About Steve Bell

Steve has a background in IT and business journalism and in the past has written extensively for both the UK national and trade press including The Guardian, Independent-on-Sunday, The Times, The Register, MicroScope and Computer Weekly. He's also worked for most of the world's largest IT companies in a copy and content producing capacity. He has a particular focus on IT security and has been involved in writing about the industry at various levels ranging from magazine launches to producing newsletters. He also runs a small copy writing business called Art of Words. When not bashing away at a keyboard he can sometimes be found in a boxing gym making futile efforts to keep fit or marveling at the works of Sufi poets such as Jalaluddin Rumi and Hafiz of Shiraz.


Watch out, an Exe is about

email malware .exe attachments are a favourite tool for cyber villains to download malware onto your computer. That said they’re easy to identify and safeguard against if you know what you’re looking for. But hackers take it as a given that most people don’t know how to identify different file types hence the continued popularity of .exe attachments to hide malware.

One of the most common tricks used by hackers is to get unsuspecting users to click on a malicious .exe file which leads to malware being downloaded onto a computer. They’re usually sent to you as an email attachment with the email offering some form of compelling inducement to get you to open the attachment.

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Spooky silence

HalloweenBet you didn’t know that according to Wikipedia Halloween is a Christian feast influenced by Celtic harvest festivals with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Thought so. But does it matter? Today Halloween is great fun for children… and hackers. Hackers? In the parlance it’s a calendar event that is used to slip all sorts of rogue malware beneath the radar. But this Halloween it’s eerily quiet on the hacking front, which begs the question, what’s cooking in the cyber crime cauldron?

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Blog it… and back it up

blog hackedWith something like 500 million blogs out there some of them are inevitably going to be compromised by hackers. If you find that your blog has been hacked the first step is to check whether the web hosting company that provides the blog platform has been hacked. If not, then you’re probably the victim of a specific attack. If so, there are a few simple things you can do to get you and up and running again… and to stop any future attacks.

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Media storm sets the scene

hackWith high profile cyber hacks happening almost every week and the media often covering them in a breathless and sensationalist manner you’d be forgiven for thinking that going on to the internet is the equivalent of heading to Raqqa in Syria waving a large crucifix – a suicide mission. While of course, there are many dangers for the unprotected we’re not under siege by cyber misfits, we’re simply dealing with the downside of an interconnected world.

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Ten top tips for safe online banking and shopping

credit cardOnline banking and shopping are great ways to keep on top of your finances and buy the things you need without having to elbow, and be elbowed, your way through high street crowds. However, both activities are targets for hackers keen to get their digital paws on your personal information. That said, follow a few simple rules, as set out below, and you’ll be safe.

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Digital Mission Creep

privacyThe UK’s National Health Service is set to launch a sweeping scheme designed to promote better healthcare and greater efficiencies. To be successful it requires the collating of patient data in a centralised database. But critics point out that private medical records could be exposed to all and everybody. The argument illustrates how the notion of privacy is being rapidly eroded in the digital age.

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Shell shocked… by Shellshock

cybercrimeOn paper the recently discovered Shellshock virus has the potential to cause widespread chaos. In reality, it’s likely to affect only those who have poor and outdated security practises – though that might well be a large number.

The recent discovery of the Shellshock vulnerability certainly sent shockwaves rippling around the world with concerns about the potential damage to critical national infrastructure. The UK’s cyber security team Cert-UK sent an alert to all government departments saying the flaw had the ‘highest possible’ threat ratings. The US National Cyber Security Division ranked it ten out of ten for severity.

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National Express – technical security flaw can expose customers’ private data

security flowCoding errors come and coding errors go. But one thing that does remain permanent is that they’re always there, somewhere, ready to be exploited.

National Express is one of the largest transport companies in the UK. Listed on the FTSE, its coaches are a familiar sight on motorways with about 550 every day travelling close to 1,000 destinations. The company is a household name and it’s also rapidly expanding into bus and rail transport in new regions of the world.

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A plague on your Apple

Facebook Scam PageIn the wake of the Apple iPhone 6 launch, scammers, skansters and fraudsters have been busy setting up Apple themed social network pages, fraudulent competitions and SMS and email phishing campaigns, in order to get their hands on your sensitive information. Here are some tips to guard against their tricks.

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