Monthly Archives: February 2011

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Released

source: Sizzled Core

Microsoft has finally released the Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Windows 7 SP1 is available for download via Windows Update, or you can grab the full update directly from Microsoft Download Center. The full release is almost 2GB in size.

Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 does not bring any major features, so don’t get your hopes high. But we still highly recommend everyone to update to the latest Windows 7 SP1.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will help you:

  • Keep your PCs supported and up-to-date
  • Get ongoing updates to the Windows 7 platform
  • Easily deploy cumulative updates at a single time
  • Meet your users’ demands for greater business mobility
  • Provide a comprehensive set of virtualization innovations
  • Provide an easier Service Pack deployment model for better IT efficiency

Download Windows 7 SP1 via Windows Update, or grab it from Microsoft.

Testimonial from Dyscover

The team were glad to receive a fantastic email from a relatively new client this morning;

Michael Bensley of Dyscover kindly wrote:

“Just a quick ‘thank you’ to you and your team for such a dramatic improvement to terminal server – thanks to your professional and user friendly configuration. Speaking for myself, I can work from home, reach the data I require, print and transfer files without any of the previous frustrations and this is important for, as you know, space is at a premium at Dyscover!

An excellent job and well done!”

Dyscover is a charity organisation which provides support, encouragement and hope to people with dysphasia. The charity helps them to adjust to living with dysphasia on a long term basis.

All of our client testimonials can be viewed on our website at

Staggering Cost of UK Cyber Crime Revealed

Sky News reports that cyber crime is costing Britain at least £27bn a year, mostly though the theft of industrial secrets.

The staggering figure represents a “silent erosion” of Britain’s economy and competitive advantage, the security minister, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones warned today.

In publishing the results of an investigation by cyber security experts Detica, the Cabinet Office aims to draw attention to the strategic danger that internet crime now poses to Britain and her allies.

The days of the old-fashioned bank robber pulling a stocking over his head, and robbing a bank, are almost over.

“Bank robbers have to go to banks – in the modern world they don’t even have to be in the same country as a bank to rob it,” said Martin Sutherland, managing director of Detica.

The threat posed by password thieves, phishers and hackers on home computers is well known.

Losses to cyber crime, among ordinary citizens, amounts to £3.1bn a year. But it is British industry that is being hammered, or hollowed out.

According to the study, the UK loses £9.2bn a year through the theft of the innovations and designs which drive industrial growth – what is known as intellectual property.

Another £7.6bn is lost through industrial espionage. The industries worst hit are defence, automobile, pharmaceuticals, software and computer services along with mining, and financial services.

“This report shows that there is a cost if the economy is not cyber secure. The intellectual property is the wealth of the nation,” Baroness Neville-Jones said.

But she said that while it was very difficult to prosecute cyber criminals because they are so hard to trace, the focus of the UK’s future efforts would be on working with the private sector to develop defences against cyber attack.

At some stage these might also evolve into the capacity to “screw up their networks” when cyber criminals are identified.

“As with counter terror operations, our efforts are most likely to be focussed on disrupting attacks – the idea is to try to make sure that they can’t happen,” she said.

This week she met with industry leaders to begin working on a programme to get the private sector more closely involved in defending itself and to work out an early warning and advice system run by the government to ward off cyber-attacks.

“We need as a country to up the effort to detect and prosecute cyber crime,” she said.

Security Firm Tracks Cybercrime Hotspots

Sky News reports that The world’s first cybercrime index is being launched by online security business Norton.

The company says the aim is to give online users an instant snapshot of daily cybercrime around the world.

Some 65% of people worldwide – and 59% in the UK – have been victims of cybercrime, it says.

While much of the crime on the internet at present concerns identity theft, some users are victims of major scams too.

The company says its index tracks and warns people about daily risks and alerts customers to online trouble spots and potential hazards.

‘In comparison with western governments it would seem that the commercial sector is still leading the field in keeping cyber-attackers at bay,” said Sky News security editor Sam Kiley.

“This latest software will do nothing to protect us, but it will serve to scare us into getting good computer security software.

“One should be in no doubt that personal computers, as well as critical infrastructure, are under daily assault from criminals and probably nation states too.

“The scale of the problem is so large it beggars belief.”

