Yearly Archive2018

Happy New Year 2019

Wishing you all a Happy New Year from all of us from GT-Systems

happynewyear2019

 

Why don’t you contact us to arrange a chat and we gladly help in your IT world for 2019 and beyond – Contact Us

O2 Outage – The Cause

During the 6th December 2018, O2 and many other operators than use the O2 network suffered major outages leaving millions of customers with no communications.

Many rumors started to spread saying the company’s networks have been hacked or compromised, O2 quiet quickly squashed that rumor saying that they were not hacked.

24 hours later a high proportion of the network is back up, what was the cause of this major incident, apparently, some Ericson equipment using a faulty version of the software had certificates that expired this rendered them not trustworthy and so security protocols kicked in and shut down the offending equipment.

Ericson has apologised to their customers saying most of the affected customers’ network services have been successfully restored. We are working closely with the remaining customers that are still experiencing issues.

So far 2 days later all seems to be back to normal.

O2 has kindly offered 2 days compensation for the 6th December interruptions.

 

Erricson_logoO2_logo

2018 Christmas Postage Dates

Welcome to the beautiful festive season of panic buying, wrapping and posting.

It might sound simple, but ensuring your perfect gift arrives in time can be trickier than you think.

Whether you’re looking to post an item or receive it before 25 December; it’s important that you know your deadlines to avoid tears on Christmas morning – and to help, we’ve broken down the key dates for your diary below.

Royal Mail has officially published its recommended posting dates for Christmas 2018

Dates in full:

Tuesday 18 December – Royal Mail 2nd Class |  Royal Mail Signed For 2nd® Class

Thursday 20 December – Royal Mail 1st Class  |  Royal Mail Signed For® 1st Class  |  Parcelforce Worldwide express48 & express48 Large

Friday 21 December – Parcelforce Worldwide express24, AM, 9 & 10

Saturday 22 December – Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®

 

Information provided by the Post Office

Beware of Phishing Emails

At this part of the year, we see a sudden increase in Phishing emails.

What are Phishing Emails?

  • They are emails that look like they came from a legitimate company i.e. Banks, Supermarkets, social media plus loads more

Generally, they will ask you to fill out a form requesting all of your details including passwords

What is real and what’s fake and where to look

  • The email address where the email came from is the main give away, in a lot of case it looks like it came from someone’s personal email account, these are people that have had their email address hacked prior to this
  • This next way to spot a fake email, if the email asks you to click a link that leads you to an obscure website name
  • Real companies will never ask you for your password or bank details, especially the CVC code on the back of the card

What are the attachments within the email?

  • Another form of phishing is sending attachments with the email and asking the recipient to open it and fill out the form, if you do happen to open these types of attachment’s in most of the time it’s too late, your computer will be infected then the whole cycle will start again using your email address to send out phishing emails to all of your friends and family
  • If you’re not expecting an email Do not open the attachments claiming to be invoices, bank statements and so on

How would I know if I get infected and what shall I do?

  • The first thing you will notice if that your company may start to be extremely slow at responding, apps and programs take ages to load
  • The other thing you will start getting calls from your friends and family saying that you are sending then spam to them
  • The first thing to do is update your antivirus guard and run a full detailed scan
  • In more extreme cases a full system restore is needed

Google chrome is 10 years old

Google Chrome first announcement and appearance was in the year 2008, soon after the release, it gained ground overtaking the well-established Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Users found that the clean clutter free of the homepage and the speed in which the chrome browser delivered its results was a seller

Over the years there have been better and better features appearing on the browser, now 10 years on Google is releasing a major update to Chrome, New Look, Improved Password Management plus loads more.

Users on the Mac can now use the search bar/address bar for search results now display relevant information as you type

If you are Chrome user, you’ll enjoy the 10th birthday update

Chrome logo

Shall I clear out my cache

There are good and bad points to clearing or not clearing out your web browser’s cache.

Advantages to Cache

  • When you browse a website for the first time your web browser contains details about the website in a file called cache, if you browse on that same website the browser will bring up the website a lot faster basically given the user a speedier web experience

The drawbacks to cache

  • In some instances, the browser doesn’t display the up to date version of the site
  • Over time it starts to slow down your pc/laptop/mobile keeping a lot of junk memory
  • Some other website can read your cache and start targeting you with ads, in some worse case scenarios your browsing history is sent to a 3rd party server

For best practices clear out your cache once a month alongside a virus scan

Below are some links listing some steps for clearing out your cache for mobiles and desktop browsers

Click here for Mobile Users

Click here for Desktop Users

FBI wants you to reboot your router

In the past few months, there has been a malware threat called VPNFilter, this malware has the ability infiltrate some home user routers and cause it to be a part of a collective to cause a DDOS (Denial of Service) attack on specific websites causing that website to go offline.

The other thing that this malware target is none secure web traffic that the user views and inserted malicious code to web the traffic enabling it to spy on your previously viewed pages and gain access certain unsecured data and pages and pass it on to a centralized server

Below there is a small example of the affected 500,000 routers listed

Asus, D-Link, Huawei, Linksys, Microtik, Netgear, QNAP, TP-Link, Ubiquiti, Upvel & ZTE

The reason why the FBI is asking users to reboot their routers is that they have gained access to the main server that was doing all the collecting this data.

We at GT-systems encourage our users and clients to always browse the internet on secure websites and always use 2FA (2-factor authentication) for logins

Find out more at the Fortinet website – Click Here

Visa goes down affecting Millions as Cards are Declined

Million of Visa card user face missionary as the VISA card payments are not paying out, the outages are affecting most of Europe, The payments look to customers like they are being declined, in the same way as when a card has insufficient funds.

A spokesperson from Visa said: “Visa is currently experiencing a service disruption.”

“This incident is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed.”

“We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation.”

 

Don’t Rely On Your Antivirus

In this day in age, we rely so much on our antivirus to protect us from all the nasty virus that lurk on the internet, but no antivirus can protect your system 100% of the time.

Recently we at GT-Systems have been receiving reports of a new virus a variant of the ‘Ransomware Virus’ that crippled the NHS in 2017 called ‘Hermes 2.1 Virus’ this also holds your files to ransom by encrypting it.

If you find yourself in this position and all your files are indeed encrypted finding a solution is very difficult, the attacker will normally ask for large sums of money that needs to be paid in a form of cryptocurrency to receive a key to unlock the files, please be aware that this method doesn’t always work.

Put some steps into your daily or weekly routine by backing up your data, a very simple way is to plug in an external hard drive and simply copy from your computer and paste it onto the hard drive.

Another option is to take full advantage of your free cloud storage if you have a Gmail or Hotmail account, simply sign into your account via the web and navigate, for Gmail customers head over to your ‘Google drive’ and for Hotmail customers head over to your ‘One Drive’ area, if you find that the free storage is not big enough each of these vendors will charge you a tiny monthly fee to increase the storage

For those who want a little more automation there are vendors out there that will have solutions and software to fully automate this process, but as always there is a significantly bigger monthly payment.

We must say to ourselves if we lost our files can we continue working or we’ll never see those precious memories again.

Remember 3 steps of backup

  1. 3 different copies
  2. 2 different mediums
  3. 1 offsite

Youtube page showing 500 internal server error

In last few hours a lot of Youtube users has been seeing error messages while browsing the websites user content area

 

There has been no official word on Youtube about the issue they are facing

When users when trying to view the site they were presented a warning page with a long string of text