to speak Mandarin (aided by his wife), gone nearly vegetarian - the only meat he ate was stuff he’d killed himself - and made a commitment to meet at least one new person a day who doesn’t work on Facebook.

Someone’s clearly editing the over 47,000 suggestions that members of the public have put down so far - either that or there’s been a sudden outbreak of politeness among internet denizens. But there’s food for thought in there.

A number of people have suggested learning another language, like Hindi or Arabic. Others suggest fostering a child, reading 20 pages of a non-technical book a day, or spending a week in a homeless shelter undercover.

Other ideas are more esoteric. At least one commentard suggests shutting down Facebook for a few days (something Zuck’s shareholders would not be happy about) and one person suggested finding Jesus, although there’s no indication that he’s lost.

Last year Facebook’s CEO committed himself to writing one thank you note a day. As for next year, his inbox is open and keep the suggestions biologically possible please.

 
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Posted by Delete Delete on Fri 2nd Jan 2015

Illegal file-sharing site The Pirate Bay could come back online on Feb. 1, based on a countdown clock that suddenly appeared on the site's holding page, Torrent Freak reports.

The Pirate Bay, the world's largest file-sharing site, has been offline since police in Stockholm raided a web hosting company on Dec. 9.

Previously, that timer was counting up from the date that police shut down the site.

Another clue hidden on The Pirate Bay website hints at its possible return. Part of the code used to show animated fireworks on the page reads "allishere.js". It's not known exactly what that means, but it could be a reference to the site's administrators possessing complete backups of the torrents posted on the site.

The group that runs The Pirate Bay has hinted at a return, saying in an interview that if they do relaunch the site, it will be "with a bang."

 
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