Cyberattack Slows Down the Internet

Massive Cyberattack ‘Slows Down The Internet’
A row between an anti-spam firm and a web-hosting company leads to the largest DDoS attack ever recorded, with knock-on effects.

A dispute between a web-hosting company and a spam-prevention group has unleashed a cyberattack so concentrated it is reportedly slowing down the internet. Spamhaus offers spam-blocking services by patrolling the web for prolific spammers and publishing server details of the worst offenders. It claims to block 50 billion junk emails every day. Cyberbunker offers web-hosting services. The Dutch company has previously been accused of turning a blind eye when organisations host illegal content on their servers.

The dispute began when Spamhaus allegedly added Cyberbunker to its blacklist. Spamhaus’ internet servers were soon after subject to a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS). A DDoS attack floods its target with vast amounts of meaningless data from multiple sources distributed across the internet until the target’s computers cannot cope and its internet traffic becomes “jammed”. At its height, the strike on Spamhaus is understood to have involved an attack rate of 300 gigabytes per second, making it the largest DDoS attack ever recorded.

The attacks have reportedly had the knock-on effect of slowing down traffic on other parts of the internet.

David Emm, a senior security researcher with Kaspersky Labs, explained how the large amount of data flowing towards Spamhaus was affecting other parts of the internet. “Data flow generated by the attack can affect the performance of the network nodes on the internet it flows through,” he said. “It’s like if someone wanted to flood my letterbox with junk mail it would all have to go through the delivery office and that would have an effect on the delivery of other people’s letters. If the mail is coming from all over the place it will have some impact on the wider delivery.”

Despite the scale of the attack, at UK broadband provider Thinkbroadband claimed the affect on overall internet speeds would be negligible. A spokesperson said: “Thinkbroadband’s latest speed tests in the UK reveals there has been no major slow down at UK Internet providers. Although some parts of the Internet and services may be having problems, it is not a major meltdown or logjam.”

Although it is not clear whether the attack originated from Cyberbunker, Spamhaus has accused it of co-operating with cybercrime organisations from Eastern Europe to orchestrate the attacks. Spamhaus issued a statement saying: “Spamhaus experienced a large-scale DDoS attack over the past weekend and extending into this week. “Although this site and our mail were knocked down for a while, our data systems continued to work normally throughout the attack. Due to the unpredictable nature of DDoS attacks, we can’t provide an estimate of that progress, but we want those systems up as much as you do”.

Internet security firm CloudFlare was asked by Spamhaus to help defend against the attacks. A statement posted on the CloudFlare website warned these types of cyber-strikes are difficult to defend. “These very large attacks are known as Layer 3 attacks,” the company said. “Put simply, if you have a router with a 10Gbps port, and someone sends you 11Gbps of traffic, it doesn’t matter what intelligent software you have to stop the attack because your network link is completely saturated. While we don’t know who was behind this attack, Spamhaus has made plenty of enemies over the years. Spammers aren’t always the most lovable of individuals and Spamhaus has been threatened, sued and DDoSd regularly.”

Cyberbunker claims to host any material, with the exception of those containing child abuse images or terrorism-related content. The company states on its website: “We do not poke around on your servers. Customers are allowed to host any content they like, except child porn and anything related to terrorism. Everything else is fine.

“Cyberbunker has adopted a policy not to mind our clients’ business. Most of our customers desire to stay anonymous. In most cases we have no idea who or where our customers actually are. We do not know and we simply don’t care.”

The company takes its name from the location of its internet servers; a former military bunker located outside the town of Kloetinge in the Netherlands.

Five cybercrime agencies are reportedly looking into the attacks.

Guaranteed Car Credit & Finance Service

Guaranteed Car Credit & Finance Service
As the current recession continues to bite, a lot of people are simply fed up of being declined for car finance and have had enough of everybody doing credit searches, which are then placed on your credit reference file, just making everything worse for you! If this sounds like you, then you have definitely come to the right place!

Here at Northumbria Car Sales, our Guaranteed car Credit service our sole aim is to assist everybody get the car finance they need to help them drive off in the vehicle of their choice.

When buying a used car it’s important that you can trust the garage you’re buying it from. Here at Northumbria Car Sales we’re a family run business which has been established for over 22 years offering a wide selection of quality used cars, vans and motorhomes.

Working closely with some of the most well-known and reputable financial service lenders, banks, leasing companies and private lenders who are ready, willing and able to do business with you regardless of your previous credit issues.

