We are pleased to announce that Computit is now QAssure certified and GITC accredited company.
Holding QAssure and GITC accreditations makes us eligible for government buyers who are searching for accredited suppliers.
QAssure accreditation is for ICT suppliers to be considered for Queensland Government work managed by CCIQ – Queensland’s peak business body – and the Queensland Government.
GITC accreditation is an agreement by suppliers to use the GITC Framework terms and conditions managed by the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation
Both GITC and QAssure accreditations are not given without considerable checks and balances. Only ICT suppliers that are credible and fit for purpose are accredited. We are selected as one of the best ICT suppliers in Queensland.
Verification of valid GITC accreditation for Computit Pty Ltd can be viewed on the QAssure website at www.qassure.com.au
Office 365 users are now being targeted in a pretty convincing looking phishing attack.
Phishing attacks, a common tactic used by cyber criminals to try to trick you into giving them your information, are nothing new. In fact, it's likely if your company has already been targeted by phishing (and if you haven't been, it's a matter of when - not if) and it's getting harder and harder to spot the malicious emails.
The email appears to be an automated alert email from Microsoft saying the user's Office 365 account has been suspended and asks them to sign in to reactivate your account. While the email does look realistic, there are some major red flags. Let's take a look:
Gone were the days when to start-up anything new was similar to gambling, either you win or lose because, of lack of enough information and not able to predict what will be the possible outcome. But, now-a-days we are living in the era of technology; everyone tries to gather as much as possible information on Internet and that comes from websites and web pages. If a business is not having a website it cannot dream of flying high as it is invisible on web. Websites have a huge impact on the sales of a business. Here are some reasons why having a good website is mandatory:
Visual Presentation: We easily remember what we see. 90% of human brain power to understand things depends on what is visible to eyes. A website with good design caught the attention of customers.
Fly High & Always Available: Business cards can be seen by people only whom you give it to or people who pick it up from your business. Whereas, a website can be accessed anywhere on the planet 24/7 with an internet connection.
Easily Updated: Information on a business card cannot be updated until it is not printed again and it is limited to its size too. On the other hand a website is not limited to size and the information can be edited, any time.
Customer relations: On a website customers can give feedback on your products. Customer support can be provided through website, it strengthens the seller-customer relationship. This is an excellent way to have better understanding of the customer’s needs and to access what areas need to be improved.
In AVG’s latest “App Performance Report” for Q4, we’re looking again at the anonymous data from over one million AVG users, compare it to our first report, and reveal what apps are the most resource-hungry on their phones.
When looking at one million of our users, we found many interesting trends that might just surprise you:
Spotify is now the No 2 resource consuming app overall
Out of our total user base, 638,716 users had the music streaming service Spotify installed: what they perhaps didn’t know is that Spotify is now the second most resource-consuming app in the store (up from rank 5 in Q3).
If you’re low on battery, space or data, keep that streaming to a minimum!
The changing gaming landscape
In our previous report, uber-popular FarmVille and Puzzle & Dragons topped the charts for the most resource-hungry games for Android. However, they were nowhere to be found in our Q4 roundup. A closer look shows Puzzle & Dragons and FarmVille suffered from a 50% and 43% decline respectively in installed user base in Q4 when compared to the beginning of the year (Q1/Q2).
New games such as Boom Beach and Deer Hunter 2014, however, appeared out of nowhere and secured the top spots in both usage and resource usage (not surprisingly, they’re games after all!).
Samsung’s New Updates
After the rollout of Android 4.4.2 (October 2014), we noticed a new entry in our top battery drainers that run immediately at start up. Samsung’s Security Policy Update service, officially named Samsung KNOX™, automatically checks for security updates and downloads these automatically. While Knox is a great addition to having a full-featured antivirus product installed, a number of users and even journalists have publicly complained about not just the amount of notifications shown but also a 30-40% drop in battery life.
As mentioned in this ZDNet article, this feature cannot be turned off as mentioned by the Samsung Technical Support: “To ensure that your device always has the latest security to protect you and your data, Samsung will occasionally send security updates to the device as needed. I’m sorry to inform you that there is no option to disable these updates”.
While we can’t stress enough that security on mobile device is critical, handset makers need to ensure their product does not reduce battery life or impact overall performance drastically.
Taking selfies was “the” cool thing to do in 2014: selfie sticks, selfie apps, selfie phones all flooded the market. Unfortunately, some of these apps can be quite draining on a device’s battery. A new app called Candy Camera – Selfie Selfies crept up to number 7 in the top battery hungry apps that run in the background. We suggest avoid apps like these as they only should drain battery when you’re actively running them!
