September 28, 2010

Send It To Everyone You Know!

I keep waiting for people to catch on.  Silly of me isn't it. Yet, years and years have passed and I still receive hoax emails about "a dangerous virus".

Taking 5 seconds to google "email virus hoax" along with whatever sentence they say is contained in the destructo email itself and you will immediately find lists of links to tell you not only is it a hoax, but it's been around since the late 1990's or early 2000's (aka the beginning of real email usage). 

"If you open the email it will destroy your entire computer!!!!! Send this warning to everyone you know!!!!!"

Oddly enough, back in the days of slower systems and slower internet pipes, this kind of message was used to cause Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.  Send a few of these out to "kind hearted souls" with large address books and they send to everyone... who send to everyone... who... and you get the point.  Email traffic increases exponentially bringing down the system.

At the very least, any email containing the words "Send this to everyone you know!"  Should cause an immediate move to the delete key (and the reply button where you tell the person who sent it to you to cut it out).

"It was confirmed by snopes!!! Confirmed I say!!!  The email itself said so!!!" 

It takes you all of another few seconds to go to snopes and check it out yourself... where you will find that they already know the hoax includes their website.

Of course no one will bother using google or  bing or even snopes.  Why bother when they can just send it out to everyone they know.  It's so much easier.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 10:29 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 287 words, total size 2 kb.

September 19, 2010

Widgety Malware?

Well, not really.  But everyone with malware detectors is getting warnings.  Blogrolling talks about it in this post.

Suffice it to say, if you have a blogrolling widget on your blog - it will give off false positives.  Also they will soon be shutting down the system, so you'll need to figure out some other blog roll system.

I'm not really sure what I want to do. I am very bad at taking care of my blog roll.  I almost never use it as I have my links in a reader.  I have removed the blogrolling code, but I can't decide whether to move the rest of my blog roll to a separate page or just leave it alone.

So does anyone actually hit up other blogs off blogrolls?  Just wondering.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 09:22 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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September 14, 2010

If You're Gonna Be a Real Estate Mogul

I saw this story on ZDNet today and found it very creepy. (Australia)

Crims use hacked email to steal house

State, federal and overseas police agencies will investigate the complex scam, which is considered the first of its kind in Australia. It is alleged scammers had stolen Mildenhall's email account and personal and property documents to sell the houses and funnel cash into Chinese bank accounts.
Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) spokesperson Brian Greig said that the transactions were made via email, telephone and fax, without "interpersonal connections" with the legitimate owner.

We often complain about the security roadblocks thrown in our way by computer security people.  This would be one reason why.  Machines can not differentiate between the real person and a scam artist.  It's the electronic equivalent of someone going to a closing and pretending to be you. 

I doubt this will get much attention other than people feeling sorry for this guy.  He isn't in political power.  If he had been - you know they'd be considering an immediate law passed saying something like "Everyone must attend the closing and bring 3 forms of ID + 3 people who have known you 10 years and are known to the bank officials too"... or something like that.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 09:19 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 220 words, total size 2 kb.

September 09, 2010

Don't Click That Link

It's been a while since there's been a really fun email trojan to wreak havoc among the masses. People were hit so often they became wary. For the last few years the email virus business was not at all good.  There were no big stories, there were no massive strikes.  Most people used their antivirus and they felt safe.

However, like most things, after a while, people become complacent. This leads us to the latest story...

Beware of Link: E-Mail Virus Plays Havoc With Internet

An e-mail virus swept through the Internet Thursday, snarling traffic and taking down servers at ABC, NASA, Comcast, and Google -- and possibly even affecting the Department of Homeland Security.

The virus, called “Here You Have” or VBMania, is a simple Trojan Horse: An e-mail arrives in your inbox with the suggestive subject line “here you have.” The body reads “This is The Document I told you about, you can find it Here” or “This is The Free Download Sex Movies, you can find it Here.”


Go read the rest.  Even if it looks like it's from someone you know - don't click links.  Especially with such generic wording.


As this is not email, I do post links and say - go patch your flash if you haven't done so already. Go here. Get the latest version no matter what browser you use.  When my Firefox updated, it told me to go patch the flash, but if you are using another browser that hasn't updated... go forth and patch.

Speaking of Adobe

Hackers exploit new PDF zero-day bug, warns Adobe

You may want to look into a different PDF reader like Foxit.

If you're on a Mac and want to have the ability to edit PDF documents you might check out PDFpen from Smile.  Otherwise Preview reads PDF files and it comes with your Mac OS.

Any of these are safer than Adobe right now.

If you run Windows, next Tuesday is the day to watch:

Microsoft plans double-sized Patch Tuesday next week

It will include Windows, Office and Web browser patches.

I think that's enough for one night.  Keep up with your patches and watch out for those email links.   It's a jungle out there.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 10:17 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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