Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Have you received this email?
“Thought this was good info from the Gov’t of Canada ….if you have a cell phone.
REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month.
REMINDER….. all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and
you will start to receive sales calls.
…. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS!!
To prevent this, go to the following web-site for Canadian Telephone Numbers:
http://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/ and then click on English & then on “check my registration.”
Then click on “extend my registration”.
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.
It blocks your number for five (5) years.
HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON.
It takes about 20 seconds. “
While this email states that you will be charged for the phone calls, it’s more or less a scare tactic by someone fed up with tele-marketers.
The website www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca is a legitimate website to list your phone number to help prevent telemarketers. You can verify this by visiting the CRTC’s website @ www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/g9.htm
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Many internet users are wary of sharing their personal information willy-nilly with the world, but did you know that sometimes it’s your friends who might be unwittingly passing your private details on? (more…)
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
The recent majority of spam may not be ‘MADE IN AMERICA’ but it is
getting pushed through American computers.
According to the latest stats from SophosLabs, the USA is back on top as the world’s leading spam-relaying country. In the last three months, almost one fifth of all global spam has come from computers in the Land of the Free.
The so-called “Dirty Dozen” of top spam relayers has a few changes from the last time we reported it back in October.
The top twelve spam-relaying countries for December 2012 – February 2013
|5= S. Korea
In the latter half of 2012, India had been leading the way but has now fallen back to third, with China leapfrogging into second place after a spell in the lower half of the list.
After the top two, the spammers are distributing their activities fairly evenly across the rest of the list.
Stepping back and looking at spam relay from a continental viewpoint we can see that Asia keeps the top spot (that it has held for some time now). But there has been a significant redistribution – note the shift from India to the US with a 12% swing from Asia to North America.
Top spam-relaying continents for December 2012 – February 2013
|3. North America
|4. South America
All this being said, this does not mean that the spammers themselves have migrated west – only that they’ve just recently had an easier time compromising computers in the US. So what indication might this give us about the security of American computers?
Unfortunately, when it comes to relaying spam, it is true to say that if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. Leaving your computers weakly protected opens you up to attack, but also allows the spammers to use you as an outlet to pollute the internet for everyone else (and makes you – or your country – look like the bad guy).
Don’t allow your computer to be a contributor to the global spam problem. Defend it with up-to-date anti-virus software, and apply application security patches promptly.
If you’re not sure what patches are, or what promptly means in this context, take a few minutes to listen to this quick and dirty Sophos Techknow podcast, and fellow bloggers Chet and Duck will get you up to speed.
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
The latest high-profile organisation to fall victim to cybercriminals is the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), one of the so-called Big Three television networks in the USA.
NBC’s website was “owned” and used as a go-between in a campaign to infect online visitors automatically.
Fortunately, the malevolent content on the site was up only briefly, limiting the harm that was done.
But researchers at Dutch security company SurfRight managed to grab samples of some of the malware on offer during this time.
→ The samples acquired during the NBC infection aren’t necessarily a complete manifest of the malware that was disseminated. The crooks can vary what is served up by their attack sites based on many factors, such as browser type, operating system, your location, the time of day and more.
NBC’s home page and others were affected, including the pages of late night talk show hosts Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon.
Here’s roughly how the attack played out, and how NBC got sucked into the equation:
- The IFRAME sucked in further malicious content from websites infected with an exploit kit known as RedKit.
- The exploit kit delivered one of two exploit files to try to take control over your browser via a Java vulnerability or a PDF bug.
- If the exploit worked on your computer, financially-related crimeware from the Citadel or ZeroAccess families was installed.
This, of course, is an example of a dreaded drive-by download, where the crooks use a cascade of tricks to download, install and execute software without going through any of the warnings or confirmation dialogs you might expect.
This, in turn, means that even if you are a careful and well-informed user, you may end up in trouble, since there are no obvious signs that you are doing anything risky, or even unexpected.
Obviously, it’s a big deal for anyone to redirect traffic from a high-profile site such as NBC.
However, fame is fleeting and NBC quickly took the affected pages offline, neutralising the part they played in the danger.
(NBC can’t do much about the sites hosting the other parts of this attack, such as the exploit kit files and the final malware. Nevertheless, if everyone does their bit in disrupting one or more parts of the chain, we all win.)
Make no mistake, this was not a prank or defacement.
The Citadel and ZeroAccess malware families are outright crimeware, meaning that they are malware that is written by cybercriminals, for cybercriminals, to steal items of digital value from unsuspecting users.
→ SophosLabs has published a series of technical papers on these and other phenomena in the crimeware underground. These make fascinating and highly-recommended reading, covering the evolution of malware such as Zeus, also known as Zbot, Citadel and ZeroAccess.
Crimeware is typically available to buy or to rent, so that crooks without the necessary technical skills themselves aren’t excluded from the lucrative business of stealing money, and more besides, online.
Simply put, NBC was unknowingly co-opted into a criminal operation.
If you run a web server, watch out lest you end up in similar straits yourself.
It’s not a comfortable position to be in.
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
If you don’t live in the United States but make use of Apple’s online storage system, iCloud, US authorities could technically obtain and view your information without your consent. Actually, this doesn’t just affect iCloud, but any cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and any other service that is based in the United States.
While this isn’t new news, nor reason to stop using all your cloud storage accounts, it’s still interesting and worth knowing, especially if you live outside the US but have a lot of your data stored with iCloud or another service. The Independent has an intriguing story on the subject and what it means for international users -
Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, allow US government agencies open access to any electronic information stored by non-American citizens by US-based companies. Quietly introduced during the dying days of President George W Bush’s administration in 2008, the amendments were renewed over Christmas 2012.
This basically means that if US authorities found reason, they could search your cloud storage accounts for information. Most of this was probably put into place to prevent acts of terrorism considering this rule doesn’t apply for United States residents. Even so, it just goes to show that sometimes convenience comes at the price of privacy.
The Independent goes on to explain why the rule may have went into affect -
Significantly, bodies such as the National Security Agency, the FBI and the CIA can gain access to any information that potentially concerns US foreign policy for purely political reasons – with no need for any suspicion that national security is at stake – meaning that religious groups, campaigning organisations and journalists could be targeted.
Basically FISA was put into place to target any potential threats. Basically, unless you give them a reason or raise a red flag for them to follow up on, your data probably won’t ever be looked at our touched. Any foreign readers out there have any input on whether this would affect your decision to use cloud storage services?
Source: The Independent
Friday, December 14th, 2012
The rumors are true! Google Maps for iPhone is now available in the App Store. One of the biggest things it offers that Apple Maps doesn’t (other than not getting you lost in Australia), is public transit directions by train, bus, or subway.
The main features of Google Maps includes built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, and Google Street View. You can also discover places to eat, drink, shop, and play including rating and reviews. If you sign in, you can save and quickly access all your past searches and direction from your computer, right on your iPhone.
Additionally, Google Maps lets you access live traffic information in cities across the world, see inside more that 100,000 businesses worldwide, and view high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.
Personally, I’m having issues installing Google Maps and keep getting a “this item is no longer available” error, but others are able to download it fine. We’ve heard installing through iTunes on your computer might be a good work around as well.
When you get it installed, let us know what you think!