Email Scams, Fake Antivirus & Phishing Attacks Regarding The Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Disasters

US-CERT would like to warn users of potential email scams, fake antivirus and phishing attacks regarding the Japan earthquake and the tsunami disasters. Email scams may contain links or attachments which may direct users to phishing or malware-laden websites. Fake antivirus attacks may come in the form of pop-ups which flash security warnings and ask the user for credit card information. Phishing emails and websites requesting donations for bogus or charitable organizations commonly appear after these types of natural disasters.

Cybercriminals launched Facebook pages claiming to contain Japanese tsunami videos to lure users to the malicious site. The Facebook page title is “Japanese Tsunami RAW Tidal Wave Footage!” and a script on that page leads users to a fake video page where the video is actually a clickable image. Clicking the image eventually leads users to a page asking for the user’s mobile phone number. The script also triggers an automatic “Like” and displays the link on the victim’s wall.
US-CERT encourages users to take the following measures to protect themselves:

• Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages.
• Maintain up-to-date antivirus software.
• Review the Recognizing Fake Antivirus document for additional information on recognizing fake antivirus.
• Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for additional information on social engineering attacks.
• Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for additional information on avoiding email scams.
• Review the Federal Trade Commission’s Charity Checklist.
• Verify the legitimacy of the email by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. Trusted contact information can be found on the Better Business Bureau National Charity Report Index.

For more information please feel free to click on the imbedded links

Google Chrome 5

Just installed the latest Google Chrome 5 Beta a few days ago and I’m LOVIN it!  No I am not going into the technical aspects of it but what I will say it’s that it’s SUPER FAST and Finally I’m able to do online banking with it! So looks like for the next year or so, this will be my DEFAULT BROWSER OF CHOICE!

Click here to get the latest version if you’re interested….or the big logo above..

cheers mates! :)

Latest Phishing Emails – Fake Visa & Mast links

Beware of links embedded in these emails requesting you to act on them immediately.  They might even provide fake official sounding ‘CASE IDs’ as if they were offically assigned.  If you right click the properties of the links you’d see IP addresses instead followed by some bogus server names.

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PSA – Carrefour Is Having A Book Sale

Lots of paperback novels selling for $6, the bigger sized ones are only $10. 

Majority of the Children’s books are priced at $3.

Bicycles Sales are on too at the foyer….

 

Wolfram Alpha Is Great!

wolfram

 

 

Wolfram Alpha has been available since May 2009 though I didn’t quite know how great it was till I really started fooling around with it trying to get answers to currency conversions, percentages etc etc etc.

So what is wolfram alpha all about, is it another search engine?

No. It’s a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.

What can I do with Wolfram|Alpha?

Many, many things. Check out the Examples by Topic page and the Visual Gallery of Examples for a few pointers. Or visit the Blog or Community to see what others are doing.

————————————————————

This is the result when I typed in Singapore to Perth

Input interpretation: Centre of Singapore to Perth, Western Australia

Distance : 2424 Miles

Direct Travel Times : Aircraft (550 mph) 4.4hours
Sound : 191 Minutes
Light in fiber : 18.2ms
Light in vacuum: 13ms

Then a map was shown with a red line drawn depicting the path.

Cool eh?

Avoid Watching Harry Potter Online For Free!

Your risk infecting our PCs with Malware and damaging it!

Read All about it HERE

Finextra: Consumers warned of man-in-the-phone bank scam

10 July 2009 – 13:29
Consumers warned of ‘man-in-the-phone’ bank scam
Telephone banking customers are being warned about a new low-tech, man-in-the-phone (MitP), fraud technique being employed by criminals.

Vendor Actimize says it has recently spotted the scam through its fraud surveillance at several large retail banks. It originally targeted British banks but is now spreading to the US and Canada.

In a typical MitP attack, a fraudster calls the victim claiming to work for their bank, warning that their account may have been breached or compromised. The criminal then puts the customer on hold and calls their bank, connecting the two while remaining on the line.

The bank then requests authentication information, such as social security number, passwords and other personal information. Once the personal information is provided, the fraudster quickly ends the conference line and informs the customer that the issue has been resolved.

Meanwhile, with the personal information gathered during the call, the fraudster can take over the customer’s phone banking relationship and transfer money out of their accounts.

