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Browser Wars; The Phantom Menace?

Posted on: May 11th, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


Ever since the Internet became a consumer accessible service there have been talks about which browser is the best.

At first there was NetScape which dominated the market, and then came along Internet Explorer; Microsoft’s flagship Internet browser.

When Mozilla FireFox entered the arena it stole a good proportion of the market share, but it took a few years until it became a real competitor and threat to Internet Explorer.

NetScape fell over night – people stopped using it when Internet Explorer and FireFox dominated.

In September 2008 Google announced their attempt to enter the market – with the promise of a lightweight browsing experience and the dominance of Google’s Search Engine, Google were able to deliver their browser to a fair share of the market.

Unfortunately, whilst Google is indeed a lightweight and pretty speedy browser it suffered from a fair few serious flaws. It has problems rendering certain code making it difficult for a web developer to make their websites compatible with it, it isn’t very extensible as there are few useful plug-ins for users to install and perhaps the most damning point – it loves to collect your data.

Google makes it’s money from using the data it obtains from it’s users. Chrome is no exception – it sends each and every website you visit to it’s servers in order to return back to Google whether or not the page is safe. Given Google’s history regarding user privacy, you can be sure they store this information to ‘improve’ their advertising.

HTML 5; The Future of The Web?

Posted on: May 8th, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


HTML is the foundation of every web page you see on the Internet – all other coding languages produce HTML as an end result which is then interpreted by your web browser, which in turn gives you the web pages you see.

In recent times web developers have been pushing for the latest version of HTML to be used – known as HTML 5. This is a far more up-to-date version with a lot of new features. One of the main points about HTML 5 is that is cuts out the reliance upon third party pieces of software such as Adobe Flash Player – this is because HTML 5 is so much more advanced that it can play videos using it’s own native code rather than having to waste CPU usage and opening up security holes.

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Seriously Organized Crime Agency Website Taken Down

Posted on: May 3rd, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


The Seriously Organized Crime Agency website has been taken offline by a method known as a ‘Distributed Denial of Service Attack” (DDoS).

Typically this involves using a group of computers called a botnet to flood a web server with a large number of requests. This will result in one of three possibilities:

– The server stays online perfectly fine
– The server slows down so legitimate users are affected
– The server crashes and all websites hosted on that server are unreachable

Fortunately, a DDoS attack isn’t actually a security risk – purely a rather costly inconvenience.

I imagine the SOCA I.T. Support department are running around wondering what to do – probably should have used Tetrabyte Managed I.T.

With DDoS protection Tetrabyte Business Webhosting is your best bet for a high uptime – no fake promises, as our dedicated server is monitored 24/7 by real data-centre engineers.

The Importance of Backing Up

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


Backing up your IT System is probably something you’ve always planned on doing but have never actually gotten round to doing it.

Tetrabyte Managed IT Remote Off Site Backup

Why Backup?

Imagine one day your company is working on a large project – it’s a huge contract for a lot of money. You and your staff are happily working away looking forward to completing the project and reaping the reward when suddenly, “Connection to the network has been lost.” appears on your computer screen.

You shrug it off and reboot your computer in the hopes you can continue where you left off. 10 minutes later when you’re still unable to work an employee comes to your office – “uhh, boss? I think the servers blown up.” Sure enough, upon investigation it turns out the server has died and all data has been lost. This scenario could mean the end of your business.

Fortunately, if you’d had a nightly backup handy you would have been able to restore back to last night – you may have lost a few hours work, but at least once a new server is in place and the backup restored you will be able to continue from that backup.

So a word of advice, always keep a backup!

Tetrabyte Managed IT is able to fufill all your backup needs – with Tetrabyte Managed Remote Off-Site backup.

Facebook Encourages Anti-Virus Use

Posted on: April 27th, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


Facebook has garnered much criticism over the years over privacy concerns and the lack of security on the website.

Facebook ‘Applications’ are used throughout the web – you can login to various websites using your Facebook credentials where this feature has been enabled.

When you login to a specific website using your Facebook credentials you are given a prompt asking your permission to let the website interact with your Facebook account. You cannot choose which permissions you will give the website; it’s simply a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Once a website has access to your Facebook account it can post on your news feed on your behalf – it is this which causes Facebook users so many problems. A website can post any link it likes to your Facebook page for all your friends and subscribers to see.

