Stemming the Tide

With all the accounts of Phishing horrors and IT security advisories warning against it, FBI’s breakthrough against a US-Egypt Phishing scam is definitely a welcome in the war against identity theft.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said 33 people were arrested across the United States early Wednesday while authorities in Egypt charged 47 more people linked to the scam.

A total of 53 suspects were named in connection with the scam in a federal grand jury indictment, the FBI said.

Authorities said the sophisticated identity theft network had gathered information from thousands of victims which was used to defraud American banks.

While there are a lot that remains to be done, the headway provides at least some sense of justice to those paranoid about their privacy and financial information in a world becoming more and more interconnected everyday.

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7.5 Going 8.0

I’ve been using AVG Free for computer protection ever since I’ve had my own laptop at home. Back then, my primary consideration was cost. After doing a modest amount of research, I went for it. Right now, I have 2 notebooks here running the software for security and protection.

Since version 7.5 would be supported by updates until the end of this month only, I decided to make the jump on a lazy Saturday afternoon. At least that’s what the AVG advisory which came up after the most recent updates I ran in both notebooks said.

Anyway, after running the 8.0.1 installer, making the initial one-time setup, mandatory restart then finally the security database updates, here’s how it looks like on the task bar:

and the new UI for the software.

AVG Screenshot

A lot different from the previous version. The most immediately visible and definitely useful difference though was when I used a search engine using Firefox. Doing so displayed:

In this case it’s a Google search. The checked green star icons affixed beside each returned result affirms no surprises from the site. I’ve checked a similar result using IE in the same laptop as well and the same go signals appear there. Doing mouse-overs on the markers shows the following remarks from AVG:

Google Search 2

Pretty nifty and absolutely helpful for the not-so-technical experts if you ask me.

On Chinese Hackers

A PDI InfoTech article caught my attention last week. If it is to be believed, the chinese hackers had compromised the security of secret information of the British government by hacking into its networks. Also reported are attacks on the US defense department from the chinese as well.

Well I guess they, (the chinese,) are taking their R&D dead seriously.

Triple X

As I was about to log on to my blog to create an entry, this blog article got my attention. It basically refers to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’, (ICANN,) recent disapproval of proposed “.xxx” domain for online porn.

The internet never ceases to amaze me. Over the years of using it, I have seen how powerful the internet superhighway has become it terms of capability and scope and if there’s one quality I would attribute to it, it’s definitely not going to be censorship. Not that I don’t agree with the body’s ruling but a valid point was raised regarding having all online porn comply with the proposal if ever it got to push throug.

That has to yield more protection for children online compared to the current hodgepodge of porn across several domains which at times can be mistaken for something else.

Sammy’s Script

As I was sifting through the wordpress’ FAQ’s, I came across the following outdated article somewhere. Actually what had me spend some time writing about a year and a half IT newsflash was the technical explanation of the worm’s code.

I guess the fact that I started out my IT career learning the dirty work of keeping chaos at bay in Trend coupled with inate massochistic tendencies led me to actually study the virus off my free time, (a lot of people say I’m a geek in denial. Go figure.)

Coincidentally, the article in the first link’s post date coincides with my birthday.