James Van Dyke, president, Javelin Strategy & Research, says: “As consumers shift more financial transactions to secure online arenas, fraudsters have become more creative in utilising traditional telephones. Access through mail and telephone transactions grew from three per cent of ID theft in 2006 to 40% in 2007 and fraudsters are getting creative and leveraging new techniques to commit fraud, so consumers need to be as diligent as ever in protecting their personal information.”

At the banking end, Actimize says firms should combine cross channel behaviour profiling and anomaly detection technologies with better call center processes and training. Call center employees should be trained to listen more closely and ask who originated the call.

Says the vendor: “Attacks may be thwarted or losses minimised if bank employees ask simple (but random instead of static) security questions at various points in the phone conversation when confirming personal credentials.”

 

Full Story

Malaysia’ First Case Of H1N1 Flu

On Channel News Asia

 The government has urged all passengers who travelled on Malaysian Airlines flight MH091 from Newark in the United States to Kuala Lumpur, that landed at 7.15am on May 13 to contact the ministry for further instructions.

Don’t Spread It!

 donsprit

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

Fact Sheet

1. Avoid close contact.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

  • Stay home from work, child care, school, and errands when you are sick, except to seek medical careKeep sick children at home except to see medical care. You will help prevent others from catching the illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

4. Wash your hands often.

  • Washing your hands and the hands of your children often will help protect you from germs.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

There is no vaccine available at this time for this new flu virus , so it is important for people living in the affected areas to take steps to prevent spreading the virus to others. If people are ill, they should stay at home and limit contact with others, except to seek medical care. Healthy residents living in these areas should take the everyday preventive actions listed above.

People who live in these areas who develop an illness with fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, should contact their health care provider. Their health care provider will determine whether influenza testing is needed.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?
First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

How long can an infected person spread swine flu to others?
People with swine influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

How long can viruses live outside the body?
We know that some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent handwashing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Do not go to work or school if ill. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. We recommend that when you wash your hands — with soap and warm water — that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

 

How serious is swine flu infection?
Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Between 2005 until January 2009, 12 human cases of swine flu were detected in the U.S. with no deaths occurring. However, swine flu infection can be serious. In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman in Wisconsin was hospitalized for pneumonia after being infected with swine flu and died 8 days later. A swine flu outbreak in Fort Dix, New Jersey occurred in 1976 that caused more than 200 cases with serious illness in several people and one death.

 Seasonal Flu Strategies Vaccinations

Early Detection and Treatment The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year.
The “flu shot” is an inactivated vaccine that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for people older than six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. There is no risk of getting the flu from this inactive vaccine.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine is made with live, weakened viruses that do not cause the flu. It is approved for use in healthy people two years to 49 years
of age.

  Pandemic Flu Strategies

Should a pandemic begin, a vaccine may not yet be widely available, and the supply of antiviral drugs may be limited. Thus infection control measures will be of primary importance in helping to protect the health and safety of employees. Infection control in the workplace will focus on:

•  Hand Hygiene

•  Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette

•  Workplace Hygiene

•  Social Distancing

  Hand Hygiene Hand hygiene has frequently been cited as the single most important practice to reduce the transmission of germs in healthcare settings and is an essential element of standard infection control measures. The term “hand hygiene” includes washing your hands with soap and water and the use of alcohol-based products (gels, rinses, foams) containing an emollient that do not require the use of water.

  Wash your hands with plain soap and water, or with antimicrobial soap and water, if:

•  Your hands are visibly soiled

•  Your hands are visibility contaminated with respiratory secretions (after coughing or sneezing)

•  Before or after food preparation and eating

•  After using the restroom

washhndstech

  Hand Hygiene: When to Use an Alcohol-Based Rub

If your hands are not visibly dirty, you can clean your hands effectively using an approved alcohol-based product which disinfects your hands.

  Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette

How are you most likely to get the flu from another person? Evidence suggests that the transmission of human influenza virus probably occurs largely through exposure to large droplets, which can transfer from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes without properly covering his or her mouth. Another person can become infected by inhaling these droplets or touching a contaminated surface and then touching his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

  Good respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette techniques are important any time you cough or sneeze. When coughing or sneezing, you should cover your mouth with a tissue and then dispose of it appropriately. If a tissue is not available, you should cough into your shirtsleeve or the inside of your elbow.

Should a pandemic hit, you have a responsibility to help prevent the spread of disease from yourself to your co-workers by using good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.  Of course, any employee who contracts pandemic flu should stay home until he or she is no longer infectious.

