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Cyber StreetwiseApril 14 2014

The Cyber Streetwise website was launched at the beginning of the year, outlining how the public and businesses can become more accustomed to the skills they need to be safer online.

It has been launched as part of the National Cyber Security Programme, which was announced in 2011 in order to make the UK cyber space a safer place.

Read more on our blog to see our views on the website and what can be done to further encourage a cyber security mindset.

Microsoft release Office for iPadsMarch 28 2014

Yesterday, Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, announced that a suite of the Microsoft Office applications have finally been released for the iPad. Our very own Dale Smith talks about the impact this will have on our beloved presentation design studio and the billions of daily users of Microsoft Office. Read the blog post here.

Zero-day attack on Microsoft Word and OutlookMarch 25 2014

Microsoft has released a notice to warn Microsoft Word users of a previously unknown security hole which is now being exploited by attackers. If users open the file or simply preview it in Microsoft Outlook, they could be subject to a targeted attack.

Microsoft warned users yesterday:

“Microsoft is aware of a vulnerability affecting supported versions of Microsoft Word. At this time, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted (rich text format) RTF file using an affected version of Microsoft Word, or previews or opens a specially crafted RTF email message in Microsoft Outlook while using Microsoft Word as the email viewer. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user.”

Essentially if a user were to open or view the RTF file as sent by an attacker, the sender could gain some control of the computer. It’s hard to know at this stage how dangerous this threat is, but if users can potentially be exposed to infection by merely previewing the file in Outlook it seems practical to activate certain measures to barricade it.

While Microsoft is still working on an official fix for the flaw, they have provided a Quick Fix that prevents all effected programs from opening RTF files. These include; Microsoft Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, Word Viewer and Office for Mac 2011. 

If you are using any of these programs, or your Outlook automatically previews in these programs, use Fix It 51010 as provided by Microsoft below that will prevent Word or Outlook viewing RTF files at all.

https://support.microsoft.com/kb/2953095

If you do need to open an RTF file from a trusted source ahead of the official fix, there is an antidote for this fix on the same page: Fix It 51011. It is recommended that during this time you switch between the fix on/off to prevent any infection from attackers.

The Changing Hollywood SystemMarch 3 2014

The Oscars have been and gone and all we’re left with now is a host of deserving films and talent, that selfie from Ellen DeGeneres and the bitter taste in Leonardo’s mouth as he once again wins absolutely nothing.

But despite a slew of truly brilliant films in this year’s award ceremony, from Dallas Buyer’s Club, Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave, there are many out there who are still wondering if it’s about time that the credits should roll on the golden age of film, as its perch is toppled by our old friend, the television.

We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure you all heard far more about Breaking Bad and House of Cards, amongst others, last year than you did about any of the major blockbusters. But why was this? And why can television, and television-on-demand, be seen as such a threat to an institution as established and proven as the movies?

Because, according to Anne Thompson in her latest book, The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System, they give the consumers what they want, when they want it.

Read the full article at Salon here to get some deeper insights into the developing system.

Professional Beauty ExhibitionFebruary 21 2014

The countdown has begun - the Professional Beauty exhibition will be featuring at the ExCeL London this Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th February.

The top names in the beauty industry will be there to introduce the newest wave of trends, launch new products and offer up insider knowledge in a number of seminars and conferences.

With everything from tutorials in make-up FX to "how-to" workshops for massages, the ladies in the office are looking forward to socialising with some of our favourite clients, meeting new businesses and most importantly what they hope will be a whole lot of pampering time.

We hope to see you there!

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