With our unique approach, Northumbria Car Sales aims to ensure that each applicant is assured the best interest rate and terms for their specific car finance application.

And remember, if you have good credit, we will get you approved at highly competitive interest rates.

The Car Finance Application Service is Fast, Free, and Easy. Once you have applied, you will hear back from us within 24 hours with a credit limit. Then you will be assigned a personal advisor to you to help you through the whole process. It’s never been so simple to get guaranteed car finance!

Don’t let getting declined stop you from contacting us because you think that yet again you will be turned down because we accept everyone no matter what your credit history is like.

Here at Northumbria Car Sales we will always go that ‘extra mile’ to help you get you the car finance and the motor vehicle you deserve. As well as GUARANTEED CAR FINANCE when you buy a car from Northumbria Car Sales you also get 1 Year MOT on all car sales as Standard, 6 Months Road Tax as Standard on all cars sold, 3 Months Warranty as Standard on all cars sold and all Cars are Fully Serviced.

As one of the leading car finance specialists in the North East of England, even if you have been refused vehicle finance in the past, we guarantee to be able to help you.

With over 22 years’ experience in providing high quality used cars and, Northumbria Car Sales have already helped thousands of clients drive away! Call us now and let us help you drive away the car you’ve always promised yourself.

Business:             Guaranteed Car Credit

URL:                       http://www.guaranteedcarcredit.org.uk/

Air Tightness Testing & Lower Energy Bills

Air Tightness Testing on Existing Housing Stock to Lower Energy Bills
The UK has the some of the oldest housing stock in the developed world with approximately 8.5 million properties over 60 years old, therefore it is vital we make improving the environmental performance of our old housing stock a priority.

Previous air tightness testing on existing stock has highlighted a huge problem in regards to the robustness of the building envelopes of existing dwellings. Some existing houses have recorded air permeability rates well in excess of 20m3/hr/m2, that is 4 times higher than it should be.  This means that you may be able to save hundreds of pounds a year on your energy bills, especially as electric and gas costs appear to be rising above inflation year on year.

Using smoke surveys  combined with Air Leakage Testing we can identify the areas in your homes envelope (external shell) that are under performing via air leakage paths and  loosing heat in winter, or letting the heat in in summer, costing you money throughput the year. APT can locate the air leakage paths in your building and prescribe a single package of measures applicable to your dwelling, depending on house type. We can offer upgrades that are cost effective and dwelling specific. Any specification adopted will depend, on the proposed improvements and the form of construction.

The main areas of air leakage are:

1. At the walls/floor junction. 2. Around windows. 3. Around Doors. 4. Floors. 5. Ceilings through lights and poor fitting loft hatches. 6. Around services within bathrooms and toilets. 7. Through service penetrations in kitchens, utility rooms.

If you would like more information on air leakage and smoke surveys testing on your existing property, please call us on: 01525 303905 or email us at: info@airpressuretesting.net

Business: Air Pressure Testing

URL:  http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

 

Diamond Cut Alloy Wheel Services of Glasgow

Diamond Cut Alloy Wheel Repairs & Refurbishment Services
With its base in Glasgow, diamond cut alloy wheel repairs offers top notch solutions in wheel refurbishment with a reliable and dependable refurbishment services on the entire diamond cut alloys. No matter what the problem is be it just a general torn out or some technical fault, we carefully manages all your alloy wheel repair refurbishment needs.

To rejuvenate the look of your car, you need the specialized services of Diamond cut alloy wheels. It’s important because the dented or scratched alloy will spoil the whole look of your car but with specialized team of trained technicians we employ you don’t need to worry about your wheel because they are in hands of experts. We assure you quality as well stress free and high quality solutions.

Due to the fact that diamond cut alloys experience corrosion faster than random painted alloys and that is why it is essential to keep it up to date with maintenance. Therefore, get your wheels to us as soon as you can because the sooner you come the sooner we will be able to treat the alloy wheels.

Our wide range of alloy wheel repairs & refurbishment services are avialable throughout the Glasgow and Lanarkshire region of Scotland and includes powder coating and diamond cut face turning. With our services, you can keep your alloys brand new with our expert wheel refurbishment services. To know more about our products and services, get in touch with us at 07824 565280. We will be glad to assist you.

