Archive for category IT

Be careful with Telstra Business Bundle plans (e.g. the DOT plan)

We have found that we unable to install SonicWALL firewalls or substitute modems using the Telstra Broadband plan known as DOT.
(Refer the plans (Digital Office technology – DOT) and clients are a broadband client.)

Telstra provided a Cisco SPA504G VOIP handset, Netgear DEVG2020 (ADSL modem, router, PSTN, Wireless etc.) with most of the settings blocked from view. (Customised firmware).

The client does not need the Cisco handset but needs a SonicWALL to SonicWALL VPN setup. I could add a Bridge in place of the DEVG2020 and get line sync (13mbit/1mbit) and I could set LLC PVC 8/35 and PPPOE on the SonicWALL but not raise the PPOE connection.

Basically Telstra have admitted (after 3 months and after many phone conversations) that whilst the connection is PPPOE and should work, it would not work with any other router or modem as it is bound to their provided Telstra hardware to make the Cisco phone handset work.

I asked them if we could revert the account back to normal DSL and remove the Cisco handset and they said changing the plan amounted to breaking the 24 month contract.

So, if you want normal DSL or to use your own equipment, don’t get this plan.

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HP Intelligent Provisioning version 1.16 and Broadcom drivers ……

We have a brand new server on our bench and are using the Gen 8 HP intelligent Provisioning 1.16 and installing Windows server. It copies all the data from the DVD to the new RAID we have created and reboots and then Windows fails to further install, due to a driver error. We figured it was the RAID card we added and slipstreamed the drivers into the OS install and tried again. It failed. We updated all firmware and drivers, still failed.

The failure happens about 45 minutes into the install so each new attempt takes ages to get to the point of failure.

After 5 or 6 hours of messing about, we called on HP. After their attempts to remote in via iLo and their own firmware checks (and under the hood checks) it was still nto installing Windows.

They spent days on it. Finally, we descided to call time on this adventure. We wasted too much time. We insisted it must be the mainboard.

The HP tech turned up and he started his own tests. He also found that it was a driver fault and after digging, worked out that the broadbom network driver was halting everything.

After another 5 or so hours, he finally replaced the motherboard. now it is all fixesd.

His conclusion is that the older firmware on the mainboard (intelligent Provisioning version 1.15) was more accepting of the Broadcom card and allowed everything to work.

So, if anyone strikes this same issue here are my conclusions

1) Call HP carepack team sooner rather than later. They are paid to fix these things and have the resources.

2) Newer firmware does not mean better

3) Get HP to do as much of the work as possible whilst it is under Carepack as this cost us dearly.


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Trend Micro TMWF 9 Exchange (Scanmail – Smex) not configurable within the console

When opening the Console, Security Settings, Click the  Exchange server in the list and click “Security Settings” … nothing happens. No popups, no errors, no nothing.

I can’t get into the Antivirus or antispam settings and the agent appears to be offline?

As this console normally opens up http://ExchangeServer:16372/smex/cgiDispatcher.exe?Page=scan/Antispam.htm&Locale=&CurPage=

My first step was to telnet to the Exchange server on port 16372 and, it did not answer.

As Smex runs from within a web server (in my case IIS), I looked at the default website and it  was not running on port 16372.  The port that it was running on did not match the firewall rule.

This means the smex service could not bind to a port when the service starts and as this port did not match the console, I had no hopes of connecting to it.

I change the port in IIS and the firewall rule. Restarted the website and … all fixed !



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Has Cryptolocker Crypted it’s last lock ?

The news is that some smart people have managed to obtain a copy of the database that contains all the Victim’s details. Now, instead of paying for decryption, you can get the decryption for free, self service.

Head on over to this article to read more:,can-this-exploit-beat-cryptolocker.aspx

I don’t think we have seen the end of these types of Malware but at least this proves that the Malware writers are not invincible.


Oh no, I have been told to upgrade my Internet explorer (But I am running the latest)

So here I am surfing the internet and suddenly I am redirected to a site where I had not intended to go. It tells me I need to upgrade my browser. Very tempting as it tells me I will get better streaming HD video.

Being an IT guy, I know I already have the latest version. I also note that the URL is not a Microsoft URL. The Terms have some odd bits in it.

For all the non IT people out there …… Use Windows Updates. If you want to update your browser, find it on Microsoft’s website and install it yourself. Don’t follow prompts like this (no matter how convincing it looks).  hijack

So, this looks like Microsoft .. Right ?

It says
You are currently browsing the web with Internet Explorer and your Video Player might be outdated Please update to the latest version for better performance •Superior HD Video Streaming and Hardware Acceleration •Download Any Movies, Shows or Video Clips •Critical Security Patch and Bug Fixes •Richer, more immersive user experiences Note:This Update is Free and Takes Under a Minute on Broadband No Restart Required


Looks ok. I have never seen a browser update take less than a minute on most broadband. Since when does Microsoft support you downloading movies ? Hmm, looks suspicious.

The URL also looks odd.

What’s up with this section in the terms ?
2. Delivery of Advertising. By accessing the Sites and downloading the Content, you hereby grant us permission to display promotional information, advertisements, and offers for third party products or services (collectively “Advertising”). The Advertising may include, without limitation, content, offers for products or services, data, links, articles, graphic or video messages, text, software, music, sound, graphics or other materials or services. The timing, frequency, placement and extent of the Advertising changes are determined in our sole discretion. You further grant us permission to collect and use certain aggregate information in accord with our Privacy Policy.  

But no one reads the terms do they ? I noticed that nowhere does it mention Microsoft. It just talks about your browser.

The last line of the terms is also odd. The only place where you might  make contact with the software maker, has no hyperlinks or contact details.
If you would like to contact us via e-mail, please send a message here


So avoid this and don’t be tricked.