Maps & Navigation
Did we spend more time navigating and looking at maps? With more time off over the festive period, both Waze (Social GPS Maps & Traffic) and also Google Maps climbed into the Top Usage Chart:
Less gaming, more talking
Another seasonal effect: compared to Q2 and Q3 of 2014, we spend much more time on social networks and communicating through messenger apps instead of gaming. While we still spend most 49% of our time gaming on our Android devices compared to 62% in the previous quarter, social and communication apps rose to 11% and 10.3% of our total usage (compared to 6% and 3% respectively before)
Again, find a full list and all the data in our app report here.
So what are you supposed to do if you’ve got one or even many of our resource drainers installed? Find out in our top tips in the next blog!
Google is testing out a service that incorporates live chat with businesses right into search results, via a new link that shows whether a business is currently available, and immediately launches a chat via Google Hangouts (on either desktop or mobile) if they are. The service resembles Path Talk’s direct messaging platform with local businesses, but incorporates its service right into the business listing search result card it shows on Google.com, which also shows you details including price level, address, map location, phone number, opening hours, ratings and reviews.
We’ve confirmed via a Google spokesperson that this is indeed an experimental feature the company is testing, which was originally spotted by Matt Gibstein who shared screens on Twitter earlier today. The new experimental chat feature offers a direct text-based line of communication, in this case with a restaurant, so that you could theoretically ask if it’s currently busy, if there’s a reservation available, or menu-specific queries, for example, and receive an answer in real-time. This is the premise behind the aforementioned Path Talk, which was a service Path added to its dedicated messenger to help separate its offering from the sea of mobile messaging apps currently available.
Path Talk’s launch last September stemmed from its acquisition of business text message service TalkTo, and offers an overview of local businesses using the service displayed on a map screen, allowing users to see a list, including online status information, so they know which businesses they can talk to currently. The free service eliminates the need for a phone call for activities like checking for in-stock inventory, making an appointment or making reservations.
Google’s test service appears to offer the same conveniences, including an estimated time for response, but using listings on Google’s own extensive existing index of places. Of course, Google launching its own version of Path Talk would be bad news for the smaller company, especially if Google made this available via things like Google Maps in addition to directly in search results. It’s still very early at this stage, however, and there’s no guarantee it’ll ever become a full-fledged offering with general availability. Still, with messaging of increasing importance to businesses everywhere, it’s a smart area for the search giant to explore.
In 2013, Microsoft said it would offer Microsoft Office 365 to U.S. students for free, provided their schools licensed the software for faculty and staff. Now, that offer is being extended worldwide.
Microsoft said Tuesday that the offer for free Office is being extended anywhere Office is available: from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, or dozens of countries around the world. As before, the school must license Office in order for its students to be eligible.
How do you check? Students can go to office.com/getoffice365 and enter a school-provided email address, and teachers can visit the office.com/teachers site and do the same. (Microsoft launched this self-serve service in the United States last September.)
Microsoft has warred with Google and other office-suite providers to convince businesses, governments, and other organizations to adopt Office—and it has quietly shifted away from a disc-based, one-time Office purchase to a subscription that can be budgeted for and automatically approved year in and year out.
Why this matters: Microsoft knows an Office 365 subscription is one of those productivity safe bets that gently lock in an organization to Microsoft’s products, and “train” students to prefer Office when they move on to the real world. Once there, students can buy their own personal Office 365 subscription if their employer goes another route. Previously, Microsoft tried to hook students with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, as well.
As in the United States, students gain access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher installed on up to five PCs or Macs, and on up to five mobile devices like iPad, Android, and Windows tablets; plus, Office Online and 1TB of OneDrive storage.
Android phones can be tracked without using their GPS or wi-fi data by studying their power use over time, a study has found.
A smartphone uses more power the further away it is from a cellular base and the more obstacles are in its way as it reaches for a signal.
Additional power use by other activities could be factored out with algorithms, the researchers found.
They created an app designed to collect data about power consumption.
"The malicious app has neither permission to access the GPS nor other location providers (eg cellular or wi-fi network)," the team - Yan Michalevsky, Dan Boneh and Aaron Schulman, from the computer science department at Stanford University, along with Gabi Nakibly, from Rafael Ltd - wrote in their paper.
"We only assume permission for network connectivity and access to the power data.
"These are very common permissions for an application, and are unlikely to raise suspicion on the part of the victim."
There are 179 apps currently available on Android app store Google Play that request this information, the team add.
Activity such as listening to music, activating maps, taking voice calls or using social media all drain the battery but this can be discounted due to "machine learning", the report says.
"Intuitively the reason why all this noise does not mislead our algorithms is that the noise is not correlated with the phone's location," it says.
"Therefore a sufficiently long power measurement (several minutes) enables the learning algorithm to 'see' through the noise."
The tests were carried out on phones using the 3G network but did not measure signal strength as that data is protected by the device.
'Stuffed with sensors'
"With mobile devices now becoming ubiquitous, it is troubling that we are seeing so many ways in which they can be used to track us," said cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from Surrey University.
