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Showing posts from August, 2007

Google Toolbar 100% CPU bug...

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In general, I'm a pretty big fan of the Google Toolbar for IE. I use IE6 SP2 for pretty much all of my web surfing needs. I have Opera and Firefox installed too with plugins/extensions for the latter, but I just like IE better (although some sites are starting to be IE6-unfriendly). But this isn't about starting a "which browser is better" debate/flamewar.
Instead, it is about a little bug I found today while minding my own business. Actually, I found three bugs, but only one of them is a critical issue that should never have left Google's QA department.
So I was minding my own business and responding to e-mails and other such things. For many of the groups I'm on, I tend to do web searches just so I can paste a link or whatever into the e-mail. I run into an e-mail that I had indirectly answered on another mailing list several weeks ago and didn't bother pasting links so I could search the archives. But I left myself enough clues that I cou…

Labeled a spammer...

Oh this is just great. I just got labeled as a spam blog. Here is the warning that I received when I logged into my blog today:

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WARNING

This blog has been locked by Blogger's spam-prevention robots. You will not be able to publish your posts, but you will be able to save them as drafts.
Save your post as a draft or click here for more about what's going on and how to get your blog unlocked. --------

Here is what blogger says about why this happens:
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What We're Doing About Spam

Needless to say, we do not approve of spamming here at Blogger. Below are some of the things we've implemented to remove and reduce spam on our service. We will update this list as we continue our efforts.
Automated spam classifying algorithms keep spam blogs out of NextBlog and out of our "Recently Published" list on the dashboard.
The same classifiers are used to require an extra word verification field on the posting form for potential spam blogs. This makes it harder for …

A new type of spam

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Just got this in my e-mail in-box:

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We Need Beta testers to try out our new software Office Tools Plus

This will help us get the software ready for consumer release. For helping out, you will receive a free edition and 5 years of updates.

1: Download the software 2: Try it 3: Tell us what you think Here is your chance. Follow the link to our secure download center:
http://68.202.*.*/setup.exe
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(IP address removed for obvious reasons)

A new type of spam has appeared. Instead of saying "Hey idiot, download this perfectly obvious EXE that is going to install a virus" they are covering it up with "You can be a beta tester for our new Office Tools product....the download for beta testers is here: [link]". Social engineering at its finest.

The average user who has heard of beta testing will probably be enticed into downloading the file and running it. Who doesn't want to be a beta tester for a product that won't cost them…

A Most Coincidental Event!

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Yesterday I spoke of a most heinous act of computer modification. Today Microsoft spent a huge chunk of the day attempting to solve a major problem.

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/25/microsoft_wga_server.html

The WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage - a.k.a. "Disadvantage") servers went completely down. Now I'm not a huge believer in coincidences but if Microsoft has ever had its pants down, this is perhaps a double helping (free wedgie!). Let's see here:

1) Push a secret worldwide update to Automatic Updates out to every computer on the planet.
2) My computer receives the update and VerifyMyPC flags it.
3) WGA servers receive the update completely unaware of what is happening.
4) WGA servers barf (perhaps something in the update they didn't like). All of the WGA servers go down.
5) User PCs attempting to connect to WGA servers can't and therefore are flagged as pirating Windows.
6) Microsoft catches wind of the problem and employees responsible for WGA head in…

Windows Update updating without permission!

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Did I ever mention that I love VerifyMyPC? Oh wait. Never mind. I did that already.

It has been a while since I have posted but this one is too good to pass up. Every night around 10:30 p.m., my computer is set up to run a VerifyMyPC scan. About 11 p.m. the Scan Notifier runs and does the whole balloon pop-up thing. Normally nothing pops up because there is nothing to report (i.e. another day at the office - figuratively speaking).
When there is something to report, usually a little yellow triangle icon shows up and I say, "Yup, I remember doing that today." Or, "Those changes to my system sound about right."
Tonight, the special analysis mode of the Scan Notifier picked up on unusual behavior and popped up the Red-X icon.

If Microsoft ever wanted to get caught with their pants down, they succeeded. For most people, the above doesn't make a whole lot of sense past the "you might have a virus" part. VerifyMyPC requires a little extra knowledge abo…