In this day and age, keeping your customers up to date is as important as getting them on board in the first place. Reports started circulating yesterday that Yahoo users weren’t able to access their email accounts, and all they got for their troubles was a single tweet.
Originally reported in the thread titled “Yahoo Mail has been down for 14 hours, affecting thousands of users in Europe”, users went from saying that having their service shut down without any response being unacceptable to the barrage of comments from users asking if the service was ever truly running these days or how many people were actually affected by the problem (including a rather large barrage joking about the use of Yahoo mail for business reasons).
After checking out Yahoo Mail’s twitter page (the quickest way to update people these days on issues it would seem), the page was filled with nothing but advertisements spread out over days with no communications regarding the reported outage. That was until we checked out their support page, Yahoo Care. Amongst a slew of advertisements for their fantasy baseball teams was a single tweet saying that some users were experiencing issues.
Some @YahooMail users are experiencing issues due to an undersea cable cut by a 3rd party. Fix is a few days out. We’ll keep you updated.
In this day and age, taking days to fix a problem with little to no support for your users seems like a quick way to lose people to other webmail solutions like Gmail and Outlook. We will try to keep you updated (as well as we can with the little information that seems to be available at this moment).
Synology released the final version of DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.0 after six months of beta programs and it was well worth the wait. DSM 6.0 is a major leap in the development of DSM and introduces major enhancements in every aspect including Virtualisation, Cloud Solution, Collaboration, Security, Multimedia, Accessibility and much more. Loyal readers will also have seen our review on DSM 6.0 just a few weeks ago where we had a go with it ahead of time.
There are so many improvements in DSM 6.0 that it is hard to get them all mentioned in a post like this, but I’ll try to bring you the highlights. Should you want to check out more details on the individual new function before you upgrade, then you can visit the official minisite for DSM 6.0 and check up on all the details. One of the awesome new functions that you’ll barely notice except for its usability is the new powerful content indexing service. This effective feature allows you to quickly reach all your data with a full content search for more than 700 file formats including office documents and metadata from your media files. With this, you’ll quickly find the files you’re looking for, no matter where on your NAS they’re located.
The Cloud Station Suite also made file syncing a lot easier, no matter what device you’re using. It is now all in one place and easy to setup and configure. Whether you just want to use it for backups to your personal cloud or sync it with a host of cloud storage services too, the Cloud Station Suite makes it easy.
A lot of the really new features in DSM 6.0 focus on the enterprise users, but the home users were in no way forgotten. DSM 6.0 focused highly on optimizing the multimedia experience. The redesigned Video Station with offline transcoding allows you to watch movies anytime, anywhere. Multimedia mobile apps support multiple devices including the new Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Windows 10. Media storage and access are some of the main reasons for home users to get a NAS and with these improvements you can be sure to have a smooth experience, anytime, anywhere.
The advanced collaboration tools are equally useful for home and enterprise users alike. Whether you are calculating prices for customers or keep track of your household expenses, you can do it all on your own NAS without the need for any local software. Create Spreadsheets or use the advanced Note Station yourself or share, edit, and collaborate with friends, family, and coworkers.
The concept of electronic mail is as old as the internet itself. DiskStation Manager now also comes with the all-new MailPlus and MailPlus Server packages that allow you to set up a secure and reliable private mail server as well as use a modern email client for receiving and sending messages. Again, everything will run on your own server and you remain in full control and don’t need to rely on third-party services. While this mostly is relevant to enterprise users, there are quite a few enthusiasts such as myself that could benefit greatly from this system at home too.
DSM 6.0 also offers a much greater support for SSD cache that ensures a significant boost in performance for those that need more than the average. This is mainly for enterprise users and so is the newly added support for shared folders with over one petabyte of storage space. The Btrfs file system is now also supported on more NAS models than before, which in itself adds a row of great features such as data compression and data scrubbing.
DSM 6.0 also introduces Snapshot Replication to Synology’s NAS’ that offers near-continuous data protection as well as multi-site replication for an even better protection of your files. In addition, Synology’s Hyper Backup package can now perform multi-version backups of all types of destinations.
Consolidating physical servers with virtualization technology can increase server utilization and reduce business operating costs – and it’s also really cool. DSM 6.0 introduces two new features here with Docker DSM and Virtual DSM that enables users to build a reliable and multi-tenant environment on their Synology NAS.
Virtual DSM allows you to deploy multiple virtual instances of DiskStation Manager on the same unit. You can easily live migrate virtual machines to another Synology NAS and test out DSM upgrades in isolated virtual machines before you effectively install it. There is no need to worry about downtimes when upgrading with such a feature. It also adds another layer of security as it protects the physical machine from being affected if the virtual machine gets attached.
Docker DSM is a lightweight virtualization system with data protection where you don’t have to give up system performance. It can be containerized and run on a Btrfs shared folder with little performance impact, yet provide you with a lot of benefits. It only requires 256MB memory for each Docker DSM where Virtual DSM requires 1GB or more each and the only real difference is the whether you need the ability to use iSCSI LUN and targets.
So, it might be time to upgrade your Synology NAS. You can find a full list of applied models for each function and check out the full software specification too if you want to know more. As a user that already had the pleasure to play with DSM 6.0, I can highly recommend it.
It is with great sadness that we report that Roy Tomlinson, the man credited with creating the first email system, has passed away.
Tomlinson was working on ARPANET, the precursor to the internet, back in 1971 when he contributed to the first email system. Tomlinson is recorded as saying that most of the emails he sent when testing the system were “entirely forgettable, and I have, therefore, forgotten them”.
Tomlinson’s contribution doesn’t end there, it was originally Tomlinson’s idea to use the @ symbol for stating that you could find a user “at” this particular host. He explained his reasoning on picking the @ symbol on BBN’s website:
“I chose to append an at sign and the host name to the user’s (login) name. I am frequently asked why I chose the at sign, but the at sign just makes sense. The purpose of the at sign (in English) was to indicate a unit price (for example, 10 items @ $1.95). I used the at sign to indicate that the user was “at” some other host rather than being local.”
We cannot deny the influence that Roy Tomlinson had not only on the technology we use but also on the way we live. May he rest in peace.
So remember those days when you waited five minutes to load a video or had to browse through those five tabs to find the one which was playing a video you had no idea even existed? A lot of people still suffer this fate, having their internet traffic and experience trampled on by the online plague of intrusive adverts. To combat this a series of software, often plug-ins to web browsers, was released under the title of ad-blockers. These pieces of software blocked unwanted ad’s and allowed you to whitelist any adverts you did like or even whole sites which you knew you could trust. Companies dislike this approach because they have no control over what adverts are played and therefore, end up losing money, a big name to join the crowd to punish ad-blocker users are Yahoo mail.
As shown in the screenshot above, provided by Portnoyd on the Adblock plus forums, shows the welcome message they got when they tried to access their email and found that Yahoo ‘recommended’ disabling Ad Blocker to continue using the email system, even going so far as to say “Uh oh … We are unable to display Yahoo Mail”. This would be believable, Ad Blocker may accidentally block something if it’s designed in a certain way, the sad part is though the URL states ADBLK _TRAP, clearly showing that the redirect is built to prevent Ad blocker’s users from accessing the site, rather than the error it pretends to be.
Are you a Yahoo Mail user? Have you found this problem? Should companies just accept that we wouldn’t use Ad Blockers if their adverts didn’t disrupt us on a regular basis?
Apple’s iOS is widely recognised as one of the most secure mobile operating systems on the market today but is that really true? Well, maybe it is, but what I can tell you for sure is that nothing is unhackable in today’s world.
A security researcher claimed that it is now easier than ever to get hold of any iPhone or iPad user’s Apple ID account with a simple HTML injection. The security specialist claims to have built a tool that would allow just about anyone to make use of a well-known flaw in an Apple’s iOS Mail app and trick the user into giving his or her Apple ID credentials.
The tool mentioned above is said to create an HTML popup that mimics Apple’s own popup that asks you to re-enter your Apple ID credentials. As a regular iPhone user, you are likely to be so used to it that you won’t notice the difference and just type in your credentials as usual.
Once you tap OK on the popup, the credentials are sent to the hacker’s remote server. This likely puts everyone using an iPhone or iPad at risk, so do take care and remember that the Apple ID prompt appears only when you perform an action that requires your authorisation and not just out of the blue.
The issue is said to have been filed and acknowledged by Apple, but no fix has been released just yet. So how worried are you? Will you think twice before entering your Apple ID credentials?
Thank you BGR for providing us with this information
Leakers seem to always be one step ahead, even if Microsoft provides regular updates to its Windows 10 Technical Preview. The latest Windows 10 leaked build (10051) seems to include some new updates, but the most important one is that the build comes with the latest Calendar and Mail apps.
The apps are said to be very basic at this stage, but they are functional at least. Users will notice that they feel and look better than the ones found on Windows 8.1, having Microsoft adding its swipe features that are currently available on iOS and Android clients. Other features include support for multiple accounts and an easy way to add Google or Exchange accounts. The Mail client seems to be branded as plain ‘Mail’ right now, but Microsoft has plans to change its name in the final release to Outlook.