"I think people sometimes forget that smartphones are stuffed full of sensors from gyroscopes and GPS to the more obvious microphones and cameras.
"This latest work shows that even that basic characteristics (power consumption) has the potential to invade privacy if monitored in the right way," he added.
"We are approaching the point where the only safe way to use your phone is to pull the battery out - and not all phones let you do that."
We’ve still got nearly two weeks to go before HTC officially unveils their new top-tier Android phone at Mobile World Congress, but it looks like the details have already started dumping out.
On an episode of Droidcast back in January, we were pretty confident that HTC’s next big device — which we tentatively called the HTC One M9 — would look a whole lot like its HTC’slast flagship, the One M8.
Sure enough: if these latest leaks are legit, it’s pretty much a dead ringer. They’ve moved some buttons around, sure, and it looks like they’ve gone from two cameras on the rear to one — but unless you really know your stuff, a quick glance would leave you thinking the two devices were one in the same.
Note that third button below the pair of volume buttons on the right. That’s the power button, which on the One M8 was located on the top of the device. Given how damned big the One M8 is, having the power button up top made it a bit arduous to reach at times.
Meanwhile, Germany’s MobileGeeks.de found some official-looking renders lurking on a German phone retailer site, though the page has since been gutted of most of its imagery.
Here’s what the rumor mill suggests is under the hood:
• 5-inch Display running at 1080p
• 20.7 Megapixel rear camera, 4.0 megapixel front camera with HTC’s “Ultrapixel” tech
• Android Lollipop 5.0 (with some HTC Sense stuff running on top)
• 2,840mAh battery
• 3GB of RAM
• 2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU (though some rumors pin it at 2.8Ghz)
Everything is still up in the air for now, of course. Even the name is still up for debate; some say it’s the “One M9″, some say it’s just “The One”. Whatever the case, HTC should be making things 100% official come March 1st in Barcelona.
This sounds like the title of a children’s book, but unfortunately the issue highlighted in the press this week is more concerning than a story. The pre-loading of the SuperFish software on the Lenovo machines introduced a vulnerability to users even before they unboxed their new laptop.
There are several issues with the pre-installed application, one is that it is an ad-injector which inserts adverts into your browser based on what you are searching for, and without being an expert at identifying these you might be directed to sites to purchase things without understanding why.
To do this more effectively, Superfish also installs a root certificate which allows them to see traffic on encrypted websites, like your banking website, that you might have considered private and secure.
This is a bit like me giving out the keys to your house and could be abused by other malicious people and used to capture passwords and other personal information.
AVG detects and removes the Superfish add-on. If you have attempted to download something it was bundled with then AVG would have detected and blocked it advising the user it was an ‘unwanted application’ and potentially harmful.
This means no part of it was ever installed – good for existing AVG users, but what about if you have purchased a Lenovo and then installed an anti-virus product, the risk here is that full removal of some parts are difficult to remove as they are embedded into the system.
This week Lenovo has been re-active to this anddeveloped a removal tool which you can download here. There are also manual instructions available should you want to do this yourself.
There is a much wider issue for consumers though, it’s becoming very difficult to know which products and manufacturers to trust and who is doing what with our data.
There are discussions in the tech industry on improving transparency so that consumers can once again have confidence in brands.
I believe that over the next few months we will see progress in a more coordinated effort by the security industry to protect users from these types of applications.
If you are at all concerned then be sure to run a full system scan from you Anti-Virus product and ensure that the updates have been run. If you’re running an expired product then either renew it or download the AVG AntiVirus Free solution here.
Several cyber take downs occurred this year when hackers infiltrated Home Depot, Michaels, iCloud, JP Morgan and the list just goes on. And while consumers and companies have been hit hard in 2014, our 2015 security predictions show that this will be the year of the cloud attack.
According to a recent IDC report, almost 90 percent of Internet spending (including mobile apps, big data and social media) will be on cloud-based technologies over the next six years.
While many companies are making the leap to the cloud, securing the cloud remains an ongoing challenge for IT departments. Smart cyber criminals know where the holes reside and view this space as a big target.
In 2015, a major cloud provider will be breached, compromising many of their customers’ data and in turn leaving hundreds of thousands of individuals vulnerable to follow-on threats. Following the breach, I predict the following will occur:
1. U.S. Congress will step up efforts to legislate better security protection in public clouds.
2. Consumer and shareholder outrage will lead to the sacking of several CEO’s and CISO’s and force the creation of internal cybersecurity task forces.
3. Enterprises will recognize the benefits of cloud-based malware protection as well as cloud-based cyber attacks.
4. Enterprises, government agencies and security vendors will begin to develop more effective collaboration and cooperation to combat the wave of cyber crime and cyber warfare.
With our 2015 security predictions in mind, what other theories do you have for this year’s security landscape?