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 web browser goes live

Microsoft has said the latest version of its internet explorer web browser puts it ahead of competitors like Google and Firefox reports the BBC.

The software giant, which is losing market share, made the bold claim as it unveiled what is known as the release candidate of IE9.

This is the final test drive for the new browser – a chance to catch any last-minute bugs before its debut.

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IE9 has been downloaded 25 million times during beta testing.

Privacy and speed are being highlighted as two of the features that set IE9 apart.

“This release is one that is playing catch up [on past releases], but it leapfrogs everything and now you see the other folks on the back foot trying to catch up with us,” Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, told BBC News.

“With this release you are seeing innovation after innovation that other folks are catching up to. Hardware acceleration was something no one was talking about until we did it. No one else was talking about privacy and tracking until we did it.”

According to Web analytics company Net Applications, IE lost more than six percentage points of user share in the past 12 months. At the end of January, the browser hit an historic low with 56% of users using IE.

“This is a real race again in terms of browsers,” said Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of

“To some extent, Microsoft had ceded that race, but when I first heard about IE9, my initial reaction was ‘oh the game is on’. Now it is a question of how people will perceive it when they look at it against Google Chrome and Firefox, but Chrome is where you have the most interesting battle and this is a true battle in the browser space.”

Privacy features

One feature being put front and centre of IE9 is tracking protection that gives users better control over how their information is shared across the web.

Some content on websites can be used to track activity as people hop from one site to another. IE9’s tracking protection means users can limit the browser’s communication with certain websites to help keep information private.

This feature relies on tracking protection lists the user can create, or on lists created by the four main online privacy and tracking companies to allow or block a site or ad network from tracking users.

Tracking protection screengrab

Microsoft has said it will not generate such lists.

The feature is seen as a response to a call by the Federal Trade Commission for a web equivalent to the Do Not Call list aimed at telemarketers calling and harassing people at home.

Firefox also offers a ‘do not track’ option.

“The most exciting thing is this is a technology that is ready to use today and can provide a meaningful level of protection as you browse around the web,” said Andy Zeigler, privacy programme manager with Microsoft’s IE team.

“For example, the lists can block companies that collect data about you without your consent, which could be information like your browsing history, the sites you visit, the things you buy online and the videos you watch.”

Need for speed

With speed becoming an increasingly seductive selling point for users, Microsoft said that this latest version of IE9 is faster than the beta by 35%, making it faster than any browser currently available.

Also new is expanded support for HTML5 and what is known as other “future-web” technologies. These include support for a geolocation feature and HTML5 semantic tags. These features are largely present in other browsers.

The company said it received over 17,000 comments from early users. As a result of some of that feedback, the software will let people add a new row of tabs to the bar at the top of the browser window. It will also pop up fewer notifications.

The company is now focused on encouraging developers to build new websites and user experiences on IE9.

IE9 is a free download that works Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers. It’s not compatible with Windows XP.

Microsoft’s February Security Updates

This month Microsoft released 12 new security updates.

  • 8 updates for Microsoft Windows
  • 1 update for Microsoft Office
  • 1 update for Windows Server
  • 1 update for Internet Explorer
  • 1 update for Internet Information Services (IIS) FTP Service

You can download the updates via Windows Update or click here to visit the bulletin page.

Cyber crime a ‘major headache’ for small firms

Nearly a quarter of small to medium-sized firms are worried about the possibility of cyber crime, according to a new survey reported by Growing Business.

Published by small business insurance specialist Hiscox, the research found that small firms are troubled by risks such as identity theft, data theft and critical damage to computer equipment.

Cyber crime has long been a major risk for UK firms. In October 2009, a survey from the Federation of Small Businesses revealed that online theft and fraud cost the average British small business £800 a year.

Furthermore, figures from last year suggest that cyber crime can cost a small company as much as £20,000.

According to Hiscox SME insurance expert John Heaney, it is vital that companies must protect themselves against the possibility of data theft.

Heaney said: “SMEs should also consider their online assets and how to protect them. Given the importance of data to businesses it is essential that SMEs have strategies in place to mitigate online risks.

“Data is currency, and while the internet has made it much easier to access information it has also increased cyber risks such as hacker attacks and electronic ID theft. SMEs need to think beyond securing the building and put in place robust online security measures.”