Looking at the Calendar app, users will be excited to know that Microsoft has finally added support for Google Calendar. The current Windows 8.1 calendar has no such support, but Microsoft seems to be correcting its mistake in its next OS version. Its aesthetics have also changed compared to the current version, having it be more colourful and feel like an actual Office app this time. One strange thing that Microsoft did with this version of Calendar seems to be that it did not integrate it with the Mail app, meaning that your synched calendars are separate to your email accounts.
Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
IBM’s Security division has been researching a malware attack they have named ‘The Dyre Wolf’ which is said to have been responsible for stealing over $1 million.
It is said that the hacking campaign uses targeted spear phishing emails, malware and a phone conversation on organisations that use wire transfers.
IBM stated that the attack starts with a single user opening an infected email attachment, having it contacting the attacker’s website and downloading the Dyre malware that hijacks the user’s address book and mails itself through the organisation.
After the infection mentioned above takes place, if a user attempts to log into a banking site, it loads up a new screen that says the site is experiencing issues and shows a phone number for the user to call and make their transaction.
Once the attacker has all the user’s details, a wire transfer is made that runs through a series of international banks. IBM recommends that companies train their employees not to open suspicious attachments or links and remind them that banks do not request their banking credentials in any way.
Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information
Royal Mail and Amazon have joined forces to allow Amazon customers to pick-up parcels from UK Post Offices. This will bring the number of Amazon’s drop-off points to 16,000 in the UK.
The news has lead a number of experts to believe that this is Royal Mail’s way of keeping relevant after it was suggested that Amazon using its own delivery services could damage Royal Mail’s business by 2%. Amazon has increasingly been less reliant on third-party couriers and delivery services, as it has been building its own logistics infrastructure. This keeps Amazon’s costs down while enabling them to deliver more quickly, allowing for services like Amazon Prime and its next-day delivery.
The UK’s Royal Mail was privatised last year amid claims that its business is losing out to online services. A big proportion of Royal Mail’s business, the delivery of letters, has been in decline for a number years due to the rise of paperless communications.
A cyber-tip, generated by Google and then sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, has led to the arrest of a 41-year-old previous convicted child molester from Houston. The Police say that Google detected explicit images of a young girl in one of the emails of John Henry Skillern was trying to send to a friend and alerted the authorities.
“He was trying to get around getting caught, he was trying to keep it inside his email,” said Detective David Nettles of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. “I can’t see that information, I can’t see that photo, but Google can.”
Skillern is a registered sex offender who was convicted of sexually assaulting an 8 year-old boy back in 1994. According to the Sex Offender Registry he lives in Houston, but the police said he spends a lot of his time at his parent’s home in Pasadena.
After obtaining a search warrant, investigators said they found child porn on both Skillern’s phone and tablet. They also found text messages and e-mails where he talked about his interest in children. Skillern also worked as a cook for a Denny’s restaurant in Pasadena. They say he also had video on his cell phone of young children visiting the restaurant with their families.
“He seemed like a nice, normal man,” said neighbour Yesenia Gonzales. “Thank goodness for Google.”
Skillern has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of promotion of child pornography and is being held on a $200,000 bond. Google wouldn’t respond to our questions about their technology used to fight child porn, but police are grateful for the tip. “I really don’t know how they do their job,” said Nettles. “But I’m just glad they do it.”
Thank you KHOU for providing us with this information
The Tomorrowland Music Festival is a place where everybody wanting to party and have a good time comes, dances together, has fun and even makes some memories with some new best friends. Most of the friendships however disappear as easily as they are formed, but not at Belgium’s Tomorrowland Music Festival it seems.
The social media giant, Facebook, has apparently made its presence known this time around, having prepared a unique bracelet as an entry ticket as well as a way to keep track of your new friends at the event. The bracelet in question can be activated on the Tomorrowland website by filling in your details along with the unique serial number on the back of the bracelet. Once done, you can also link the bracelet to your Facebook account in order to get access to its second useful feature.
As soon as the bracelet is activated and linked to your Facebook account, it is said that you can start using it to get connected with new friends once arrived at the festival. In order to do that, two or multiple bracelets have to be close to one another and have the connect button pressed simultaneously on all of them. This will trigger a ‘daily special friendship email’, having to contain all the contact details of your newly made friends.
It is said that the bracelet would have been mailed in a special ‘Treasure Chest’ after receiving a Mail letter with additional information and the key to opening the chest. After receiving the latter and activating the bracelet, you can start the 10 day countdown before the festival starts and the fun begins.
Since the massive Yahoo! ad-malware problem was not enough, apparently Yahoo! Mail got hit ‘big time’ recently, leading to an unknown number of Yahoo mail user account names and passwords stolen.