Dealership Services
We offer our expert knowledge and experience to car dealerships that require frequent attention to regular alloys, diamond cut alloys and wheel repairs on a range of cars. We can fit alloys onto most automobiles and refurbish wheels and alloys back to mint condition.

As well as working in partnership with new car dealers, we can also team up with second hand car dealers to bring worn out wheels back to peak condition. Our wheel and alloy experts can check and repair wheels, tyres, regular alloys and even diamond cut a lloys. We guarantee quality assured wheels and great looking trims that will stand out on your forecourt to fetch an excellent price.

Contact us at today on 07824 565280 to see what we can do for you and your business.

Company:           Diamond Cut Alloy Wheel Services Glasgow

URL:                    http://diamondcutwheelsglasgow.co.uk/

 

Vodafone Considers US Withdrawal

Vodafone Considers US Withdrawal
The Newbury-based company is in talks with its US partner over a sale of the company’s stake in Verizon Wireless. Mobile phone giant Vodafone is reported to be mulling its exit from America in one of the largest corporate transactions of all time.

The Newbury-based company has recently been in talks with its US partner, Verizon Communications, over a sale of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, which is America’s largest mobile phone operator. Options have included a merger of the two telecoms giants and the partial sale of Vodafone’s stake but the UK company is now leaning towards making a clean break from America, according to the Sunday Times.

A deal could be struck as soon as this summer and be worth as much as $135bn (£88bn), which compares with AOL’s record $164bn takeover of Time Warner in 2001. Vodafone has a market capitalisation of £90bn, which means the bulk of its value is locked up in a business where it has no day-to-day control.

The company is likely to use the proceeds from any sale on a major European deal or a return of cash to shareholders. However, chief executive Vittorio Colao is not thought to be in any hurry to quit America and may opt against selling the asset, the newspaper added.

Laboratory & Onsite Sound Testing

The Difference Between Laboratory & Onsite Sound Testing
Despite contractors best endeavours to install the acoustic materials exactly as per the installation instructions; unfortunately, it is very difficult to build to the stringent standards of the laboratory.

When the construction assembly is tested in the lab, it is also certified and an exact description of the materials and the installation techniques are described in detail and followed to the letter, obviously this should be replicated on the your site as closely as possible. However due to time constraints etc, it is not always possible to replicate the exact conditions on the job-site compared to the ideal conditions normally present in a lab setting, which is the reason why a 5dB point difference is allowed between the construction design on paper and the actual on site construction performance and subsequent sound testing.

The method by which the STC is arrived at also takes into consideration as to how we perceive sound. Our sense of hearing is sensitive to low frequency sounds and thus the STC curve takes that into consideration at the various lower frequencies.

Another little known fact about sound is it doesn’t pass through a wall – unless there is a crack or gap. The sound energy sets the wall in motion and the wall itself becomes the transmitter much like a radio wave that energizes a radio speaker, which transmits the broadcast signal. The materials that make up the wall and the manner in which they are installed can have a great bearing on the performance of the wall and can greatly affect the sound test, i.e. if the wrong fixings are used which prevents adequate insulation between materials this can a=easily lead to a sound test failure.

It is very important that installation details are closely followed to ensure that the onsite results are as close as possible to the laboratory.

We have produced a list (shown below) of the major problem causes that can arise during our experience during on site sound testing and sound test design and construction. (It’s worth noting that some items may not apply to your type of construction).

1. Ensure that the sub-floor is watertight and sealed with mastic or silicon.
2. If installing floating screed ensure all isolation layer joints are overlapped and taped.
3. Ensure that the Acoustic floor is fitted with staggered joints.
4. Ensure all the Acoustic floor is sealed watertight even around heating pipes.
5. Do not nail or screw through an Acoustic Floor.
6. Do not screw plaster board into joists, when using Resilient Bars.
7. Ensure the insulation fills the whole width of void, also pack around pipe work.
8. Ensure that the plasterboard on any walls is complete right down to sub-floor, seal all gaps.
9. Ensure you use the isolation tape around the wall of each room.
10. Ensure plasterboard is fitted with staggered layers and all joints sealed.
11. If using Resilient Bars ensure that they are fitted as per manufacturer’s recommendations.
12. Ensure all Fireplaces are blocked up with brick or plasterboard.
13. Ensure that any RSJ’s or supporting steel work is insulated and isolated from plasterboard.
14. Ensure all waste pipe service runs are boxed in with insulation and plasterboard.
15. You must fit doors and windows before the test is carried out, to stop noise transference.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk/, or contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Business:             APT Sound Testing

Url:                         www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Retail Sales Pick Up In February

Retail Sales Pick Up In February
After a snowy January, retail sales volumes bounce back – increasing significantly over both the month and year.