Here are the full terms
LEGAL INFORMATION ATTENTION! PLEASE READ THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING THE SITE AND DOWNLOADING ANY CONTENT. IF YOU USE THE SITE OR DOWNLOAD CONTENT YOU AGREE TO EACH OF THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS. This is a legally binding contract between you and the installer. By downloading, installing, copying, running, or using any content of, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of this Agreement. You are also agreeing to our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to our terms, you must navigate away from our Sites, you may not download the Content, and you must destroy any copies of the Content in your possession. If you are under 18, you must have your parent or guardian’s permission before you use our Sites or download Content. In an effort to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, we will not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13. This Agreement may be modified by us from time to time. If you breach any term in this Agreement your right to use the Sites and Content will terminate automatically. 1. The Download Process. Your download and software installation is managed by the Installer. The installer(i) downloads the files necessary to install your software; and (ii) scans your computer for specific files and registry settings to ensure software compatibility with your operating system and other software installed on your computer. Once the installer has been initiated, you will be presented with a welcome screen, it allows you to choose to install the software or cancel out of the process. We may show you one or more partner software offers. You are not required to accept a software offer to receive your download. We may also offer to: (i) change your browser’s homepage; (ii) change your default search provider; and (iii) install icons to your computer desktop. Software we own and our partner’s software may include advertisements within the application. 2. Delivery of Advertising. By accessing the Sites and downloading the Content, you hereby grant us permission to display promotional information, advertisements, and offers for third party products or services (collectively “Advertising”). The Advertising may include, without limitation, content, offers for products or services, data, links, articles, graphic or video messages, text, software, music, sound, graphics or other materials or services. The timing, frequency, placement and extent of the Advertising changes are determined in our sole discretion. You further grant us permission to collect and use certain aggregate information in accord with our Privacy Policy. 3. Your Obligations. You may not use another person’s name or information on our Sites. You agree to use the Sites and Content only for lawful purposes. You agree not to take any action that might compromise the security of the Sites, render the Sites inaccessible to others or otherwise cause damage to the Sites or the Content. You agree not to use the Sites in any manner that might interfere with our or our Partner’s rights. You represent and warrants that (a) you are the owner or an authorized user of the computer that the Content is installed on, (b) you will use the Content, and the Sites only for lawful purposes, and will comply at all times with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and (c) you are at least thirteen years of age. Persons under thirteen years of age may not use the Content. You agree not to use any automated or manual process to interfere with, modify, or attempt to interfere with or modify the Content, except to uninstall the same as provided herein. You acknowledge sole responsibility for installing appropriate anti-virus software and other security measures on your computer. You may not use, or export the Content in violation of applicable Spain laws or regulations. 4. Grant of License. We grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable and non-assignable license to use the Content. You may not rent, lease, sell, redistribute, sublicense or otherwise transfer the Content. You may make only such copies of the Content as are reasonably necessary for your own use, and any copy made by you must bear the same copyright and other proprietary notices that appear on the copy furnished by us. 5. Termination. This license will immediately terminate if you violate any provision of this Agreement. We may also terminate this license at any time without notice. 6. Ownership. We own all intellectual property rights in and to the Content. This license is not a sale and does not render you the owner of a copy of the Content. Ownership of the Content and all components and copies thereof will at all times remain with us, regardless of who may be deemed the owner of the tangible media on which the Content is copied, encoded or otherwise fixed. 7. Disclaimer of Warranties. WE PROVIDE ALL CONTENT “AS IS,” “WITH ALL FAULTS,” AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY WHATSOEVER. ALL SITES ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS, AS AVAILABLE” BASIS. WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. WE DO NOT WARRANT ANY PART OF THE CONTENT NOR DO WE REPRESENT THE CONTENT WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS OR THAT ITS OPERATION WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTENT IS WITH YOU. 8. Exclusive Remedy. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE SITES, THE CONTENT OR THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITES AND CONTENT. 9. Limitations of Liability. WE ARE NOT LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, EQUIPMENT DOWNTIME, LOSS OF DATA, OR LOST PROFITS, EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. BY INSTALLING OR USING THE CONTENT, YOU ACCEPT SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL CONSEQUENCES ARISING THEREFROM AND ACKNOWLEDGES THAT NO CLAIM WHATSOEVER WILL BE MADE AGAINST US OR OUR LICENSORS, DISTRIBUTORS, AGENTS, EMPLOYEES OR AFFILIATES. 10. Third-Party Advertisers. We make no representations or warranties concerning third-party or Partner Offers, you agree that we are not responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any sort incurred, or as the result of the delivery or display of the Offers. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ANYTHIRD-PARTY OR PARTNER WEBSITE OR OFFERS REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE OFFER IS HOSTED BY US. WE MAKE AN EFFORT TO SCREEN ALL OFFERS TO ENSURE THE BEST POSSIBLE EXPERIENCE FOR OUR USERS. HOWEVER, WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DEALINGS BETWEEN YOU AND A PARTNER. YOU ARE HOWEVER RESPONSIBLE FOR AND MUST CAREFULLY REVIEW EACH PARTNER OFFER AND READ THEIR TERMS AND CONDITION, AND THE PRIVACY POLICY. 11. Copyright Policy. To be effective, notifications must include the following information: (i) a physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright that has been allegedly infringed; (ii) identification of works or materials being infringed; (iii) identification of the content that is claim to be infringing including, information regarding that location of the content that the copyright owner seeks to have removed, with sufficient detail so that the installer is capable of finding and verifying its existence; (iv) contact information about the notifying party including address, telephone number and email address; (v) a statement that the notifying party has a good faith belief that the content is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and (vi) a statement made under penalty of perjury that the information provided is accurate and the notifying party is authorized to make the complaint on behalf of the copyright owner. Once a complete and proper notice of claimed copyright infringement is received by the installer , it is the installer’s policy to: (i) remove or disable access to the content on the installer’s websites or content directories; and (ii) block a user who has posted infringing content two or more times from posting any further content. 12. Definition of Terms. Offers include promotions, advertisements contests and third-party software presented by our Partners and us. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is any information that identifies or could be used to identify, contact or locate you. It also includes your credit card number. Partner is an advertiser, or other entity with whom we have a business relationship to provide Offers. Content includes, but is not limited to, our software. User means an individual that has accessed the Sites on which we host our Products or Services. We, Us and Our refers to the installer and its subsidiaries. You and Your refer to each user and his or her agents. 13. Questions or Additional Information. If you have any questions regarding this Agreement or wish to obtain additional information, you can contact us by writing to: If you would like to contact us via e-mail, please send a message to here 14. Laws and Jurisdiction. The present legal notice is subject to Spanish law. The user accepts that the applicable law for the website shall be Spanish law. Any type of proceeding, complaint or conflict derived from the usage or activity of this website shall be solved within the jurisdiction of the Courts of Spain. the installer, reserves the right to make the necessary changes to the present terms and conditions, which will be available in the website. 15. TREATMENT OF PERSONAL INFORMATION. On the other hand, the authors understand that this Web site offers added value services and that in some occasions, a share can be charged for said services to the end user for maintenance of the Web site or said services, but never related to the acquisition of the license of a product. The author also accepts that the above-mentioned electronic means can require the change of the main page or the creation of the direct access (shortcuts) top ages related to this Web site(but never to pages property of the author). The relationship between the author and the Web site can be terminated at anytime prior request of any party. Any manufacturer can request the update or the removal of any software applications offered in this Website. TREATMENT OF PERSONAL INFORMATION In compliance with Act15/1999, 13 December, of Protection of Personal Information and development regulation (hereinafter, the Company), holding company of this Web Site,(hereinafter, the Portal) informs you that the information obtained through the Portal will be handled by the Company, as the party in charge of the File, with the goal of facilitating the requested services, attending to queries, carrying out statistical studies that will allow an improvement in service, carrying out typical administrative tasks, sending information that may result of your interest through bulletins and similar publications, as well as developing sales promotion and publicity activities related to the Portal. The user expressly authorizes the use of their electronic mail address and other means of electronic communication (e.g., mobile telephone) so that the Company may use said means of communication and for the development of informed purposes. We inform you that the information obtained through the Portal will be housed on the servers of the company OVH, SAS, located in Roubaix (France). Upon providing your information, you declare to be familiar with the contents here in and expressly authorize the use of the data for the informed purposes .The user may revoke this consent at any time, without retroactive effects. The Company commits to complying with its obligation as regards secrecy of personal information and its duty to treat the information confidentially ,and to take the necessary technical, organizational and security measures to avoid the altering, loss, and unauthorized handling or access of the information, in accordance with the rules established in the Protection of Personal Information Act and the applicable law. The Company only obtains and retains the following information about visit our site: The domain name of the of the provider (ISP) and/or the IP address that gives them access to the network. The date and time of access to our website. The internet address from which the link that that leads to our web site originated. The type of browser client. The client’s operating system. This information is anonymous, not being able to be associated with a specific , identified user. The Portal uses cookies, small information files generated on the user’s computer, with the aim of obtaining the following information: The date and time of the most recent visit to our web page. Security control elements to restricted areas. The user has the option of blocking cookies by means of selecting the corresponding option on their web browser. The Company assumes no responsibility through if the deactivation of cookies supposes a loss of quality in service of the Portal. If you would like to contact us via e-mail, please send a message here