Yahoo mail users seem to be the most recent victim of mass data theft. Yahoo, in a security update posted today, claims to have “identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts.” This really does not come as a surprise, but a question to Yahoo!’s credibility. First malware attacks, now this? Yahoo! might be standing in the same boat as Google with all their late ‘misfortunes’.
The company took action on behalf of its users, prompting them to reset passwords on the breached accounts. So far, Yahoo’s investigation the list of usernames and passwords uses in the attack were harvested from a third-party with access to Yahoo credentials. The company believes that “the information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts’ most recent sent emails.”
Up until now, Yahoo! has not released any comments or an estimated number of affected accounts implicated in the attack. Federal law enforcement has been notified of the attack, and Yahoo has “implemented additional measures to block attacks against Yahoo’s systems.”
Thank you Electronista for providing us with this information
After the incident about the Google services going down today, TechChrunch and Gizmodo also found some interesting things about Google’s Gmail services. If you are to search for Gmail on Google, you will get a link like the one below, which will open up a new e-mail pre-filled with somebody’s e-mail address.
The picture shows how the browser will redirect you to a new mail composer with the person’s e-mail address pre-filled in the “To” entry field. TechCruch also did some digging into the e-mail address and found out that it belongs to David S Peck, one of the internet’s most popular inbox owner. He confirmed to TechCrunch that he is indeed receiving thousands of emails, most of them blank as it does not fill the content of the generated e-mail as well. “The issue actually started yesterday,” he says, “and he contacted Hotmail support this morning to try to get help.” Ironically, he asked them to contact him at his alternate email address, which is Gmail.
We then tried to replicate the same thing ourselves, but we got a new e-mail address this time. The “To” field got filled with “firstname.lastname@example.org”. We did some digging into this ourselves, and we came across a Jeffrey Morse, a Naval Science Instructor from the Township High School District 214 located in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Whether or not this is the owner of the address, it is our best bet since there is no point disturbing the poor man, especially if he is already flooded by other e-mails.
There has been a Google service outage, Gmail glitches that spam people’s e-mail addresses, what are we to expect next? Google’s search engine? There was an isolated case last year, in which Google’s search engine indeed went down. Are we to expect a same scenario this year as well? A lot of questions with no answer it seems.
Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information Image courtesy of Gizmodo
Today, Google’s Gmail and Google+ services has been down for roughly 50 minutes. Reports from Europe, Canada, India, United States and other countries confirm that it was a worldwide phenomenon which affected a lot of users, including companies, from big to small.
Whoever tried to access Gmail or Google+ would be greeted with an “Error 500” code, which indicated a temporary problem but not the cause. The 500 code error in browsers represents the service is temporarily out-of-order and points primarily to the server or servers in use. The Google+ outage also has reportedly affected some YouTube comments working on the new system by not loading them when viewing YouTube videos.
Attempting to access the Gmail box through an external client such as Outlook or Thunderbird, or even from your mobile phone, both through POP and IMAP did not help as well. Also, it is said that Google’s Site Reliability Engineering team was also performing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit when the issue started to occur, not exactly the right time to do something like this it seems. We all know what happened next.
Google named it as a “disruption” in its Gmail services and promised to fix it as soon as possible. Well, the services went online for a brief period after the issues started to appear, but went down again, only to start going back online 50 minutes later. Currently, not all services are fully functional worldwide and nobody knows exactly when they will be. You can check the services’ status on Google’s Apps Status Dashboard here. Google officials did not release any more information regarding what caused the outage, and most likely will never comment on the exact cause of the problems.
Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information Image courtesy of
Yahoo has reported a while back that on January the 3rd, their website has been infected with ad-related malware content. The FoxIT security company reported that the UK, France and Romania were the countries who suffered heavily due to this attack, but further details prove more to it.
First of all, Yahoo stated this Friday that the attack took palace between December 27th and January 3rd, not only on January the 3rd as previously thought. This widens the window of malware infection, and also confirms the fact that more than 2 million PCs may have been infected. Also, Yahoo said that people outside Europe may have been hit by the infected ads before they could do something about it. Anyone using the Yahoo Mail or IM services during that time frame may have been served malware which exploits vulnerabilities in Java and had installed a variety of malware-related software.
Another security company based in the United States called Light Cyber said that one of the malware present in Yahoo’s ad network was designed to link infected PCs and form a Bitcoin mining operation. Other exploits involve theft of usernames and passwords, disabling antivirus software and remote control of computers. To be noted is that Mac computers or mobile devices were not harmed by the software, only PCs, laptops and netbooks running on Windows-based operating systems were vulnerable to the attack.
Yahoo has released some precautionary steps to take in order to prevent and detect further infection by the malware in cause: