Integrated IT Solutions News August 2014
Windows 2003 support expiration

With one year until Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows Server 2003 support, we encourage any of our customers who still use 2003 servers to think about an upgrade path sooner rather than later. Microsoft calculates that 11.7 million servers are still running the 11-year-old operating system and that waiting until the last minute is not recommended. Server migrations need a lot more planning than when Microsoft ended its Windows XP support back in April of this year.

The risk inherent in running legacy infrastructure and unsupported, unsecure, and non-compliant software is too great to ignore.

There is no avoiding the need for change, but it does not have to be disruptive. We help reduce the complexity, time, and risk associated with migrating applications and infrastructure. Our technologies provide opportunity for you to change out legacy systems and fully modernize your environment. Please contact your account manager to start formulating a migration plan.

Hackers can tap USB devices

USB devices such as keyboards, thumb-drives and mice can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed this week. Karsten Nohl, chief scientist with Berlin’s SR Labs, found that hackers could load malicious software onto computer chips that control the functions of USB devices but have no built-in shields against tampering with their code.

Computers do not detect the infections when tainted devices are inserted because anti-virus programs are only designed to scan for software written onto memory and do not scan the firmware that controls the functioning of those devices.

Once a computer is infected, it could be programmed to infect all USB devices that are subsequently attached to it, which would then corrupt machines that they contact. Hopefully the new research wil prompt taking a closer look at USB technology and encourage manufacturers to improve protection of their chips.

Engineer Certification

We are pleased to congratulate David Perez for obtaining his Microsoft Windows 8.1 certification. Great job David!

School will be back in session for our engineers in September, where they will be catching up on the latest technologies we offer. First up is Lync, one of the components of Microsoft's Office 365 suite.

Unlocking cell phones is legal again

On August 1st, President Obama signed the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act" into law. The new law repeals a 2012 decision by the Library of Congress that made cell phone unlocking a violation of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Overturning this is going to help promote consumer choice in the wireless market and potentially keep devices out of landfills.

Unlocking a cell phone is important for consumers who travel abroad and for those who want to take their devices to other carriers. Most devices sold in the US through wireless operators have a software lock on them which prohibits them from being used on another operator's network. The ban on unlocking made it difficult for consumers who wanted to use their devices on other networks.

It is worth noting, however, that many wireless companies do not use the same network technologies or frequencies, so a switch may or may not be easy.


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