Sunday Funnies: Damn Autocorrect!

In the August 2014 issue, Wired Magazine has an interesting article about the history of Autocorrect and it’s predecessor, Microsoft’s Spell Check, and the guy who started it all, Dean Hachamovitch.  What started out as dictionary lists of commonly misspelled words is now an algorithm driven monster that takes what you are writing and turns it into other stuff that is daffy, funny, or sometimes embarrassingly obscene.   Not reviewing the article here, but instead sharing a couple of ...

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How a Phishing Attack Works

I just read an article on Sophos that shows all the steps in a typical phishing exploit.  The example they used was a spoofed iTunes scam, where the attackers warn you that unauthorized persons are buying songs on your account.  If you really want to learn how to spot and avoid these threats, you should make the click over to their site.  But basically the exploits starts with an email (as many of them do.)

The red flags in ...

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Your Health Information At Risk–Weak Vendor Security

As the Target Christmas case unfolded, the initial breach was eventually traced back to a refrigeration and AC vendor for a few of Target’s Ohio and Pennsylvania stores.  A clever spearphishing email caused some one at the contractor to reveal user credentials that allowed the attackers into one part of the network, and then they were able to traverse onto other more important parts of the network.

Well as bad at that was, the situation for your medical records is probably ...

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Russian POS Hacker Arrested in the Maldives is Son of Russian Parliament Member

The US swooped down and scooped up Roman Valerevich Seleznev, 30, of Vladivostok, who is also know as Track2 and Bulba on Dark Net credit card exchange boards.  Seleznev was evidently vacationing in the Maldives, a popular set of resort islands in the Indian Ocean.  He is responsible for collecting credit card information directly from compromised point of sale (POS) systems, and reselling them on card trader boards on the Internet.  He was indicted in 2011 on:

five counts of bank ...

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Sunday Funnies at Ax-Man Surplus Stores

If you have never been to Ax-Man, well you have missed out on a wonderful and hilarious experience.  With 4 locations in St Paul, Fridley, St Louis Park, and Crystal, there ought to be a location near to you, if you live in the Twin Cities anyway.  We were in the Crystal store on a Sunday recently, to browse the racks of surplus electronics, corks, jars, boxes, parts, packs and bags, wire, rope, ties, and other surplus detritus ...

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How Do I Spy On Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

In case you are wondering what your tax dollars have been doing over at the NSA, there was an interesting release from the Snowden files that appeared in Bruce Schneier’s Crypto-Gram newsletter on July 15th.  If you are interested in more information, you can find it on First Look.  Just because you have “nothing to hide” doesn’t mean that they can’t find something to hang you with.  And here is how they can do it.  Just saying…

Here is ...

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SEA Hacks Reuters Using Advertising

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) the middle east’s answer to the NSA, recently defaced the website of news agency Reuters.  They accomplish this by hacking the advertising servers of third-party advertising provider Taboola.  The SEA evidently gained access to Taboola through the use of phishing emails which asked the recipients for their logon credentials.  This is a very simple to use attack and almost anyone could use, and re-emphasizes the need for employee security awareness training.  This could have been ...

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“GameOver”Not Over Yet, CryptoLocker Scammers Are Back

In June major parts of the GameOver botnet including the command and control servers, were taken down by police.  There was a brief respite in the distribution of the CryptoLocker ransomware exploit, but it looks like the cybercriminals are back in action.

As reported by Sophos, the GameOver crew is back in action as of last week, sending out a spam barrage to trick the unwary into downloading the CryptoLocker ransomware.  It appears that the email is designed to ...

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Al-Qaeda Rolls Their Own Encryption

As reported by Bruce Schneier back in May, one of the outcomes of the Snowden revelations is that some people are abandoning open source encryption tools for things they are brewing up on their own.  And while home-brewing may be great for beer, proper cryptography is many orders of magnitude more difficult to make than beer.  Al-Qaeda is one of the organizations reputedly creating three new “NSA-proof” encryption schemes.

Since 2007, Al-Qaeda’s use of encryption technology has been based on ...

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