Tag Archives: UK

GameoverZeus and Cryptolocker: is your data protected?

A massive international anti-cyber crime initiative has recently made a breakthrough, with a wanted notice for Russian national Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev issued by the US government.  Bogachev is thought to be the mastermind behind two of the most recent (and most infamous) internet phishing schemes, commonly known as Gameover Zeus and the Cryptolocker virus.

GameoverZeus is a piece of malware that, when deployed on a victim’s computer, is able to target and extract login information for a range of applications ranging from social media and email accounts to online banking details. A different type of Zeus malware can also be used to install the ransomware Cryptolocker if the Zeus trojan is unable to find what it’s looking for.

As the Zeus group of malwares are trojans, and are therefore not designed to be found, Cryptolocker has become slightly more well known to users. Its function is to demand a ransom for certain files which have been infected by Cryptolocker. Affected users then face the dilemma of losing what is potentially an important file, or submitting to the ransom demands, with no real guarantee that they will get their file back anyway.

The US Department of Justice has officially issued charges against Bogachev, thought to be a ring leader of cyber-criminals, after the botnet that was operating the phishing scams was brought down. The effort was a collaboration between law enforcers from the US, as well as the UK and private security firms from around the world. The team was able to take control of the “Command and Control (C&C)” servers which had orchestrated the criminals’ operation.

However, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) were quick to point out that this intervention is only temporary, as it would only be a matter of time before the criminals acquired new C&C servers from which they can run their operation. The NCA stressed to users the importance of ensuring that their computers were free of malware and protected against future infection.

The affect of the Zeus and Crytolocker malwares has been huge, and on a truly global scale. The scams can affect both home users and businesses and highlight the need to have the proper security measures in place.

Here at Backup Technology we have seen many of our customers affected by Cryptolocker in particular. Luckily, the files affected were securely backed up in our data centres, and so were retrievable. Had they not been backed up, the affected customers would have suffered the inconvenience, and potentially damaging affect of losing important files.

If you feel you are vulnerable to either Cryptolocker or the Zeus trojan, why not make an enquiry about our Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery services. They could end up saving you a huge amount of stress and money should the worst happen!

Backup Technology Parent Company iomart Announces 37% rise in Pre Tax Profits

– 28 May 2014 –

Our parent company, iomart Group plc (AIM: IOM), has today announced pre-tax profits of £14.6m for the year ended 31 March 2014.

In its annual results announcement to the London Stock Exchange iomart revealed that adjusted profit before tax had increased by 37% from £10.7m in 2013.

iomart also announced revenue growth of 29% to £55.6m (2013: £43.1m), with revenues from its hosting segment growing by 40% to £44.7m (2013: £32.0m), as well as a 43% increase in adjusted EBITDA to £23.6m (2013: £16.5m).

iomart said the increase in profitability had been driven by both by organic and acquisitive growth. iomart has made 11 acquisitions over the past five years, with Backup Technology its biggest to date. iomart now owns and operates datacentres in eight locations throughout the UK to support the delivery of cloud solutions. Angus MacSween, Chief Executive of iomart, said: “We continue to believe in the long term opportunity for iomart as IT spending moves towards the ‘cloud’, as networks and connectivity expand and mobility increases. Our vision remains to be the best in the UK at the delivery of compute, storage and network in the cloud in a seamless, efficient and scalable way.”

iomart continues to invest in the tools and technologies used to deliver cloud services and has  completed a £multi-million state-of-the-art extension to its datacentre in Maidenhead to meet the computing needs of the growing number of SME and enterprise level customers who are moving to the cloud.

Angus MacSween added: “To date it has mainly been the web-facing elements of infrastructure that have been outsourced to the cloud and the back-office workload continues to be handled ‘on premise.’ Most of this back-office infrastructure is bought in the same way as it was 15 years ago. We believe this will change and we can already see the early adopters starting to move to the cloud. This reinforces the ‘dripping roast’ nature of the market opportunity and as I have been saying for the last five years, it has a long, long way to go. iomart is at the forefront of this transformational shift and I expect the cloud opportunity to continue for many years to come.”

The full results statement can be viewed here: http://news.iomart.com/iomart-announces-37-rise-in-pre-tax-profits/

Hackers at the Bank of England?

It is the intention of the Bank of England to hire its own ethical or “White Hat” hackers to help them to test the security of 20 “major” financial institutions.  The action has been taken; it seems, as a response to the Waking Shark II exercise that took place in November 2013.

Charles Sweeney, CEO of web security firm Bloxx, believes that the Waking Shark programme was a great success but that it is important to continue to test your defences as attacks evolve and develop at a rapid rate.

Swenney stated, “Banks face a relentless onslaught of persistent and sophisticated attacks because they are considered to be highly prized targets for criminals. Last year’s Waking Shark programme was a great success, but attacks evolve and develop at a rapid pace so it is no surprise that the Bank of England wants to test defences again.”

Sweeney added, “It is great to see the UK leading the way in cyber protection programmes that can make a real difference to consumers, enterprises and the economy.”

