Posts on Jan 1970


Ransomware Outbreak
Contact us for more information:  Our Contact Details
Organizations in Russia and Ukraine were under siege on Tuesday 24 October 2017 from Bad Rabbit, a strain of ransomware with similarities to NotPetya.

By evening, the outbreak was reportedly spreading into Europe, including Turkey and Germany. Victims reported so far include airports, train stations and news agencies.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported on Twitter that the outbreak had felled some of its servers, forcing Interfax to rely on its Facebook account to deliver news.

Starts with social engineering

The Bad Rabbit outbreak appears to have got its start via files on hacked Russian media websites, using the popular guise of pretending to be an Adobe Flash installer.

If Bad Rabbit infects your computer, it attempts to spread across the network using a list of usernames and passwords buried inside the malware. These credentials include passwords straight out of a worst passwords list. Another reminder, if one were needed, that all your passwords need to be strong, even the ones you use behind the safety of a corporate firewall.

From there, it encrypts not only your files, adding encrypted at the end of each filename, but also your computer’s MBR (Master Boot Record). You are then greeted with the following message and asked to submit payment via a Tor hidden service (an anonymous Dark Web website):

Oops! Your files have been encrypted.

If you see this text, your files are no longer accessible. 
You Might have been looking for a way to recover your files. 
Don't waste your time. No one will be able to recover them 
without our decryption service.

We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely. 
All you need to do is submit the payment and get the 
decryption password.

Visit our web service at [redacted]

If you visit the Bad Rabbit website using the Tor Browser, you will be “invited” to pay a fee for the decryption key; at the time of writing [2017-10-25T16:45Z], the crooks were demanding XBT 0.05 (1/20th of a Bitcoin), currently about $280:

Defensive measures

Contact us for information on prevention against Ransomware and other cyber attacks: Our Contact Details

Sophos currently blocks the Bad Rabbit malware as Troj/Ransom-ERK.

Additionally, Sophos Intercept X proactively prevents the malware from attacking your data: the CryptoGuard component stops the ransomware from scrambling your files, and WipeGuard prevents the low-level disk writes that modify the boot sector.

(For further information about Sophos protection, please see our Support Knowledge Base article entitled Bad Rabbit ransomware: What to do.)

Here are some general tips to raise your defenses againt this sort of outbreak:

  • Ditch Flash altogether. Fake flash installers and updates only work as a social engineering tactic if you use or want Flash. By removing Flash entirely you not only protect yourself from Flash zero-day holes , but also eliminate the temptation to download fake updates.
  • Patch promptly. Outbreaks such as NotPetya and WannaCry exploited a vulnerability for which patches were already available. Don’t lag behind once patches are available for known security holes – the crooks will be only too happy to take advantage.
  • Remember your backups. Make them regularly, and keep a recent backup both offline and offsite, so you can access it even if your workplace ends up off limits due to fire, flood or some other cause not related to malware.
  • Don’t make users into administrators. When you want to perform administrative tasks, promote yourself to an administrator account, and relinquish those privileges as soon as you can. Network-aware malware like Bad Rabbit can spread without even needing to guess passwords if you already have administrator-level access to other computers on the network.

For more information about ransomware read How to stay protected against ransomware, or listen to our Techknow podcast:


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Telephone Preference Service opt out register

Telephone Preference Service opt out register

Nuisance Calls are an issues for everyone for both personal and business. Please have read of the following and log into the website link to review how to use the opt out register to your advantage.

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service. It is the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.

Organisations with which you have an ongoing relationship, for example those who regard you as a customer, (or in the case of charities – a donor) may well gather your consent during the early stages of your relationship with them and will therefore be entitled to call you even if your number is registered on TPS, unless you have previously told them specifically that you object to them calling you for marketing purposes.

The TPS can accept the registration of mobile telephone numbers, however it is important to note that this will prevent the receipt of marketing voice calls but not SMS (text) messages. If you wish to stop receiving SMS marketing messages, please send an ‘opt-out’ request to the company involved.

As TPS registration only prevents marketing calls, organisations will still be able to call you for the purposes of genuine market research.

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BT HV Select Platform Planned Maintenance Notification

BT HV Select Platform Planned Maintenance Notification

We write to advise that our third party supplier, BT Wholesale, will be carrying out essential software upgrades to multiple servers on the HV.Select platform network infrastructure, to ensure ongoing stability and compatibility of the platform.


The upgrade to be applied to the UMS servers requires the locking out of both pairs of Application Servers (primary and resilient) whilst the upgrade is performed, necessitating a period of complete downtime of the platform.


  • Affected Services: BT HV.Select Platform
  • Type: Impact and Risk
  • Planned Start: 02/11/2017 21:01 GMT
  • Planned End: 03/11/2017 06:00 GMT
  • Reason for Change: Third Party Supplier Change
  • Third Party Supplier: BT Wholesale
  • Reference Number: HD782714


What does this mean?


