Tech – for Everyone

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

Business As Usual: 1.5 million Stolen Facebook Accounts For Sale

One Cyber-Crook Offers 1.5 million User Accounts.. Sold In Lots Of 1,000

1.5 million stolen Facebook accounts up for grabs (click to read)

Researchers at VeriSign’s iDefense have discovered a single hacker selling 1.5 million stolen Facebook account credentials on an underground market. The stolen credentials were put up for sale by a hacker with the handle “kirllos” who is believed to be from Eastern Europe. The hacker is selling batches of 1,000 accounts with 10 Facebook “friends” for $25 and 1,000 accounts with more than 10 “friends” for up to $45. It is estimated that 700,000 accounts have already been purchased. Compromised Facebook accounts can be used by cybercriminals to spread malware, send spam or attempt to defraud a user’s “friends.” – AM” cybercrime

Kind of glad I never went in for that “social networking”/self-marketing hype. And I sincerely hope, Dear Reader, yours was not one of “krillos'” victimized accounts.

* Global cybercrime treaty rejected at U.N. (click to read)

“Russia, China and a number of developing countries could not reach agreement with the United States, Canada, the U.K. and European Union.”

* Facebook Safety: A Primer

Hmmm… wonder why China and the Ex-Soviets don’t want to get onboard..?

Maybe it’s because: “The Internet’s “shadow economy” of cybercrime is worth over $105 billion per year. Online crime is bigger business than the global drugs trade¹. No country, no person, no business and no government is immune from CyberCrime.”

Today’s recommended reading: Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues

Today’s free download: WOT is a free Internet security add-on for your web browser. It will help keep you safer from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky Website. It’s easy and it’s free.

  • So easy a child can use it
  • Ratings for over 20 million websites
  • Downloaded 3 million times
  • The WOT browser add-on is light and updates automatically
  • WOT rating icons appear beside search results in Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, and webmail – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!
  • Settings can be customized to better protect your family
  • WOT Security Scorecard shows rating details and user comments

[addenda: Regular readers may be getting a bit tired of my Internet security-related postings. I do understand. There’s been more of them lately. But, I ask you to ask yourself this question: what does that tell you? (about the Internet, I mean.) I hope you will conclude that you need to be proactive in protecting yourself (and being more paranoid) while online.]

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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April 28, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News, security, social networking, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alert: World of Warcraft Phishing E-mail

I noticed on the SophosLabs blog that Sean McDonald has warned of a *new* phishing scam that, instead of trying to steal banking logins, is trying to steal WoW accounts.

The attack uses the same methods as a banking scam — embedded hyperlinks that take you to a realistic-looking fake login page, and a scary “verify your account or else!” message. Here is what the e-mail looks like:


And here is what the bogus page looks like:


I would like to tip my geek hat to the good folks at Sophos, as well as remind you, Dear Reader, the Internet’s police force is us. Use your good “paranoid common sense” when online!

You can see Sean’s entire article here.

Today’s free link: Free Lifetime License for SUPERAntiSpyware Professional – 20 to Give Away

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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July 26, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, Phishing, phraud, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

View Multiple Mail Identities in One Browser

It has become quite common practice to have more than one e-mail account — you might use one that came with your ISP service, and you might also have a Webmail account (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail), for example.

Opening each Inbox, so you can monitor them, is a simple matter of opening a new tab (see, Browser tab quick tips for more) and logging in– as long as we’re talking about different services.

If you have more than one “Identity” at a Webmail provider, (two different Gmail accounts, say) you typically are automatically ‘logged out’ of one when you log in to the other from the same computer. This is annoying. Here’s how to fix that behavior.

Tip of the day: Change IE’s settings to allow separate log ins.
As strange it may seem, you need to close Internet Explorer, and then make a change in Folder Options.. this will affect IE as Microsoft consider it to be a part of the operating system.

1) Start >Control Panel >Folder Options (XP user: Start >Settings >)

2) Click on the “View” tab.
3) Scroll down until you see “Launch folder windows in a separate process” and place a check in the checkbox.
4) Click “Apply”, and then “OK”.

That’s it. You’re done. Now you can launch IE and you will be able to log in to each of your Identities/Inboxes, and one will no longer ‘log out’ the other.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 6, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, how to, IE 7, Internet, performance, tech, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some basic security pointers–#1

Is your computer a zombie? You can never be too secure, and neither can your PC. These few steps will go a long way in keeping your private information away from prying eyes, and prevent your machine from being used as a “zombie” by tech-savvy evil doers. (Most owners of zombie PCs are totally unaware that their computers are being used in this way.)

Tip of the day: The two basic steps I will discuss today–password protecting your User Accounts (and requiring logging in), and renaming your Administrator Account–should be prefaced with a quick description of what is, exactly, a strong password.

Strong passwords should be “complex”. That means that they should contain both upper and lower-case letters, special characters (!@#$%^&*(){}[]) and numbers, and be at least eight characters long, and–most definately–not be a word (or name) found in the dictionary. Your passwords (notice the plural. It is not wise to use the same password for everything.) will be easier to remember if you make them into a ‘passphrase’. A equestrian might use a passphrase of 1Lu^h0rsez, for example.

Now that you have a good password, it’s time to require authentication to use your machine. Start by clicking on Start>Control Panel>User Accounts (or Start>Settings>Control Panel>User Accounts. Depending on your version and preference setting). Then click on “Change an account,” and then click on “Create a password for your account.” Enter your password, twice, and if you’ld like, a password “hint” that will remind you (but not clue in the whole world) of your new password. Click “Create password.”

Now, since knowing your User Name is half the battle, click on “Change the way users log on or off.” Deselect (by unchecking the check in the checkbox) “Use the Welcome screen.”

Unbeknownst to most folks, Windows has a hidden Administrator account (this becomes vitally important when troubleshooting failing systems, or when User accounts get “locked out”) named “Administrator”. Hackers are well aware of this, and it is their favorite method of gaining access (and control over) your machine; since they know the User name, all they have to do is guess the password–which by default, and unless you set one, there isn’t one! Remedy this in XP Professional by going to Control Panel>Administrative Tools (you must use Classic View) and clicking on Local Security Policy. Then in the left column click on the plus sign next to Local Policies, and then click the Security Options folder (If you receive a warning about Group Policy, just ignore it) and a series of policies will appear in the right pane. The 4th or 5th one from the top should be “Accounts: Rename administrator account”. Double click on it and a dialogue box will open. Enter a new name, and click Apply, and OK.

In XP Home, the method is to click Start>Run. In the Run dialogue type in “Control userpasswords2” [no quotes] and click OK. From the User Accounts dialogue box, select the Administrator Account and click Properties. Enter the new name in the User Name text box, and click OK.

(For other versions of Windows the methodology is similar, but I recommend Searching Microsoft’s website for the specific steps.)

The last step is to congratulate yourself, because you have just made your computer much, much harder for a determined cracker to penetrate, and practically eliminated access to the casual browser.

Today’s free link: Steve Gibson’s ShieldsUp! This free scan, offered by a true giant in the computer field, analyzes your computer for vulnerabilities coming from the Internet, and tells you how your private data may be visible to outsiders. This link will appeal to the more tech-savvy, and be an eye openning experience for those of you who have not learned about firewalls yet.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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June 9, 2007 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, file system, how to, passwords, PC, privacy, rootkits, security, tech, User mode, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments