Tech – for Everyone

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

Something to think about….

Sometimes.. a new paint job just doesn’t cover up the fact your car is still a clunker..

Attackers Divert Bank Phone Calls to Cover Tracks

(You really should read this – it’ll open your eyes – but I warn you.. the state of things is depressing. But, facts is facts, as they say.)

Researchers at Trusteer uncover banking malware that steals telephone information to help attackers re-route calls from banks alerting customers to fraud.

A new version of a sneaky piece of banking malware has been armed with a new feature to help attackers cover their tracks. According to Trusteer, certain new configurations of Ice IX – a modified variant of the Zeus platformare capturing telephone account information belonging to their victims. The goal is to enable the attackers to divert calls from banks that are intended for the customer to telephones controlled by the attacker

In one attack observed by researchers at Trusteer, the malware stole the victim’s user ID and password as well as their secret question answer, date of birth and account balance at login. In the second phase of the attack, the victim is asked to update their home, mobile and work telephone information and select the name of their service provider from a…” Read more..

Yes folks, the “cyber mafia” is sophisticated, and .. to quote a certain Congressperson, “the biggest threat to National Security we are facing”.

You should read that article – learn about “man-in-the-browser” and then think about it.. IMHO. But, sorry to depress you. They are out to get you, so please, let’s use a little “paranoid common sense” out there.

On a lighter note..

Today’s quote:I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” ~ Theodore Geisel (aka “Dr. Seuss”)

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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February 2, 2012 Posted by | hackers, Internet, News, security | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Service Pack 1 and Polite Phishing. OddJob & Meow.

Service Pack Released. Holdouts can migrate to Windows 7 now.

Last night my Win7 machine told me that there were Updates available. So, like I always do, I clicked to view the details. I noticed that one of the “Important” updates was not checked. So I looked closer and saw that it was indeed the awaited first Service Pack, which rumors had said was coming soon.
I placed a check in the checkbox, and clicked “Install”. Because Service Packs are good things. And I have been testing IE 9, so I let that upgrade to the new “Release Candidate” as well.

After a twice rebooting install, which went smoothly, my upgrades were in, and my Windows 7 machine was now 72 times faster and three times shinier. Yay!

Okay. You know I’m kidding.. right? “Service Packs” sometimes do bring new features to the operating system, but generally are simply a collection (a “pack”) of security patches and bug fixes. There is an old saying in the Geek world – Do Not Buy Until The First Service Pack Is Released.

That’s good advice. Generally speaking, you do not want Version 1.0 of anything. You want the next version.. the one where most of the bugs have been found and fixed. I have been telling people that Windows 7 is an exception to that Rule – being already remarkably stable and bug free. However, if you have been waiting, SP1 is now here.

So what is in the first Windows 7 Service Pack (aka SP1)? I quote, “Win 7 SP1 sports a little nip here and a roll-up tuck there — but there’s not a single significant enhancement to Win7.”
Woody Leonhard wrote a great piece for Windows Secrets that sums things up in a nutshell: What you need to know about Windows 7 SP1

* For those who have trouble with this Update (or.. Updates in general), see Microsoft notes Windows Update “inconsistencies,” provides fix

Cybercriminals try the polite approach:

I ask non-regular readers to note the attachment ‘paperclip’, and to trust me when I say that it is a clear signal that you do NOT want to do anything with this email except delete it — opening the email will put you on the Global Sucker List. And opening the attachment…. probably worse.
And I believe that regular readers will know that “Please confirm your identity” translates to “Please hand me your identity”.


A new banking trojan targeting U.S. customers has the ability to keep online account sessions open after customers believe they have logged off, enabling criminals to surreptitiously steal money, according to researchers at web security firm Trusteer.

Eastern European cybercrooks are using the trojan, dubbed “OddJob” by researchers, to attack banking customers in the United States, Poland and Denmark…

Learn more here, Trojan steals session IDs, bypasses logout requests

Too kewel not to post:
A reader shared with me a photo. I am not a “cat person”, but one look at this fellow…

King of his hill

and I had to smile. One ‘cool cat’ there.

Have a great day everyone!

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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February 24, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, IE 9, Microsoft, News, PC, performance, Phishing, tech, upgrading, Windows, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Winter Saturday…

I know that several thousand of you are just itching to know my Playoff picks. I know this because several (read: “nobody”) have written and asked me. So, here you go:
Playoff Picks

For those of you who are curious, I also pick none of these 4 to make it to the Championship.

In the Tech Department (this is, after all, a tech Website), I have been sitting on a news item for some time now. I have been sitting on it because I simply haven’t decided on how I want to write it up.

Actually, I know how I want to write it up, as this has me so mad (and depressed) that I want to lash out. But I am not at all sure how to present it to you, Dear Reader.
Is your “average computer user” mind ready for the implications?

So.. Maybe I will come back to this.. Maybe I will wait for Reader’s Reactions (in the Comments).. In the meantime, I will just give you the ‘blurb’, and let you read the facts for yourselves. I hope you will think about the “state of the Internet” while you do so..

“Researchers at security firm Finjan have discovered details of a new type of banking Trojan horse that as well as stealing your bank login credentials, also steals money from your account while you are logged in and falsely displays the balance you expect to see.”

Please click here to read the whole article.

Have a pleasant weekend.

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

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January 9, 2010 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, Internet, News | , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments