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Microsoft have just released a security patch to cover a 0 day exploit  betweeen Outlook and Word. The vulnerability, outlined in Microsoft Security Advisory 2953095 is blocked by a Microsoft patch which disables opening RTF documents in Outlook: According to Microsoft "The vulnerability is a remote code execution vulnerability. The issue is caused when Microsoft Word parses specially crafted RTF-formatted data causing system memory to become corrupted in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code."

The products affected include Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013,Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 and Word Automation Services on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013.

The patch is available here https://support.microsoft.com/kb/2953095

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"In the light of recent discontinuation of the free license for business use of one of the prominent remote desktop software vendors we decided that we should extend our free offering to cover not only home users, but also businesses." - Remote Utilities Wesite Notice

With the end of LogMeIn free remote services Remote Utilites has decided to offer its remotinfg app for free for up to 10 remote PC.'s. Bargain!

remoteutilities

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Since its launch, Windows 8 has had a very mixed response, mainly due to its ‘Metro’ tile interface and missing start button, and also not really offering much more to users than Windows 7 unless they own a./ Touchpads and b./Are looking at Cloud services. The former makes it easier to use and the latter is down to the tight integration between Windows and Office 365.


Whilst Microsoft is still ‘responding’ to criticisms of Windows 8 and patching it u,p the OS has overtaken Vista in terms of market share, with a higher percentage of users qwho have upgraded to 8.1 than are using Vista. This is not really surprising as, Vista, we think, is a pretty awful system, and anybody using it should upgrade to Windows 7 at least for the stability.

However, Windows 7 and Windows XP are still miles ahead of 8, and 8.1 with XP taking just under 30% of the user market share and Windows 7 taking just under 50% of the market share.

unpopular-OS

Microsoft's least popular releases

The next patch Tuesday updates are rumoured to bring boot to desktop to Windows 8 and easier to find shutdown and search buttons. So look out for Windows 8.1 Update 1 and see if Microsoft gets it right in their desperation to get us all to upgrade and to get corporate users to upgrade from their XP systems to Windows 8!

A feature of Microsoft’s strategy to get people to upgrade from Windows 7 seems apparent in there not having any plans to release a Service Pack 2 for Windows 7 (giving users a lot of updates to download on new builds unless they care to slipstream the updates on to installation images). 

Windows 9 has also been rumoured to be scheduled for April 2015.

Windows XP updates will be stopped on April the 8th though Windows Server 2003’s extended support (originally due to finish in 2009) will still be available till 14/07/2015.

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Facebook has a new alternative in the shape of Vivaldi.net based in Iceland. https://vivaldi.net/

Vivaldi Social Media


Opera Browser co-founder Jon von Tetzchner has set up the service now that MyOpera asocial site is closing, giving users the opportunity to migrate their data such as emails and blog posts to the new site.

The, apparently wind-cooled, Servers are based in Iceland for its privacy and free speech laws. Whether that keeps users personal data from the prying eyes of the illegal surveillance state hackers is another matter.


The site, like Facebook, offers blogging, email and photo sharing. The main forums are devoted to technology – the site is aimed at geeks but let’s see how it grows. We are signing up and will let you know more.

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Happy New year to all our customers old and new.

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F-Secure have just released the free beta RTM trial of a new product Security for Virtual and Cloud Environments.

This release is designed to protect your virtualized servers and desktops against malware, exploits, network-based attacks and other security threats and  is sutitable for the following sytems running on VMware vSphere 5.0, 5.1 with VMware vCenter Server 5.0, 5.1VMware ESXI and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5.x for VMware ESXi:-

  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 or newer
  • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 or newer
  • Microsoft Windows 8
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with the latest service pack
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2

 

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Cryptolocker is a nasty recent incarnation of ransomware. It  encrypt data on your PC and gives you 72 hours you to pay a ransom in Bitcoins or Moneypak to have the data decrypted.

It is often transmitted through spam email with headings claiming to come from UPS"USPS - Missed package delivery" or a message such as "Scan from a Xerox WorkCentre". Otherwise this malware can infect machines through infected websites ( 'drive-by attacks' ) or machines already infected with trojans.

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Windows SBS server 2011 is no longer being sold retail which is a shame.

If you're a small office looking for a new server, and not already running SBS 2011, you may want to consider Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Microsoft's
Server 2012 comes in 4 flavours; Foundation, Essentials, Standard and Datacentre.


The important thing is, like SBS 2011 Essentials version, this release does not have Exchange server. If your company is using / want’s to use a cloud email and document options such as Google Docs or Office 365 (the latter it integrates with and you have 25 users or less then this may be a good option for you.

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Microsoft have recently announced the final ending of Windows XP. Support for Windows XP, after several date extensions, is officially finally ending on April 8, 2014. This is after 12 and a half years, 3 service packs and hundreds of patches. Retail sales of XP ended in 2007. Now might be the time to move OS if you haven't already.

Microsoft is urging users to migrate to Windows 8 which is perhaps a bigger leap than a change to Windows 7 ( which, according to Redmond, is not getting a second service pack ).

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Yahoo Announces Data Encryption Rollout

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO has today announced encryption of all the information moving between Yahoo data centres. This follows on from whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations of the NSA and GCHQ tapping into the fibre cables transporting Google and Yahoo's user data.

Also, responding to NSA data snooping and collaboration stories, Ms Mayer maintains on her Tumblr account:"Yahoo has never given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency. Ever."