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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.

 

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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

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

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Are you ready from 25th May 2018, The regulation requires organizations to prove that they know where personal data is and where it isn’t. For more in-depth rules for business & Organisations and Rights for citizens Click Here

Today’s Tips – Your computer won’t start

When your computer doesn’t start this could be a very worrying but there are some simple things that could be preventing your computer from starting, firstly go through the checklist below

  • If you are using a PC, make sure the screen is powered and on
  • If you have moved the PC, check to see if any of the cables has not fallen out
  • Lastly, check to see if there is no external hard drive or USB stick still inserted in the USB port

 

If all the steps have been checked and your computer still doesn’t start please call GT-Systems we’re we are happy to assist

GT-Systems – 01604 807824 or [email protected] – Click HERE for Help

 

Today’s News – Ransomware hits again

As predicted a new variant of the WannaCry ransomware virus called ‘Petya’ has appeared causing havoc and crippling many companies, like before this virus affects the Windows operating system.

Microsoft has made patches to protect the operating system from this type attack.

To minimize a possible infection from this Petya malware virus keep the operating system and antivirus up to date.

Contact GT-Systems for further information on the prevention of the ransomware virus at home and at work

Today’s News – Keep your guard up

We all out there thinks this virus has been forted, this is not the case there has been a sudden increase in variants to this malicious Virus, been vigilant as what email and files you open.

 

Contact GT-Systems for more help

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