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Good bots, bad bots: friend or foe?

One of the most talked about technologies online today is the ubiquitous bot. Simultaneously elusive yet also responsible for all of civilisation’s woes, bots are a hot topic of contention. If we went purely by news reports, we’d assume all bots everywhere are evil, and out to get us (or just spreading memes). We’d also assume every single person we ever disagreed with online is a bot.  It might … [Read more...]

Hacker destroys VFEmail service, wipes backups

An email service called VFEmail was essentially put out of business after a hack intended to delete everything in (and out of) sight. “Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone. It will likely not return. I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they’d want to completely and thoroughly destroy it.” This wasn’t “just” a simple webpage compromise, … [Read more...]

Sextortion Bitcoin scam makes unwelcome return

Heads up: a particularly nasty sextortion Bitcoin scam from at least the middle of 2018 is making the rounds once again. The scam involves making use of old breach dumps, then emailing someone from the list and reminding them of their old password. When something lands in your mailbox with “Hey, remember this?” it’s a surefire way to focus the reader’s attention. Pressure is then applied to … [Read more...]

Movie stream ebooks gun for John Wick 3 on Kindle store

We discovered a novel spam campaign over the weekend, targeting fans of John Wick on the Amazon Kindle store. The scam itself involves paying for what appears to be the upcoming third movie, turns into a bogus ebook, and goes on to hyperlink potential victims to a collection of third-party websites. How does this begin? With a dog, a grieving assassin, and a pencil. Actually, it begins with me … [Read more...]

Apple pulls Facebook enterprise certificate

It’s been an astonishing few days for Facebook. They’ve seen both an app and their enterprise certificate removed and revoked with big consequences. What happened? Apple issue enterprise certificates to organizations with which they can create internal apps. Those apps don’t end up released on the Apple store, because the terms of service don’t allow it. Anything storefront-bound must go … [Read more...]

Luas data ransom: the hacker who cried wolf?

In a terrible start to the year for Irish tram firm Luas, their site was compromised a week ago and adorned with a stark ransom warning: Click to enlarge You are hacked. Some time ago I wrote that you have serious security holes. You didn’t reply. The next time someone talks to you, press the reply button. You must pay one bitcoin in five days. Otherwise I will publish all data and send emails to … [Read more...]

Smart speakers: Christmas treat or lump of coal?

Christmas is nearly upon us, and thoughts are perhaps turning to various digital presents of a “smart” nature. Home security, hubs, speakers, cameras, and mashups of all of those and more besides. With regards to speakers, the most immediate pieces of your home are theoretically at your beck and call. There’s lots of good advice out there in terms of what to do with your new devices. Untick boxes, … [Read more...]

Christmas tech scams roundup

There’s a fair few Christmas tech scams floating around out there as 2018 winds up, and we thought it’d be a good time to warn you about them. It’s the usual mish-mash of phone antics, social media shenanigans, and click bait. Shall we begin? This scam looks divine BOOM reports on a collection of anti-aging cream websites targeting regions such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, and Colombia. … [Read more...]

Data scraping treasure trove found in the wild

We bring word of yet more data exposure, in the form of “nonsensitive” data scraping to the tune of 66m records across 3 large databases. The information was apparently scraped from various sources and left to gather dust, for anyone lucky enough to stumble upon it. What is data scraping? The gathering of information from websites either by manual means, which isn’t time optimal, or by automated … [Read more...]