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Think before you click

Are you worried someone is going to steal your passwords? your details? your money? your privacy? your confidential company secrets? Your employers business? Your livelihood?

You have good reason to worry. Malicious people out there are trying to steal these very things and more. Both indirectly and directly. Everyone is a target. They don’t care who you are, they want your assets or want to leverage you to get to someone else’s assets.

They want to trick you, rip you off and make your life a misery. After all, they can make good money wrecking your life.

We as IT people help you to select antivirus, firewalls and implement security.

Unfortunately you are still the weakest link in the security chain.

So, what rules can help keep you safe?

Think before you click. Stop the click. Avoid the click. Just think a few more seconds before you push that mouse button. 

 stop the click

When you are on the internet, in your email, receive a USB drive from an unknown source or a friend’s external hard disk full of movies, don’t click on suspicious things!

Just in case the little voice in your head has not learnt how to warn you about suspicious things, here are our rules. 

It’s Free! If something proclaims it is free, it is likely not. Stop and think, how are they making money? How are they staying in business? How do they get funding? Can you trust their software? Can you trust their ethics?

Emails claiming you have gained access to something for free, web popups offering items for free or free software, can often lead you into a painful mess. If you have not paid for it, then I hope you researched it thoroughly before you jumped into it.

It is often said that if the product is free, you are the product. Turns out that you’re also the lab rat.

If you can’t afford something, don’t go looking for free solutions on the internet. Often you will end up being caught out. Be very careful.

You Won! If you won something, did you enter to win? Did you really enter that lottery? are you really the millionth visitor to a website? Can you really make money entering this scheme?

If you click now, do you really get an iPad? If you download this new toolbar, will it make your life better?
Chances are no. You did not enter these things nor have you won anything. Dismiss that email, that internet popup or popup from your program. It is after you.
Panic and click now! That email you received about illegal activity occurring on your bank account, accidental bank fee overcharge, your suspended account, an unexpected Tax return, urgent court appearance, invoice you have overdue, post item you have been waiting for you, shipping notice for a surprise parcel … all have urgency. All want you to click.
Don’t believe it. Don’t follow any link in the email. Don’t open the attachments. Don’t run anything, don’t give it your passwords.
No matter how realistic and correct the logos are, how accurate their data is, treat it with scepticism. The senders spend ages trying to make their messages seem authentic.
Think to yourself, do I actually have an account with these guys? Have I opted for email invoices from them? Do I have a parcel on the way?
If you answer yes, then manually go to a browser, type in their web address as you know it (not from the email), change your passwords online, download your invoice and complete your business under your terms.
Often when you hover over the links in the email or on a webpage, it is taking you to somewhere else other than where it is meant to.
Always manually go to a website to logon or change details, never follow an email link.
Missed messages You have an email about a missed Facebook, Google, Phone, Mobile or Fax message. Attached is the message. Don’t open it. Sign into these services and check your messages. Don’t use links in the email or look at the attachments. Think, do you actually use these services ? Can your mobile send you an email if you miss a message?

