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Check your website if you use Symantec SSL Certificates

Reported last year, the decision was taken by Google to stop trusting some Symantec SSL Certificates on servers. This decision was taken after a number of failings in the authorisation chain of Symantec Certificates. Back in 2017 there was a public posting questioning the authentication of a number of Symantec Corporation PKI certificates. It appeared that a number of certificates issued did not conform to correct baseline requirements, and Symantec had authorised other organisations to issue certificates on their behalf without appropriate oversight.

The Google Chrome browser which is used by the majority of users when surfing the web will stop trusting these certificates when the update is released on April 17, 2018.

What do I need to do

If you run a website you need to follow the simple steps below to check that your website will not be affected

If you do not run a website, you can continue to browse the web as normal, when you come across an affected website, Chrome it will prevent you accessing it until they resolve the issue.

How do I check my website

To confirm if your website will be affected on 17th April follow these steps :

  • Open the Google Chrome Browser (You'll need Version 63.0.3239.132 - or newer)
  • Go to your website
  • While you are on the main page of your website, open the Console Log, this can be done by one of the following:-
  • Pressing the F12 key
  • Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+I
  • Click the 3 dots, choose "More Tools" > "Developer Tools"
  • Click on the Console option along the top of the area that opens next to the web page
  • If you see the following message your website will need to obtain and install a new certificate
  • The message :

I'm affected and I need help

If you are affected and don't have an appropriate web hosting contract / support contract that covers the issue, our Timebank Service can be used to purchase time for a Consultant to investigate for you, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject "Please assist with my Website SSL"

Flash Player - New Vulnerability

South Korea's Computer Emergency Response Team

News broke on Wednesday 31st January 2018 from KRCert that a new Zero Day vulnerability is circulating and users of Flash need to take action

Quick Points

  • Products affected are : Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime, Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome, Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11.
  • Affected versions are 28.0.0.137 and earlier.
  • Adobe will be releasing a security update on 5th February 2018, it is recommended that you uninstall / disable Flash Player until its release.
  • Using the exploit hackers can take control of the infected device
  • The exploit can be used via malicious MS Office files.
  • Web browsing through any browser is at risk until the patch is released.

Reduce the Risk

Uninstall Flash, or do not visit untrusted/unknown websites, avoid viewing email attachments with unknown origin, update your anti-virus to the latest version and enable real-time monitoring

Spectre and Meltdown - Criminals take advantage in Germany

Keep secure do not download unknown patches from email links
Using the latest wide news coverage of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerability, criminals have seized on the chance to distribute their own trojans to the unsuspecting users.

Recent news from Malwarebytes is advising that a German email has been circulating purporting to be from the German Federal Office for Information Security , with a valid SSL certificate for the website that is linked in the email, all look legitimate.However, once you visit the site, and download the zip file, inside is a file named intel, which adds to its credibility, but once the intel.exe file is run, it installs a trojan (Smoke Loader) and starts downloading and uploading encrypted data to external servers.

While this website has now been taken down by the hosting providers, there will undoubtably be further emails circulating that will try to take advantage of people wanting to download patches. So whether you are an Accountant in Andover, a Barrister in Basingstoke, or a Loan Officer in London, ensure you download the patches from the microsoft.com domain, or the apple.com domains.

For a list of the updates that are currently available, visit the tnova.uk/sandmpatches page and you’ll see the hotfix numbers that you can search the MS website from.

Social Media and the Concentration of Opinion

Social Media Love or Like

How did we get here ?

In the beginning there was technology. Technology to use for good, to strengthen the ties between friends and families separated by distance, separated by borders. To connect with people who you may not have seen for some time, and to understand what was happening in their lives.

Then came the cost, the infrastructure, research, and development, all needing time, human time, costly time, offices and infrastructure. The public, in general wanted it for free, pay a fee to see photos of relatives, to message a mate but at a cost, was not desired. Many new to the internet were struggling with the cost of connecting to the internet alone, generally there was a free email box, and this could be used for free to communicate.

Then came the businesses that wanted to advertise, they would pay for some text, an image next to a photo of granny blowing out the candles. With business they wanted more for their money, they needed people to want to put photos up, to drive interaction, to create virtual footfall on to the doorstep of their online shop. All hail the psychologists, what was it that people could get from posting, suddenly it wasn’t enough for people to share happy snaps. The need to let people hear what you have to say, the need for people to see you in a selfie. Suddenly business was recruiting from the other side of the social sphere, the more sinister desires of humans. The desire to be seen and heard. Speak no ill, see no ill, hear no ill. You could say what you wanted from the apparent safe place of your home, people that didn’t agree can block and unfollow. Everyone’s feed becomes unique, tailored, algorithms watching what you liked, primed to show you more of the same and keep you coming back. More time, more profit for businesses as you were sidelined through their adverts.

And then this year Facebook announced that they would be changing the algorithm to take you back to show you more friends and family postings. However, has the damage already been done, how many in the UK have unfollowed their family that didn’t agree with their views on the EU, how many in the USA unfollowed their loved ones over the voting of Trump. Will facebook be able to undo the damage of allowing concentration of views on your feed, should they undo, should they force views of friends that aren’t to your taste back on to your feed.

Why is it that something that was so driven by the desire to bring people together and create a equal unified platform, something that had wondrous and appealing philosophy has now driven wedges between differing slices of society. What made debating opposing views in the past was something with rules and understanding, now appears to be who can shout the loudest insult. Is it time for social platforms to introduce a way to train people in ways they can debate more effectively. Imagine a platform where people could express their view but only if that view was backed up with a fact. Kialo ( https://www.kialo.com/ ) has started a version of a debating platform, although it lacks visual appeal could it be a start of the turning of the tide.

In five years time will everyone be fact led, or feeling influenced, will the introduction of more AI into social platforms and advertising areas increase or decrease the interactions of humans, will functions such as auto-like, for Aunt Mavis's photos become commonplace, will we be able to teach our online AI bot to respond appropriately when a friend challenges our view on a political subject. The options are endless, but the need for supervision and monitoring is great.

GDPR Countdown Clock

How much time is left before the General Data Protection Regulations come into force ?

Companies worldwide that are working with European Individual's data should now be aware of the impact GDPR will have on the way they work with that data.

When do the new regulations come into force ?

25th May 2018

Here are some more questions to ask your leadership ( Download a printable version here )

  • Have you made everyone, and we mean everyone, in your organisation aware of the regulations ? Yes / No
  • Is your company aware of all the different repositories of personal data ? Yes / No
  • Has your company's privacy notice been updated? Yes / No
  • Are the processes for deleting personal data easily accessible and documented ? Yes / No
  • Have you done a trial run on how long it takes to complete a subject access request to complete it within the allowed time frame (normally 40 days) ? Yes / No
  • Does the privacy notice clearly state why the information is held ? Yes / No
  • Is all data, held under consent, clearly recorded on how that consent was attained ? Yes / No
  • If any data, is, or may belong to children, do you have a method of recording parental / guardian consent with this data, and for any data that could belong to under 18s have you got that consent ? Yes / No
  • Where are the documented procedures for detecting, reporting and investigating a data breach ? Location : _____________________________
  • Where are the documented procedures for carrying out DPIA's for new developments / technologies, or new processes ? Location : _____________________________
  • Who is/are the Data Protection Officers Name(s) : _____________________________
  • If you have overseas branches, which state is the lead supervisory authority ? State : _____________________________ / N/A
For more information visit the ICO website

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