 Work Space Hygiene

It’s not just coughing or sneezing – viruses can be passed to another person from infected desktops, phones, and other office equipment. In fact, virus particles can live for up to two days on these hard surfaces.

So it’s important that you take steps to keep your work area clean. You should get into the habit of cleaning your workplace with a disinfectant cleaning spray or sanitizing wipes. Pay particular attention to your desktop, keyboard, telephone and any other objects that are frequently used by your co-workers, such as staplers, copiers and doorknobs.

cleanoften

 

Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst!

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge on 16 Apr

JPMORGAN CORPORATE CHALLENGE
APRIL 2009 16th

The JPMorgan Corporate Challenge®, a 5.6 kilometers corporate road race, will be held on Thursday, 16th April at 6.00 pm. This year’s event is expected to attract close to 10,000 employees of corporations, businesses, financial institutions and government agencies. The start-off point will be on Esplanade Drive and the route covers Raffles Avenue, Republic Blvd, and Republic Avenue. The race will end at The F1 Pit Building, where runners will participate in a rousing evening celebration of good health, fun and corporate goodwill.

Road Closures on Event Day, 16th of April

  • Republic Avenue – Both Directions  (between Crawford St/Beach Rd junction to Republic Blvd/ Republic Ave junction) Road Closed 5.30pm to 7.40pm
  • Republic Blvd – city bound direction (between Republic Blvd/Raffles Ave junction to Republic Blvd/Republic Ave junction) Carriageway Closed 5.30pm to 7.40pm
  • Raffles Ave – three left lanes closure (between Raffles Ave/Esplanade Dr junction to Raffles Ave/Temasek Ave junction) Lanes Closures 5.20pm to 6.40pm
  • Esplanade Dr – direction of Shenton Way Road Closed 5.00pm to 6.30pm
  • Connaught Dr – one left lane closure Lane Closure 4.00pm to 6.15pm

Traffic congestions expected, please avoid affected roads.

About JPMorgan Corporate Challenge

The JPMorgan Corporate Challenge® event in Singapore is part of the 12-city, six-country, and fivecontinent JPMorgan Corporate Challenge® Series. In 2009, events in the series will attract more than 225,000 participants from over 7,500 companies. Collectively, JPMorgan will donate more than US$500,000 to worthy not-for-profit organizations through the events.

JPMorgan has developed and nurtured the Corporate Challenge series since 1977, and it continues to support promoting health and fitness, as well as teamwork and camaraderie in corporate communities across the United States and other countries.

To take part in the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge®, participants have to enter as part of a team representing the company/organization that they work for. More information about the event can be obtained through the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge® hotline at (+65) 6377 5360 or via Internet website “www.jpmorgan.com/cc”

Remove Downadup (aka Conficker or Kido)

Remember I just blogged about this virus/worm recently, well the good folks at Bitdefenderlabs added me on twitter though I’m not sure how they got to my twitter lest it was from the post.  Anyhow that is how I learned that they have a free removal tool available at http://www.downadup.org/

Thanks guys!

Makes it even harder not to switch to Bitdefender…gees!!

Newer PC Security Threats

Facebook

Many of us use Facebook to communicate with friends and family. It is growing in popularity, and consequently has drawn significant attention from criminals. Currently, several Facebook attacks have been publicized by the media (see the BBC link below). The concern is that the attacks seem to be “proof-of-concept” attacks. Criminals are analyzing the impact of their attacks — what weaknesses do they reveal? They look for user tendencies (what kind of message are they likely to respond to?) and Facebook’s network security (where are the holes?). They are learning as they go along, and looking for vulnerabilities that they can exploit.

Facebook attack: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7918839.stm

 USB Devices

Another virus that impacts networks directly is the Conficker virus. This virus spreads through USB memory devices. This virus, in particular, has been nasty. It has caused billions of dollars in losses, and has infected over 10 million computers (that we know of). It adapts very quickly, so even anti-virus protection doesn’t guarantee protection. The U.S. military had a hard time containing an outbreak in Afghanistan last year. Security specialists haven’t been able to identify the source of the virus, or its intent. They are not even sure if there are dormant variations out in the Internet, waiting for a trigger to activate them.

Conficker attack: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7832652.stm

The lesson is to be cautious about the services you use on the Internet, and the devices you plug into your computer. You can make your home environment and ours vulnerable to attack, if you are careless. The criminals keep getting smarter. It is no longer easy identifying them by poor English or other obvious signs of misrepresentation. They are sophisticated and well-funded, and persistent!

By A.G.

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