Washout summers and Openreach delays

The football is back in full swing, the schools are opening their doors ready for the new term, summer is winding down and we are getting wound up! From early year hosepipe bans to floods and some of highest levels of rain since records began in less than a few months, this summer has been a soggy one to say the least and it looks like the knock on effects of this unseasonal weather are set to be with us long after our (almost non-existent) tan lines have faded!

Floods, high winds and storms have afflicted many areas of the UK causing fault levels well above what would normally be expected for this time of year. Even here at Deep Blue we have not escaped unscaithed, having suffered a lightening strike earlier in August which caused quite a bit of damage and disruption (luckily our FeaturePlus Disaster Recovery plan was set up and ready to go!).

While Openreach are doing all they can to get all faults resolved as quickly as possible this is, to say the least, a mammoth task and engineers are having to be re-deployed across the country to restore service in some of the worst hit areas. The effect of this high workload is an increase in lead times for new line installs. At the moment some areas are seeing lead times of over 25 working days. As stated before, Openreach are doing all that they can to clear their workload and get everything back to something resembling normal (it would be nice if the weather could be a bit more co-operative!) and it is hoped that these lead times will start to decrease soon, but in the meantime we would advise anyone looking at adding new lines or moving site to allow extra time for these delays.

If you would like more information on current lead times in your area, disaster recovery set ups or would just like to know what it is like to be hit by lightening give us a call on 0333 240 9100 or email us at info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk

New look Newsletter

Keep a look out for our new look newsletter which will be arriving in your inbox soon, including all the latest info on our current offers and lead times as well as interesting and informative stories. If you don’t currently receive our newsletter and would like to, please email us at info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk to be added to our mailing list.

Openreach and the rioting

Following the riots in various areas of the country, some areas are having their service affected. Damage caused by vandalism and fires, coupled with restrictions to working caused by lack of access and safety concerns, have left a back log of work.

We would like to advise customers that, where possible, business is continuing as normal and that if you have a fault, please report it to us in the normal way.

The Deep Blue Networking Group

Deep Blue Networking is a brand new venture which wil bring together a group of dynamic business men and women in Yorkshire to support and work together in a relaxed environment.

It will give you an opportunity to present your business to a wider audience, search out a local reliable supplier or simply catch up with likeminded professionals, the Deep Blue Networking group is the no pressure solution. By joining you can:

• Start and contribute to online discussions on Linkedin

• Enjoy relaxed networking events in local venues after work

• Perform even?

• Act as a mentor to other businesses and individuals

• Create mutually beneficial working relationships

• Contribute to local charities

The first gig is booked for May 10 at The Royal Oak in Wetherby at 6pm. The entrance fee is £10 and you need to sign up for membership through our website or Linkedin. Click here for more details. This promises to be a refreshing change from the traditional networking formula. As an early member, you’ll get the chance to shape the direction (and song choices) of the Network. We look forward to welcoming you.

Phone Hacking (Phreaking) – Attacks in the Harrogate area

Think of phone hacking and you probably think of the current news reports of newspapers allegedly gaining access to the phones of celebrities and politicians to gather information. What you may not think of is criminals hacking into the phone systems of businesses.

Once access has been gained to a company’s network, this can be used to illegally route calls, either to make international calls or even to generate revenue from premium rate numbers, all at the expense of the hacked company. It is the latter that has recently been done to some companies in the Harrogate area.

Usually after the companies have closed (often at weekends or bank holidays to help avoid detection) the hackers have gained access to the network and called premium rate (09) and special rate (0871) numbers which they earn revenue from. In some cases this revenue is used to fund organised crime and terrorist activity.

A case in America that made it to court uncovered an international crime gang that had access to over 2,500 PBX’s and had illegally routed calls to the value of $55million dollars. Another case of note, and probably the most high profile UK victim was New Scotland Yard.

The average call charges faced by a company hit by this type of hacking is £10,000, but one company that was hit over the New Year weekend had £25,000 of call charges generated.

As you can see by the figures above, phone hacking is a serious crime and in all cases we advise affected parties to notify the police as soon as the hack is brought to their attention. The called numbers should be reported to Ofcom and Phonepay Plus.

As with computer hacking, there are measures to reduce this risk of being hit, however as fast as these measures close one door, the hackers find ways to open another.

One of the main ways access is gained is through services such as voicemail which allow you to dial into a network externally, but there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of this happening. Ensure all ways of accessing your network are password protected (just as you would put a password on your wireless internet network), change these passwords often, don’t share passwords, make passwords as long and complicated as possible (many hackers have sophisticated methods that can crack passwords 16 digits long) and keep all access codes secure (some victims had calls from individuals claiming to be from telephone companies asking codes to do work on the network or to update their security).

It is also worth considering what kinds of calls you make; does your business need to be able to call premium rate or international numbers? If not, consider call barring features so if your network was compromised, it would be harder for extensive call charges to be built up.

If phone hacking is something you are concerned about or if you would like to discuss this further, please email the office at info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk