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Fiona Burgess is the Business Development Manager of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinions of the authors.

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Review Entries for Day Thursday, 02 July 2009

We have recently seen a slight twist in the usual phishing emails that are designed to lure the unwary to web sites with malicious content. These emails, usually informing the recipient that they need to confirm their bank details or other credentials, have become common place and most users are probably sufficiently aware not to be tricked.

However, we have seen a number of emails recently that inform the user that they have a message in their secure inbox on their bank's web site and that they need to urgently log in to read it. Needless to say, the actual link in the email goes nowhere near a reputable bank!

The twist is that several banks and social networking sites do actually use the concept of a secure inbox on their web site to ensure confidential communication with their customers (remember email is far from confidential) and frequently send a normal email to alert the user that they have items needing their attention.

Such emails would be easy to spot if the recipient didn't use the bank that is purported to have sent the email. However, we think some of the emails are sufficiently similar to the branding of existing banks to potentially trick the unsuspecting, who may be customers of the impersonated bank.

We expect this scam to also target social networking sites, such as Facebook, in the near future.

These new phishing emails are, then, very plausible if you use banks or social networking sites that have this facility and use the same branding...

Our advice is NOT to click on links in suspicious or unexpected emails.

You can easily assess the danger of many links by simply hovering the mouse over them. Most newer email programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, will show a popup tooltip displaying the real target for the link. You must examine the link details very carefully to ascertain whether they are safe.

 a screenshot of a phishing email showing a tooltip displaying the real target address for the link

A screen-shot showing a typical tooltip that is displayed when a link is hovered over in Microsoft Outlook. Note that although the link purports to take the reader to their secure inbox, the link actually targets a Russian web site (ie: a .ru domain).

The trend is to embed the name of a well-known bank into the links to trick even the wary. A typical link might look like www.my-well-known-bank.very-malicious-site.cn, etc.

If in doubt, don't!

Posted by Revell Research Systems
Thursday, 02 July 2009 12:01:01 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Friday, 26 June 2009

Revell Research Systems has just launched a web site for West Country Home Finders, a relocation business based just outside of Exeter in Devon.

 image of home page for west country home finders web site

The West Country Home Finders web site, designed by Revell Research Systems, which is fully XHTML and CSS compliant, adheres to accessibility guidelines and is in line with UK legislation.

The business has recently been set up by Lisa Morgan-Anstee and specialises in finding property in the West Country for potential buyers.

The business offers a high degree of personal service and targets people looking to buy houses in the region, who may not be looking for property at the very top of the market.

Mrs Morgan-Anstee particularly wanted to reflect the strengths of the West Country. We spent a lot of time working to ensure that the site used photography to promote the look and feel of life in the South West.

 

fiona burgess (revell research systems) presents lisa morgan-anstee (left) with the new web site for her business

Fiona Burgess (Revell Research Systems) presents Lisa Morgan-Anstee (left) with the new web site for her business.

I’m particularly pleased with this project, since I was the principal fee earner on the assignment. The web site is fully compliant with the necessary XHTML and CSS standards, as well as complying with accessibility guidelines and UK legislation.

Like all our work, this project was overseen by a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) within our practice.

Posted by Fiona Burgess
Friday, 26 June 2009 14:06:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Friday, 22 May 2009

Frank Land will be addressing the South West Branch of The British Computer Society (BCS) at is meeting at 7:30pm at The University of Plymouth on Thursday, 28th May 2009 in the Devonport Lecture Theatre of the Portland Square Building.

He will provide an alternative view of Knowledge Management, which has existed as a sub-discipline within Information Systems (IS) for around two decades. Knowledge is a critical asset that enables an organisation to survive and prosper in the global competitive market place.
 
The event is open to the general public, who will be assured of a warm welcome from members of the local branch. Anyone interested in attending should register on the branch's web site:-
 
http://www.bcs-southwest.org.uk
Posted by Revell Research Systems
Friday, 22 May 2009 12:34:16 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Thursday, 14 May 2009

Alastair Revell was returned as a committee member of the South West Branch of The British Computer Society at its AGM on Wednesday, 13th May 2009 in Plymouth.

Alastair Revell, the practice’s Managing Consultant, has already served on the committee for a year.

 john gallehawk with an enigma machine 

John Gallehawk, from The Blethcley Park Trust,
demonstrating the use of an Enigma Machine.

The AGM meeting was followed by a light buffet and a talk by John Gallehawk from The Bletchley Park Trust, entitled: “The Second World War Code Breaking Centre at Bletchley Park”, which was extremely well received by all those present.

The highlight was using an Enigma code machine, as used by the Germans during World War II, to encode and decipher messages.

Posted by Revell Research Systems
Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:42:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Further to the earlier post about The IAP Spring Seminar for 2009, which is being held on Friday, 24th April 2009, at the Museum in the Docklands in London, the programme has been finalised with an interesting and exciting array of speakers.

Peter Green FIAP, the current Technical Director of The Telegraph Newspaper Group, will start proceedings by discussing the future of the newspaper publishing industry. He is well-placed to provide some insight into this topic, with over 25 years’ experience in the sector. He has been Operations Director at The International Herald Tribune and The European as well as IT Manager for the Press Association.

Professor Dominic Palmer-Brown, the Associate Dean of Computing and Technology at the University of East London will address the topic of designing Britain’s future in IT. Professor Palmer-Brown is widely published and holds the chair in Neural Computing at the University of East London.

Jim Goulding FIAP, once a producer/director of News at Ten, will continue the news publishing theme by plotting the course of IT development in the support and production of television news. He has worked for all the major TV companies in the United Kingdom and was in at the very beginning of Channel 4.

Ed Gibson, Microsoft’s Chief Security Adviser, will conclude proceedings by discussing current security threats. Ed Gibson is a former FBI special agent of twenty years’ standing and was attached to the US Embassy in London between 2000 and 2005. During this period, he was responsible for all the FBI’s hi-tech programmes to combat Internet extortion, blackmail, cyber-terrorism and intellectual property theft.

More details are on The Institution of Analyst and Programmers web site at www.iap.org.uk.

Posted by Revell Research Systems
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 19:43:17 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, 04 March 2009

The South West Branch of The British Computer Society (BCS), the chartered IT body for the IT profession, is holding a presentation at The Bridge Inn (in the Malt House room) in Topsham at 7:30pm on Tuesday, 10th March 2009.

The speaker will be Master Brewer Tim Machin, who will be drawing on his 30 years experience with Bass to review the recent history of process automation within the brewing industry. Tim has helped develop the industry standard approach to process automation during this period of rapid technological change, whilst maintaining a healthy interest in the end product.

Professor Steve Furnell, the Chairman of The British Computer Society South West Branch is inviting anyone working in Information Technology to join them at this free event, which will have ample opportunity for networking after the presentation and will also include light refreshments. However, numbers are limited and those interested in attending must register at the BCS South West web site http:// www.bcs-southwest.org.uk.
Posted by Revell Research Systems
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 21:49:46 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, 01 December 2008

Martin Peniak has been awarded the 2008 Revell Research Systems Prize at the University of Plymouth. Mr Peniak attained the highest final marks in the university's BSc(Hons) Computing programme in 2008, achieving a first class degree in the subject.

Mr Peniak, who graduated in the summer, was presented with the prize by the consultancy's Managing Consultant, Alastair Revell, at a small ceremony on Monday, 1st December 2008.

Martin Peniak, who is from Slovakia, came to the United Kingdom in June 2004 to initially study English. He subsequently enrolled as a student on the BSc(Hons) Computing programme at the University of Plymouth.

Since graduating from the programme, Martin has started a PhD at the university researching artificial intelligence under Professor Angelo Cangelosi.

The consultancy has awarded the prize annually since 2006 to the best undergraduate on the BSc(Hons) Computing programme. The scope of the prize will be widened from 2009 onwards to include degrees combined with Computing at the university. The prize was established in 2006 to mark the practice's twenty-first anniversary. Revell Research Systems was founded in 1985 by Alastair Revell.

martin peniak (centre) receiving the 2008 prize from alastair revell, with his tutor dr nigel barlow (right) looking on

Martin Peniak (centre) receiving the 2008 prize from Alastair Revell
with his tutor Dr Nigel Barlow (right) looking on.

 

Posted by Revell Research Systems
Monday, 01 December 2008 11:41:11 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Saturday, 08 November 2008

The British Computer Society (BCS) has voted in favour of creating a registration body to license other organisations to award the Chartered IT Professional (CITP) qualification. Currently, only The British Computer Society can confer chartered status on IT professionals in the United Kingdom.

The vote, which took place on Thursday, 6th November 2008, was carried with 91.2% of the society's professional members that voted being in favour.

The vote means that the BCS will now seek the approval of The Privy Council, which oversees the chartered professions in the UK, for the change to be made. Once this is given, the BCS will be able license other bodies to make the award, while its maintains both ownership and control of the standard, which will make the qualification open to members of other professional societies involved in Information Technology.

BCS President Alan Pollard is quoted as saying "The IT profession now encompasses everything from business change to service delivery, from information security to solutions architecture. Consequently there are significant numbers of IT professionals belonging to other professional bodies in areas such as engineering, accountancy and information management.

"By licensing other bodies to award CITP, we can join forces to make it a truly world class standard, increasing the recognition and standing of the profession in the UK and internationally."

The Chartered IT Professional (CITP) qualification is on a par with other chartered qualifications in the United Kingdom, such as chartered accountants and chartered surveyors; and is regarded as such by HM Government.

Posted by Revell Research Systems
Saturday, 08 November 2008 11:50:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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