During the upgrade work to the UMS servers, a complete service outage will be experienced for up to 45 minutes starting at 12:00am on 3rd November 2017. During this period it will not be possible to make or receive calls, including access to 999 services. Customers should ensure alternative means of accessing 999 emergency services are available for the whole of the maintenance window. Call forwarding and call diverts will not function during this time. In addition, any add on applications and portal access will also be unavailable.


Access to portals, apps and add on services will be available during this maintenance period, however it is recommended changes to services are not made during this period.


After the maintenance has been completed


If you experience any issues after the maintenance window has closed, please report these via our Service Desk on either 01142216000 or, quoting the reference number HD782714.

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Welcome to the Digital Exchange blog section. Here you will find lots of interesting industry news, handy tips and interesting stories… To keep up to date why not follow us on Twitter @Digital_Ex

We add up to date info on our blog page that we believe is relevant to your IT and Telecom needs. We’re able to offer a wide range of service and to aid us in this, we make sure to use the best of the best in suppliers. If you scroll through the Blog timeline, you’ll see information and video content regarding those suppliers. Sourcing the correct and best IT provider and solution is your main concern and in turn, it’s our main concern to make sure we source the correct and best solution to cover you in these elements.

To make this possible, we source, review and test our recommendations and so if we didn’t believe in them, we would not suggest them to you as a current or potentially new client.

As recommended, have a scroll through our timeline and have a look at the entire website to help you can get a clear view of what we do and what we do when we have some downtime. Please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can work through a robust, secure and informative solution together.

Home Corporate

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Solarwinds Network Monitoring

Solarwinds is a network monitoring tool which monitors Hardware and Performance, Patch Management, Application Monitoring and Network Services. It also monitors for Viruses and Ransomware and other services including Cloud Backup are available.

This software which is initially installed on your server will then push out clients to each PC on your network estate. You can then be reassured that each device you use is protected and any outside threat or internal failure is prevented. As a leading brand and recognised product, it offers a complete peace of mind solution to make sure your business keeps running smoothly and to it’s full capacity. Please get in touch so we can discuss this service or any products with you in detail and we can even demo the software so you can see how good the product is first hand. At Digital Exchange, we are constantly looking for the best products on the market so that we can proactively deliver an outstanding service to your company. We make sure we’re ahead of the game so we can always guide you with the best advice and possibilities in the digital market.

We think this video is a perfect example as to why we recommend this product, please watch below:

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Ransomware Protection

The number of organisations being targeted by ransomware is increasing.

The ransomware increase is frightening and is the number one malware attack affecting organisations today. It encrypts your files and holds them hostage until the ransom is paid, causing massive disruption to business productivity, and putting at risk your cash reserves.

Sensitive files get encrypted, and large amounts of money are demanded to restore the files. Generally, the attacker has a list of file extensions or folder locations that the ransomware will target for encryption.

Due to the encryption of the files, it can be virtually impossible to reverse-engineer the encryption or “crack” the files without the original encryption key, which only the attackers will have access to.

Our first advice is to ensure company-confidential, sensitive, or important files are securely backed up in a remote, un-connected backup or storage facility.  We can help you to ensure your data is secure and recoverable in the event of a ransomware attack.

In addition we suggest deploying a ransomware specific projection application, and as Sophos specialists we recommend the Intercept X solution, which defends you against ransomware and other advanced threats. Intercept X features CryptoGuard, which prevents the malicious spontaneous encryption of data by ransomware. And once ransomware gets intercepted, CryptoGuard reverts your files back to their safe states. It’s a solution that delivers piece of mind and complete projection.

Watch the 2 minute overview to Sophos Intercept X…

Watch how Intercept X actually protects against ransomware…

Along with Intercept X we provide a powerful virus cleaner. While most traditional virus cleaners simply remove offending malware files, Sophos Clean goes the extra mile by eradicating the malicious code and registry keys created by malware as well. It’ll be like your machine was never infected in the first place.

*Sophos Clean comes with Sophos Intercept or as an individual product.

Watch the 1 minute overview to Sophos Clean…

Anti-Ransomware Resources
This free anti-ransomware kit (provided by Sophos) is packed with useful information and tools to educate users on the threat, including:

  • Anti-ransomware security checklist
  • How to stop ransomware whitepaper
  • Posters for your workplace
  • PPT presentation to educate employees
  • Recorded webinar for employees
  • Email promoting webinar


Download your free anti-ransomware kit HERE.

To speak to an anti-ransomware specialist at Digital Exchange call us on 0800 0731701, or click HERE to send an email.

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New Website Additions

We’re currently working on new additional pages to add to the website. Keep checking in to see what we’ve been up to!!

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22 Years In The Business

Digital Exchange recently celebrated over 22 years of experience as a leading IT and Hosted Voice company in Sheffield. The business has consistently delivered first rate service to businesses based within South Yorkshire and further afield. Starting as a telecoms and connectivity company in 1995, we turned our hand to become a fully supported IT business as well. Give us a ring or drop us an email so we can deliver your complete business needs. Click on the Home Corporate link below to see what services we provide.

Home Corporate

Email address at the top of the page.

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