Strong demand for tablets have helped retail sales increase by more than expected in February. Excluding fuel, retail sales rebounded by 1.9% when compared to January, and by 3.3% on the year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The jump in both volume and amount spent follows subdued year-on-year retail sales growth rates since September 2012. Computer equipment retailers and department stores helped drive February’s rise, and online sales were also strong, the ONS said.

It comes after disappointing start to 2013, when sales plunged as a result of heavy snow across swathes of the UK.

Deloitte’s UK head of retail, Ian Geddes, said February’s figures were good news for the sector – but warned that caution should be exercised because New Year sales often continue into February. He added: “The period measured does not include the last week of February when poor weather hit, so next month’s figures may be affected.” The data comes a day after Chancellor George Osborne unveiled his Budget – but Mr Geddes said it provided “little respite” for the troubled high street. “Any retailer expecting consumers to have more money in their pockets as a result of this Budget may be disappointed,” he said.

But he added that the reduction of the corporation tax rate would “significantly benefit” UK-based retailers, which represent some of the largest UK corporation tax payers.

Travel & Business Luggage

Bags4All Travel & Business Luggage
Bags4All offer a one-stop shop for all travel and business needs. A UK owned company, located in the North East of England, and with over twenty five years of experience in the luggage and travel bag market. We are committed to giving the customer, great service, very competitive prices and a wide range of high quality travel/business luggage products, accessories, leather goods and conference folders.

Our aim, to leave you – the customer, highly satisfied with your purchase and the service received. We offer a host of well-know brands, including Wenger/Swiss Gear, Pierre Cardin, Saddler and Gino Ferrari and our range of travel and business luggage available includes:

Travel Luggage
Our travel luggage (Pierre Cardin and Gino Ferrari branded) includes wheeled holdalls and duffle bags, single trolley cases (including our compact, space saver wheeled cases and cabin size luggage), 4-pc and 3-pc luggage sets, garment bags (suit carriers), backpacks and messenger bags. For the modern traveller, conscious of weight restrictions, please see our exciting ‘Flite’ superlightweight luggage set, which is also available as individual wheeled trolley cases, or an 18” cabin size wheeled holdall.

Business Luggage and Laptop Bags
For the business traveller we stock a large variety of business bags from the Gino Ferrari and Wenger Swiss Gear brands, such as laptop briefcases (including messenger bags), laptop backpacks, wheeled laptop cases (compurollers) and ladies laptop bags. Our laptop bags range covers the needs of users with 13” notebooks, right up to 17” laptop computers. Several models, many of which are part of the Gino Ferrari Lavoro collection of Ladies Business Luggage, include iPad/Tablet compatible pockets inside, for protective storage.

Conference Folders
We also supply a variety of A4 conference folders, presenter folios and other stationery (including A5 size), from Pierre Cardin and Gino Ferrari, with both leather and non-leather versions – perfect for the office, college, the home, or for the business traveller. For promotional and corporate clients, we can also quote for additional personalisation on some of our stationery products. Please contact us for further details.

Small Leathergoods and Gifts
To complete our range, we offer a vast selection of small leathergoods and gifts, which includes wallets, purses, card holders, spectacle cases and accessories. Our popular Saddler leather wallets and purses make the perfect Christmas, Birthday, Fathers’ Day, Mothers’ Day, or Valentine’s Day gift and are stocked in a variety colours. The Saddler brand has a strong heritage and a deserved reputation for the finest quality leathergoods at competitive prices. Our other stocked small leathergoods and gifts are from the globally known Wenger brand and the Pierre Cardin brand, which has always remained at the cutting edge of fashion.

Operating from our large, custom-bulit warehouse and office complex, our friendly team are able to provide you with an excellent quality service, secure payment processing (SagePay or PayPal options) and the online shopping must-have: FREE DELIVERY! (within mainland UK only).

Business:          Bags4All Travel & Business Luggage

URL:               http://www.bags4all.co.uk/

Unwanted Phone Calls

Unwanted Phone Calls
Which? wants offending claims companies to be fined, as new research reveals 70% of people receive unwanted phone calls.

Campaigners have demanded “tougher regulation” to clamp down on companies who plague people with unwanted phone calls and nuisance text messages. Consumer group Which? found seven out of 10 consumers had been cold-called in the last three months, while two-fifths had received unsolicited texts. The majority of calls and messages came from claims management companies (CMCs) offering to take up payment protection insurance (PPI) and personal injury cases.

Which? urged regulators including Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to set up a joint taskforce to pull the plug on “intrusive and distressing” calls and texts. It said offenders should receive fines and be put out of business.

“Unwanted calls or texts are not just a nuisance, they can be intrusive and distressing,” executive director Richard Lloyd said. “Many of us have been bombarded with spurious claims of PPI or injury compensation. People are telling us they are totally fed up with this nuisance and want to see action. Our research once again shows the behaviour of unscrupulous claims management companies must be tackled to stop them exploiting consumers who could claim compensation for free themselves. We want to see tougher regulation from the Government to clean up the CMC industry.”

Which? said that a quarter of its members who made a claim on their car insurance were contacted by a CMC within three months. Many of them were then bombarded by repeated messages. More than a fifth said they were sent at least 10 texts and one in eight received 10 or more phone calls.

The Transport Committee is currently investigating the extent to which bogus and exaggerated whiplash claims push up the cost of car insurance. False claims are estimated to add around £90 to the cost of every premium. From next month, insurers will be banned from receiving money in exchange for the details of customers who make personal injury claims.

However, Which? said the rules will not cover non-injury claims such as car repairs. It urged people to register their details with the Telephone Preference Service and to avoid opting into third party marketing when taking out an insurance policy. It also said consumers should not respond to spam texts, even to text “stop”, as this alerts the sender to the phone number being active and in use.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone Unveiled

Samsung Galaxy S4 Eye Tracking Smartphone Unveiled
Samsung has launched a smartphone which allows users to control its 5in (12.5cm) screen using only their eyes. The Galaxy S4 follows on from last year’s S3, a product that sold over 40 million units worldwide. At a lavish, Broadway-themed event in New York, the company also demonstrated the phone’s ability to take two different pictures at once. Analysts widely regard Samsung to be the biggest challenger to Apple’s dominance of mobile products.

The Galaxy S4 will be rolled out globally at the end of April.

Following the launch, shares in Samsung fell 1.7% in early trade in Seoul on Friday amid worries the market for phone upgrades was “flattening out”. The company’s head of mobile communications, JK Shin said 327 mobile operators in 155 countries will carry the handset.

In the UK, Vodafone, Three, Orange, T-Mobile and EE have all announced plans to offer the device on their networks.

Through a series of role-playing scenes, the South Korean firm demonstrated the phone’s key features. Much was made of the device’s ability to be controlled without touching it. Using “Smart pause”, the user can pause a video by looking away from the screen.  Additionally, the “Smart Scroll” software analyses the user’s eyes and wrist to scroll through emails and other content.

“The debut of nifty eye motion-sensitive controls to allow users to pause video and scroll through pages using eye movements alone is smart,” said telecoms expert Ernest Doku from uSwitch.com. For commuters crammed in trains – or just those who love a bit of futuristic tech that makes their lives easier – this novel feature will really help the Galaxy S4 to stand out.”

However, Charles Golvin from Forrester Research worried the swathes of new features may alienate some customers. The larger question is how much of this stuff can people actually use he told the BBC. “There’s no question that there’s a lot of powerful technology and innovative features – but whether people will care about them or use them I’m not sure. Including an image of yourself in a picture that you’re taking for someone else – yes, I think that’s a bit gimmicky.  But on the video side, for a live chat where it’s compositing you and your image to show both you and what you’re seeing – that’s not a gimmick.”

In another scene, depicting a backpacker in Shanghai, the phone was shown to translate English text into Chinese speech – before translating Chinese speech back into English text.

The dual camera feature makes use of the device’s front and rear cameras simultaneously, blending the pictures together to make sure the picture taker is not “left out”. The rear has a 13 megapixel camera, while the user-facing camera captures pictures at 2 megapixels.

The phone weighs 130g, and is 7.9mm thick – making it slightly lighter and thinner than the S3. The device uses Samsung’s HD AMOLED technology, giving the S4’s screen – which is marginally bigger than the S3’s – a resolution of 441 pixels-per-inch.

As well as the “touchless” technology, the company also introduced the Samsung Hub – a multimedia storage facility that can be shared across multiple Samsung devices.