Monthly Archives: November 2014

Windows 8.1

On March 1, 2014 Microsoft began offering the Windows Enterprise Upgrade in Volume Licensing.

The following are changes related to this offering:

  • Windows Pro Upgrade: The Windows Pro Upgrade remains available for purchase without SA.
  • Windows Enterprise Upgrade: The Windows Enterprise Upgrade is offered as of March 1, 2014 and allows customers with a qualifying OS to upgrade to Windows Enterprise.
    • Downgrade Rights:  Windows Enterprise edition has downgrade rights to previous versions of Windows Enterprise in addition to the same downgrade rights as Windows Pro.
    • Open Value: Customers may be eligible for an Up to Date Discount based on existing Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 7 Professional licenses.
    • Software Assurance:  Except as stated below, SA may only be purchased for Windows Enterprise Upgrade license.
      • Select Plus, Open Value, and Open License Programs: customers may continue to acquire SA for new devices licensed for Windows 8.1 or 8 Pro or Windows 7 Professional OEM or FPP within 90 days of purchase until July 1, 2014.
      • Renewals: Customers who bought SA for Windows Pro may renew SA on their covered devices without the need to buy a Windows Enterprise Upgrade license.
      • Purchasing Windows Upgrade + SA: Any customer in a volume licensing program which requires SA and who previously purchased Windows Pro Upgrade + SA may continue to purchase Pro Upgrade + SA until the end of their enrollment or agreement.  Upon entering a new enrollment or agreement the customer will purchase Enterprise Upgrade + SA.

Got any questions about this Windows 8.1 upgrade? Contact our product specialists on 0118 9898 222 for help.

CompTia Banner

We joined industry leaders and professionals at the CompTia EMEA Conference on 5th and 6th November. This event gave our team a good opportunity to meet with our current and new Resellers and other industry professionals.

Throughout the day, our team were busy talking to MSPs and Resellers about the best technology to run their businesses, covering I.T. automation, disaster recovery, anti-spam and malware solutions.

Nicola and Janet CompTiaThe event was also a great opportunity for us to join two of our vendors at their stands - StorageCraft, a data backup and disaster recovery vendor and AppRiver, provider of email messaging and Web security solutions. Our Product Manager, Nicola Boswell is pictured left with Janet O'Sullivan, StorageCraft Marketing Manager. We also met with Western Digital, who will be joining our portfolio to enable us to provide end-to-end solutions for Resellers.

We'll tell you more about that soon...

Our Sales Manager, Emma Wale, who attended the two day event commented “being at CompTia puts us among our industry peers and shows we are committed to providing the best service and leading solutions for MSPs and Resellers”.

If you missed our team at CompTia, you can contact us on 0118 9898 222 and speak to our product specialists or visit our website.

bluesolutions_logo-colourWe had a great day with the StorageCraft team at our Learn and Sell event on 30th October 2014. With a large attendance from MSPs and Resellers, this was a great opportunity to take a look at StorageCraft back-up and recovery solutions and the benefits of becoming a StorageCraft partner.

The half-day event allowed us to meet our current and prospective customers and discuss industry developments. The day started with a welcome from our Sales and Marketing Director, Mark Charleton – who introduced Emma Wale (our Sales Manager - pictured below) and Nicola Boswell (Product Manager).  Emma and Nicola gave an overview of Blue Solutions and our work with the I.T. Reseller Channel.

Emma at Learn and Sell

During our presentation, we ran a prize draw- asking the audience to answer a question about StorageCraft back-up and recovery solutions. Colin Van der Nest, (CollHeath Computer Services) gave us the right answer and won a bottle of champagne.

StorageCraft took everyone through the demonstration with a look at the benefits of their partner academy. This was also a good time to answer technical questions from the audience and share industry insight.

SC learn and sell

As we rounded off the day with a networking lunch, everyone left the event with Blue Solutions goody bags and their free StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop license. We’re planning another event for January 2015, so if you missed this one, we’ll see you next time.

 

bluesolutions_logo-colourHalloween gave our team another chance to show how much they like fancy dress - skeletons, witches, Dracula and Death were some of the characters in the office for the day. Here's our 'ghoulish' team:

Halloween2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had a special office Halloween Bake-off and the winners were Nicola Boswell with a  Halloween red velvet cake and Katie Prince, who made sausage rolls.

Halloween Goodies

 

With a cauldron of sweets and goodies, a prize was awarded for the best fancy dress and our winner wore.... a 'dark' Spiderman outfit and he's below:

Halloween winner revised


AppRiver logo largerversion

Article by Troy Gill, AppRiver

Over the past several days we have been seeing several malicious email campaigns posing as legitimate communication from Amazon. The first campaign is posing as messages from the amazon.co.uk with the subject line reading: Your Amazon Order Has Dispatched (#3digits-7digits-7digits). These messages purport to be order shipment notifications. These messages began hitting the AppRiver filters on 31/10/14 and have been coming in consistently ever since. So far we have quarantined just over 600,000 of these messages.

Each message contains a Word document (MD5: a75e196e6c0cabc145f4cdc3177e66ec) that contains a malicious macro. In most instances users should at a slightly lower risk with this infection vector, since macros are not enabled by default in more recent versions of Word.  The macro (if allowed to execute)leads to the install of a Trojan dropper. The malware currently creates a process named SUVCKSGZTGK.exe on the victims machine. Eventually this leads to the install of key-logging malware designed to harvest banking login credentials, email credentials and social media credentials. As we commonly see with this these types of campaigns, the payload can be changed out by the malware distributors so this dropper could pull down some other form of malware in the future.

Here is a look at the message:

Malicious Amazon message1

 

In a separate email blast, another group is distributing malicious emails posing as Amazon order confirmation emails. These emails are coming is at a slightly slower clip than the former campaign mentioned but we have quarantined nearly 160,000 of these message over the past few days. They appear from amazon.com with the subject reading: Your order on Amazon.com.

These email have a bit more of a legitimate look as they utilize actual graphics taken from Amazon. Instead of a malicious attachment, these messages utilize links to compromised wordpress sites. Clicking these links will launchthe download of a .scr file  named: invoice1104.pdf[dot]scr. Which should be a huge red flag to most users as the .scr file extension is used almost exclusively for malware infection these days. The .scr file(MD5: 09cb12d7cd0228360cd097baeaaa6552) is in fact a Trojan dropper that will lead to the install of more malware once it has infected the host. Once again, from here, the sky is the limit for the malware distributors since they can now download and install remote files of their choosing.

Here is a look at the message and prompt :

Malicious Amazon message2

 

Malicious Amazon3

 

 

 

 

This is a very popular time of the year for these types of scams with so many people in shopping mode in preparation for the holidays. With many people expecting purchase confirmations and shipping confirmations with much more frequency, it increases the likelihood that people will far for this scam.

Be extra cautious this holiday shopping season and if you are suspicious of unauthorized activity on your Amazon account, never follow any links in an email, go directly to the website and check your account from there.

 

A small business owner named Pete needs a complete security solution that protects everyone on his staff when they email, browse, and share using their Macs, PCs, or mobile devices.

Pete discovers Trend Micro™ Worry-Free™ Business Security -  Watch the video below to find out more about this easy-to-use solution that provides complete user protection for all his employees:

Want to know more about Trend Micro products? Contact our product specialists on 0118 9898 222