Awesome Job offer You have an email about a job opportunity. You happen to be looking for a job so you click the email right? Wrong. At best this is a random email sent to you coincidently and you will get a job that is not legal, is looking to exploit you or maybe you will not get paid. At worst this thing is going to hack you. Unless you have signed up for job alerts and get emails as expected, don’t open these things.

Safe in Web mail You have a suspect email but it is in your web email so you are safe to open the attachment as it will not affect your pc. Wrong. It will get you and your PC. 

Save money on downloads Your son/daughter has found a way to download music and movies for free. They can also get you free software like the latest Microsoft Office. You get it from them as you trust them. Whoops.

You have stepped into a trust network which contains people whom likely know little about how vulnerable they are. Most of these things are pirated. Many of the tools and websites that support these downloads will hack you and give you additional things inside your download that you don’t expect.

Image files, video files and even PDF files can contain viruses. Remember, free is not always free. We make a lot of money cleaning up peoples computers after they have downloaded a free “something”. 

Your Protected You have antivirus and a firewall. You are safe! No, you are not really. There are thousands of new viruses and Malware detected per hour. If your systems are only a few hours behind, then there are thousands of nasties you can’t be protected from. If you choose to download something and force it to download, many times you can override your protections or work beyond the system, making you vulnerable. At best, you are safer and have good odds.

Popups You will often get website popups offering you special prices or free things. When you click them, you will likely get more popups and you may end up downloading all kinds of things. If you get a popup and push the cancel button to make it go away, you think you are safe? No you are not! The website programmers control everything on the popup. They control the install button and the cancel button. Why can’t they make the install button, install the software as normal and make the cancel button, install something else without telling you? Of course they can. your best option is to click the cross in the top right hand corner and close the popup completely.

Toolbars You have these cool toolbars in Internet explorer that make your life easier. Sure, except many of them track your movements, download other tools and slow your browser down. Remove the toolbars and don’t accept them.

Unexpected presents You downloaded a program and afterwards, you have toolbars, new icons on the desktop and your machine runs slow. Nothing like you expected. Often many “free” tools include other “free” tools. Many of these are Malware. Read carefully the terms of the product you are installing. If the terms for your product “xxx” refer to a different product “yyy” then chances are there is something else bundled into the installation. I have seen many products where you need to carefully read the terms and click decline or cancel many times to get past the “bundled” software to get to the final product you really want. Often you need to unselect tick boxes during the install to get a clean install.

Often during the install you will spot a name or logo of one of the programs “Partner products”. It might ask “do you want to install?”, you say No. Then another product comes up and it says “Would you like to skip this offer” and as you previously said no, you don’t fully read what is on the screen and instinctively press No and guess what, it installs it. You selected no, you don’t want to skip the product. It did as it was told. Be careful on the play with words that can occur during these installs.

Updates Updating tools like Java or Adobe (As examples) can now offer you extra toolbars like ASK toolbar and the like. You need to be careful as accepting these things not only slows your machine down, it bolts sometimes badly written toolbar code into Internet explorer (So it causes crashes) and can change your default search page and home web page.

Solving your own IT problems Many people get tricked into downloading driver update tools, pc fix up tools or registry repair tools. They usually don’t help. These can be dangerous, bog your machine down and download other items.

Known types of attachments are safe Many email attachments look like a harmless PDF files but are not. It is easy to change the icon you see and choose one that you associate as safe. A malicious item can have a “safe” icon. This is further complicated as there are exploits that allow real PDF and Jpeg files to carry viruses and Malware. Simply be sceptical of any files you download or receive as attachments.

There are many other tricks we use to avoid these nasties. This short list will get you thinking. Using this list you can avoid some of the bigger nasties like Cryptolocker and Cryptowall

Think before you click !  


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