Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

So What’s New In The World?

For the past several days, I have been noticing that my Spyware Doctor has been downloading new “definitions”.

Nothing unusual there. You want your protection to keep itself updated. But what did strike me as unusual was that there has been two or three large downloads each day. That is a lot of activity. Which (probably) means the hackers¹ are active. Due to that, I have been keeping a closer eye on my InfoSec news headlines. Here’s a few that might interest you…

* Cyber crime ringleader sentenced to five years in prison

One of the masterminds behind the infamous “Operation Phish Phry” was sentenced by a district judge to five years in prison for her part in the international ring.Read more..

So.. by miracle, they actually catch one of these *people*…
And give them a 5 year sentence (out in 3?).
Crime pays?

Do you remember MySpace? Some people used it, I have heard.

* MySpace settles with FTC after misleading users

After being charged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with sharing its users’ personal information, including browsing habits, with advertisers, social networking service MySpace has agreed to settle…Read more..

As part of the settlement, MySpace must undergo biennial audits for the next 20 years and is blocked from making future privacy misrepresentations of its users’ information.

Ewww… scary punishment. (And this is when you get caught.)
Hmmm.. Graft pays? (“Graft” is not the right word.. um.. hmmm.. “deception”?)

* MySpace employee fired for stealing info

An employee of the social networking site MySpace was recently fired after collecting the sensitive data of co-workers.

How many victims? Unknown.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers and compensation information.Read more..

Fired? Hmmm… do we need to bring back tar and feathered?

And closer to home..

* Data on 700K California home care workers, recipients lost

The personal information of home care workers and their elderly and disabled recipients may have been compromised when the storage device on which it was contained was lost in the mail.

How many victims? 700,000

What type of personal information? Full names, Social Security numbers, wages, and state identification numbers.Read more..

(Paul bangs forehead on desk.) (Can you say “encryption”?)

Keeping a sharp eye out: You can barely notice Google’s warning – in fact, you have to be actively looking for it, it is so obscure – but it seems the popular Urban Dictionary website has may have been “hacked” (aka “compromised”, aka “poisoned”)…

click on me

To find out what it means when you see that on a Search result, click here.

Be nice if Google made those warnings a little more NOTICEABLE wouldn’t it? (But doing so might erode Consumer Confidence.)

*     *     *

Watching these headlines for years… I think I am becoming a wee bit discouraged. Most discouraging? Nobody seems to care.

¹ You do know the media term “hacker” means “cyber criminal”.. right?

Be careful online folks. Use good healthy paranoid common sense. Keep your anti-malware up-to-date (even you Mac owners). And try not to give too much of your PII (personally identifiable information) away.. clowns will just lose it in the mail. Or store it on a server running unpatched Win2K..

Happy Monday.

“… it would be wise to proceed with caution.” ~ Google

Related: Report says cyber security still takes a backseat for major companies

While they are some of the most distinguished enterprises in the world, and considered big targets for cyber attacks, the report indicates that top-level management at the firms still neglect suitable governance over the “security of their digital assets.Read more..

*     *     *

Today’s quote:If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” ~ George S. Patton

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 21, 2012 - Posted by | computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News | , , , ,


  1. Hey TP,

    Thanks for the “heads up” to keep our “heads down” and our programs patched.

    Thanks for your daily commitment to keeping our www safe and sane!




    Comment by Bob Slyker | May 22, 2012 | Reply

    • Bob Slyker,
      It is good to see your name here again.

      Your timing is, well, um.. let’s go with “eerie-good”. Thank you for your support.


      Comment by techpaul | May 22, 2012 | Reply

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