Adrian Beck, Veracode’s security programme manager EMEA, is also in full support of the Bank of England’s decision to utilise ethical hacking as it is one of the best ways to expose any potential security weaknesses.

Beck declared, “It’s encouraging to see the Bank of England taking a lead on protecting the UK’s critical national infrastructure by overseeing ethical hacking programmes.

Beck added, “Ethical hacking, in the form of penetration testing, is one way to expose software coding errors in an organisation’s applications, along with other vulnerabilities that threaten critical data.  All businesses, whether in the public of private sector, should consider the benefits of investing in ethical hacking as part of an application security programme.”

MD of LogRhythm, Ross Brewer believes that it would be disastrous if the Bank of England was to suffer a serious data breach and that recent data breaches just show how disastrous they can be.

Brewer stated, “The financial sector is taking a positive step here, which many other organisations need to learn from.  As they play such a critical role in society, it would be disastrous for one of our leading banks to suffer a significant data breach.  We only have to look at the recent large-scale data breaches, such as Target in the US, to see just how devastating and long-lasting this can be.  Given the level of trust businesses and consumers place in banks, a successful attack on a financial firm would be even worse. ”

Do you think that it is a good idea to hire White Hat hackers? Do you think that organisations can do more to ensure that their security measures are up to scratch?

Backup Technology Nominated for 2014 Storage Awards

April 25, 2014

Backup Technology is delighted to announce that it is up for two awards at this year’s Storage Awards.

‘The Storries’ as they are better known are organised by Storage Magazine in the UK and recognise the best products , services and people working in the Storage industry.

BTL, in conjunction with our parent company iomart and Asigra, has been nominated for Storage Solution of the Year for our work helping the leading disability charity Papworth Trust move from a legacy tape-based system to our fully managed Enterprise Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery – click here to read the case study. This award is decided by the editor of Storage Magazine.

However BTL’s second Storage Awards nomination, for DR & Backup Product of the Year, is open to a public vote.

Rob Mackle, Sales Manager for Backup Technology, says, “We would be delighted if our customers and readers of Storage Magazine could take the time to cast a vote for us.”

If you would like to vote please visit http://www.storage-awards.com/

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 12 June. Fingers crossed!


Slowest Broadband Streets Named

Broadband speeds that consumers and businesses have been receiving have been a topic of discussion over the last 6 months and has hit the headlines again.

The results that have been released by uSwitch which detail the download speeds available for each street. The results were based on nearly two million speeds test which were ran by broadband users over a six month period.

The results show that Wheatley Road in Corringham and Erw Fawr, in Henryd, North Wales, topped the charts with an average download speed of 0.6Mbps. To put this in perspective, the average download speeds achieved across the UK is 17.8Mbps. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the fastest download speeds recorded were in Loundes Road, in Unstone, Derbyshire. The download speeds recorded here registered at 57.58Mbps.

This difference is quite staggering and would result in downloading a HD-quality film from the slowest areas taking 15.2 hours whilst it would only take nine minutes from the fastest area.

As a whole, Essex ranked as the worst county with six streets appearing in the top 50 list of streets having the slowest broadband speeds. The results that were obtained by uSwitch also prompted them to state that on 15% of Britons receive download speeds of 30Mbps or higher. These speeds are classed as superfast by the EU.

Ofcom have released a statement in response to the results and believe that the availability of superfast broadband is on the increase which is the result of significant investments but acknowledge that more work still needs to be done.

An Ofcom spokesperson stated, “Ofcom’s own research shows growth in superfast broadband and a rise in average speeds which is testament to the investment in the sector. But the benefits are not shared evenly across the UK.”

The spokesperson added, “There is more work needed to deliver wider availability of broadband and superfast broadband, particularly in rural communities but also in some locations within cities to enable wider access to fast internet.”

Have you run a broadband speed test? Would you like faster broadband speeds to be available in the area that you live?

Morrisons suffer pay-roll data theft

Sensitive financial data from supermarket giant Morrisons’ staff payroll system has been stolen and published on the internet, putting 100,000 staff at risk.

The information, which was also sent on a disc to a newspaper, included bank account details of the Bradford-based chain’s employees.

A spokesman for Morrisons, which has 569 stores including 72 local stores across the UK, said that it immediately ensured it was taken off the website.

He added: “Initial investigations suggest that this theft was not the result of an external penetration of our systems.

“We can confirm there has been no loss of customer data and no colleague will be left financially disadvantaged.”

Morrisons have informed its workers about the theft and it is helping them take the appropriate actions to safeguard their personal data.

Morrisons has now carried out a number of actions, including working with the cyber-crime authorities and the police to identify the source of the theft and setting up a helpline for workers.

Dalton Philips, the firm’s chief executive, is leading the response to the theft.

The news comes after Morrisons posted its lowest annual profit for five years and announced it would invest 1bn ($1.67bn, 1.2bn) in price cuts over three years to win back customers.

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
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  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
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  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
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