Facebook has very recently announced a partnership with the following five Anti-Virus firms:

– Microsoft
– McAfee
– Trend Micro
– Sophos
– Symantec

These firms are going to work alongside Facebook to block the links which are dangerous – for example those which have been identified as dangerous, pornographic or generally unsuitable for the Facebook audience.

I for one am looking forward to this – hopefully I won’t need to be worried about the links and pictures that appear in my Facebook newsfeed!

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O2 Releases Mobile Wallet App

Posted on: April 26th, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


O2 has released a long-anticipated mobile wallet app designed for making payments on the go.

According to O2, users will be able to make payments of up to £500 simply by sending a text message. Users will also be able to make contactless payments with their smart phone as long as it is capable of ‘Near-Field Communication’ – I.E, it contains an NFC chip.

‘My O2 Wallet Homepage’

Tetrabyte Business IT - O2 Announces Digital Wallet

At present, there isn’t a charge for using this service, but O2 has made it clear that in the future they will levy a 15P charge for each transaction.

Security Implications

Bringing such easy payments to the consumer market doesn’t come without risks – if someone obtains your phone then all that stands in their way between themselves and your money is a password, so make sure any passwords you have aren’t easy to guess and aren’t written down in a place where someone can find them.

Aside from the risks, this looks like quite an interesting opportunity. I may download this app to try it out and, if I like it, I may be able to leave my wallet at home!

The Media, Hacking, & The Internet

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


Tetrabyte-Business-IT-Support-The-Media-Hacking-Internet

As you will be aware, there has been a lot in the news over the past few months about websites being hacked and personal details being stolen.

Not only that, but some of these personal details are being published on the Internet for anybody to see.

The motives for these recent hacking attempts aren’t well publicised, but the fact that the hacking attempts (and successes) are broadcast across every media channel you can think of.

So what are the motives?

Well, some may tell you that it’s purely to cause chaos, but let’s take a look at the latest hacking attempt:

The Home Office recently set out plans to monitor the web use of every resident in the United Kingdom – very scary thought. Do you really like the idea of the secret service being able to view everything you do online? Every website you visit? Every E-Mail you send?

I certainly don’t.

In response to this news the hacking collective known as ‘Anonymous’ set out a strategic plan to take the Home Office website offline using a method called a ‘DDOS’ attack – an attack which uses tools to automatically bombard a website with too many requests.

All in all, the headlines may make the bad guys look – well, bad, but do your research. They may turn out not to be so bad after all…

Apple tool to combat Flashback Trojan

Posted on: April 16th, 2012 by Tetrabyte No Comments


Apple has now release a Java update to eradicate the Flashback Trojan that have been infecting Mac computers on a large scale in recent weeks.

The Flashback Malware exploiting a security vulnerability in the Mac Operating System (OS) allowing hackers to take control of the users machine.

Apple released the update two days after it reported taking the issue on and one week after the anti-virus firm Dr Web said over 600,000 Macs had been infected.

Apple has been highly criticised for the extended amount of time it took to resolve the issue.

Kaspersky, recalled its own Trojan-removal tool after it was reportedly affecting some user settings.

Apple have only released a fix for machines running their latest versions of the operating system. “Snow Leopard” and “Lion” all earlier versions have been told to disable Java in their web browser to resolve the problem.

Apple has been reported to be working to shut down servers hosted by the authors of the Malware, to prevent the Malware from running many of its critical functions.

Some analysts are reporting they believe Apple could of been able to avoided the attack if it had acted sooner.

Confused

Oracle The Java’s developer had issued a fix for other systems eight weeks before Apple’s first security update.

Rik Ferguson, the director of security at Trend Micro said the following on the matter: “Apple’s sluggishness on security updates could perhaps have been defended in the past by the relative paucity of malware on that operating system. However, Mac OS is increasingly attractive and increasingly exploited by criminals.”

Apple is also trying to improve the security of its web stores iTunes, most likely trying to address a worrying increase in the number users complaining about accounts being “hacked”.

Users are currently being prompted on Apples websites to add back-up email addresses and answer security questions to protect their user accounts and data.

Apple has not yet commented on their actions, which has been reported to of confused a large amount of Apple’s regular users.


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