Recently we came across an interesting Trojan sample, detected by Symantec as Trojan.Kardphisher. The Trojan is not very technical - it's really just another classic social-engineering attack. What makes it interesting is that the author has obviously taken great pains to make it appear legitimate.
How legitimate? Look at the screenshot:
The trojan runs on startup and pretend to be a Windows Activation dialog. Note how it asks for name, address, credit card number, expiry date and even ATM PIN!
So, beware. Windows Activation does not ask for this information. Also it offers the option to activate over the phone. If you are in doubt and the machine has been activated before, run an anti-virus!
I got one. I received the newspaper for three months and decided it wasn't something I was reading from cover to cover.
So, when it came the time to renew the subscription (or actually subscribe to it since those three months were free) I got a phone call from someone in the subscription department asking if I wanted to change to a paid subscription. I replied, very clearly, that I wasn't interested.
Today I got a Tax Invoice/Statement in the mail, charging me $165.60 for a new subscription. And that's with a 50% savings!
I clearly said I DON'T WANT IT. Don't send me unwanted invoices. It smells like those domain name scams where people receive fake invoices for a domain name they don't own.
Is it hard to understand I DON'T WANT IT, Fairfax?
And no, I won't even link to their publications in this post. They don't deserve Google juice.
UPDATE: I've received an explanation for this and wrote about it.
If you don't know, this is a list of numbers that are not to be called by telemarketers.
Do you think this is needed here in New Zealand? How many times a week do you have a call from someone trying to sell a phone share scam, or trying to make you change ISPs, or trying to sell you life insurance?
One example of MVNO is Virgin Mobile UK, launched back in 1999 and with over 4 million customers in the UK alone.
We are now seeing a new approach coming out. Like those Affinity Credit Cards, an association, company or group can create a virtual MVNO through a new service called Sonopia.
Once you create your virtual MVNO you then proceed to create plans and select what mobile phones will be available from your "company".
You can then promote this through a web site, or any other means. And like the Affinity Credit Cards, your association, company or group will receive a percentage of the revenue.
The service is provided by Verizon Wireless in the U.S., and all handsets are CDMA (of course, since Verizon uses this standard).
It looks like an interesting idea - and I have registered myself to see how it worked, but being outside the U.S. I can't actually create the group, etc. I mean I can - but the forms all request State and ZIP Code, so obviously I am out.
Sonopia's CEO is Juha Christensen, ex-Symbian, ex-Microsoft, ex-Action Engine, ex-Macromedia. Juha co-founded the Symbian Ltd, the joint venture between Nokia, Ericsson, Sony-Ericsson, Matsushita, Samsung, Siemens, and Psion responsible by the Symbian OS now in use in million of mobile ghones. At Microsoft he was the VP for Mobile Devices Marketing Group.
Today I received an e-mail from Sonopia inviting some of the early Sonopians for dinner in San Francisco, to discuss the service and provide suggestions. It's a shame I won't be there though. I would be interested to find out more about this idea - and perhaps even suggest they allow us, aliens, to create our virtual MVNOs as well.
Do you think this would work here in New Zealand where we had two dominant players in the mobile market and knowing the mobile rates are ones of the highest in the OECD?
So it's not the full MEDC, but we will have two "insiders" presenting during the event:
Mike Hall (Senior Technical Product Manager Windows Embedded)
Derek Snyder (Product Manager Windows Mobile)
If you develop solutions for the Embedded or Mobile market place then join the crowd for the first Microsoft Windows Embedded & Windows Mobile Seminar to be held in Christchurch.
This seminar will show you how to get the most from the latest Windows Embedded & Windows Mobile updates to get maximum advantage for your business. This includes information on the latest platforms & updates: Windows Mobile 6, Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Windows Embedded XP SP2 Feature Pack 2007. Also development updates, futures and roadmap information.
The mini MEDC will be on Thursday 17 May 2007, 4pm till 8pm at the Christchurch Convention Centre, Meeting Room 3 (Level 1).
Running at the same time as the exhibition there's a series of discussions:
8.45 - 9.00am David Cunliffe - Conference Opening
9.00 - 9.45am Andrew Seybold
The big picture: Where the industry is today and where it is headed
10.00 - 11.00am MORNING PANEL (Sponsored by Kordia)
Content is King to drive broadband usage- so what is NZ doing?
Damien Toman (Gen-i),Jeremy Hope (Ericsson), Maurice Stilwell (NZTE), Hyperfactory, Susie Stone (Kordia), Mantosh Malhotra (Qualcomm)
11.15 - 12.00pm Mike Iandolo - Alcatel Lucent - International Speaker
Wireless Public Safety Today and in the future
12.15 - 12.45pm Damien Toman - Gen-i
Discussion around wireless, broadband and convergence for business - with Michael Gregg
1.00 - 1.20pm Darian Bird - IDC
Wimax around the world: Where do we fit in?
1.30 - 2.15pm Wireless & Broadband PANEL (Sponsored by Telecom)
Wimax and Wifi - what do these technologies mean to you?
Martyn Levy (RoamAD), Steve Simms (Tomizone), Mike Landolo (Alcatel-Lucent), Telecom, Darian Bird (IDC)
2.30 - 3.15pm Mantosh Malhotra - Qualcomm - International Speaker
Next Evolution of Wireless Applications
3.30 - 4.15pm Steve Roberts - Kordia
The Beauties of Datacasting
4.30 - 5.30pm FINAL PANEL (Sponsored by Citylink and Cafe Net)
Wellington Wireless Broadband Wonderland - Myth or Reality
Rod Drury, Jamie Baddeley (InternetNZ), David Cunliffe, Duncan Turnbull (Citylink), Andrew Seybold
I hear Telecom New Zealand will at last unveil their CDMA EV-DO Rev A USB modem device at that event.
Microsoft Acquires Mobile Advertising Pioneer ScreenTonic
ScreenTonic’s mobile ad serving and management expertise increase advertiser opportunity across Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions
Interesting to see more details when the press release actually comes out.
UPDATE: Some details emerged, but not much.
But I wanted to point out this entry in their FAQ:
How much bandwidth does the application use?
IMPORTANT NOTICE for users with limits on their internet usage
You need to read this carefully if:
- you have an upper limit on your monthly internet usage, or
- you pay for internet usage as you go (i.e. you pay per megabyte you download, instead of a flat fee).
Joost is a streaming video application, and so uses a relatively high amount of bandwidth per hour. In one hour of viewing, approximately 320MB data will be downloaded and 105MB uploaded, which means that it will exhaust a 1GB cap in 10 hours.
Windows users should note that the application continues to run in the background after you close the main window. For this reason, if you pay for your bandwidth usage per megabyte or have your usage capped by your ISP, you should be careful to always exit Joost client completely when you are finished watching it.
To stop using bandwidth, you need to exit the application entirely...
This is particularly sad for New Zealand users, because there are no true unlimited plan with decent bandwidth available in this country...
So, beware of the usage when running Joost.
UPDATE: I've contacted the Joost support through their forums and the Joost FAQ is incorrect. It's actually supposed to be MB (megabytes) and GB (gigabytes). I am updating the blog to reflect this. Note then that you will burn about 435 MB/hour with Joost!
And that's what happened to Busines 2.0, one of the few magazines I actually buy (the others are Fast Company and Wired). According to some news Business 2.0 lost its main content server with all the material for the next issue.
They did backups. But apparently didn't test the backup lately - and the process failed to restore the so needed content.
Lucky for them most of the material was sent to lawyers for review and approval - but all the art work needed to be redone.
How are you doing today? Here are some tips:
If you are running Windows Vista, the Backup and Restore Center offers a handy basic file backup and restore, and in some versions (Business, Ultimate, Enterprise) a Complete PC Backup and restore option. It will copy the entire hard drive to an external drive and you will be able to restore your digital life to the exact image of that backup. It will do incremental backups, meaning you will be able to do faster backups over time.
Try an on-line service. There are free ones (up to 5GB) such as Xdrive, and some inexpensive options such as Carbonite. These are set and forget things, and they will copy your data to servers over the Internet. Of course you will need some fast broadband and an unlimited account or at least a large allowance for all the data backup. In New Zealand you can also try local solution NZDrive.
Try a backup to another computer. You could use Memeo and forget about this. Set it to backup your files to another computer on your network, and forget it. It's all automatic. And Memeo works on Windows and Mac OS.
Get into the home network server space. Try Windows Home Server. This might need a bit more knowledge, and more hardware, but it's getting to a point where some households have more than one computer, and this is an automated solution for backup nightmares. It will store automatic backups from all PCs in your network, and allow for restores over the LAN.
And of course test the restore to see if it all works. After all storing the data away but not being able to retrieve is not fun.
Most importantly: practice safe computing.