Category Archives: The Internet

General topics on the Internet and Networking

Phishing with Bad Bait

I have to wonder, really, who falls for some of the phishing expeditions out there. Every now and then, a phishing email manages to elude my filters and make it to my inbox and, for the most part, they just make me laugh and toss it into my junk folder to get picked up by my bayesian filter manager. The latest finally sparked me to write about it…

Basically, this email purported to be from “Apple Customer Support” with the wonderful subject of “Support” because nothing gets a message of seriousness across faster than a subject like “Support” does. Clearly, should this be from Apple (stick with me here), they’re obviously feeling a financial pinch and cutting back on their staff. At any rate, with that wonderful kick-off into the message, let’s have a look at the substance, just for shits and giggles…

Your Apple ID Has Been Disabled For Security Reasons!

Oh My God, You Have To Be Shitting Me! Save Me Obi Wan, You’re My Only Hope!

Someone just tried to sign in into your Apple account from other IP Address.

Holy crap, other IP Address, let’s panic! ‘Cause, you know, it’s not like people wander around with mobile devices logged into Apple accounts using various WiFi points or anything…

Please confirm your identity today or your account will be Disabled due to concerns

we have for the safety and integrity of the Apple Community.

We need you to this because we don’t know who you are, except that we know who you are, sort of. We think. Maybe? Well, just in case, could you do this? You know, because your account is the one account to rule them all and if you don’t, well, who knows what will happen to untold millions of users in the Apple Community. It could be a disaster on a global scale. Or not.

To confirm your identity, we recommend that you go to  Verify here >

Well, so much for the doom and gloom, they recommend that you  Verify here > because, well, pretty please?

 copyright 2014 Apple Inc. All Ruggt reserved

I wouldn’t want to mess with their Ruggts I have to say, who knows what they’d do? Dangerous folks, these phishermen. Quite dangerous. If nothing else, they might trip over their competency, fall into a cesspool, and splash you with some gross ooze. Well, probably not, but if that option isn’t more plausible then you clicking on  Verify here > then you need to stop using any and all computational devices now.

IE 6 and 7 have to die

IE 6 became the defacto web browser years ago and then stood still. In that time, since it was released, we watched the rise of browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Opera, and now Chrome. These are browsers that have made a steady effort to meet web standards. The result? Internet Explorer, as a whole, has lost almost 50% of its market share.

Microsoft hasn’t stood still, they finally released IE 7 after it became clear that Firefox was eating their lunch, but IE 7 wasn’t good enough. Sure, it copied a bunch of features from the other browsers, but it did diddly-squat for web standards and people noticed. Thus, IE market share continued to erode. There’s a lesson in that: sites are getting sick and tired of having to put in a whole bunch of hacks just to make IE look and behave like every other browser on the market. This appears to be affecting the end user who are starting to see a substandard experience compared to the others and thus started to abandone ship.

Microsoft certainly noticed and has now released IE 8. Interface wise, it’s pretty similar to IE 7, but that’s the end of it. Finally, and it’s about time, Internet Explorer has become substantially more compliant to web standards. What this means, for the user that has been clinging to Internet Explorer, is that the excuses are done. If you don’t want move from Internet Explorer, that’s fine, but you had better damn well upgrade to the latest version and join the rest of us in the modern age.

That goes for IT people as well: get it done. The simple fact is, you guys are the single biggest reason IE 6 is even on the radar of web site development. Enough of it, you’ve had plenty of time to test and so your excuses are also done. I’m sure that I speak for every single web developer on the planet when I say that we’d like to give you a swift kick where it hurts the most because it hasn’t happened.

The Internet Tough Guy is Out Again

From the CBC website on the story of the horrific bus slaying near Winnipeg:

enrico57 wrote:
Posted 2008/08/01
at 2:53 AM ET

“The men on that bus are a bunch of cowards who chose to flee rather than face this ghoulish attacker. I know for sure that this butcher would not have survived for more than minute if he was in the middle east or India where I came from. Where are the men in Canada??? you are a bunch of cowards, only good enough to run away rather than help people in need and I am also including the policeMEN who surrounded the bus for more than an hour–what a bunch of clowns!!!”

The comment has since been deleted by the moderators on the CBC website, but the funny thing about the web, what you say is very difficult to unsay. Now let’s take a look at Mr. Macho, above, who has a strong opinion on what people should have done in that situation and realize that he is, in fact, an utter moron. An armed psychopath is not someone you get into a wrestling match with, especially in close quarters, because it is sheer stupidity and any combat and fighting expert will tell you that. From that, we can only draw the conclusion that “enrico” (who is apparently from India, figure the name) is a truly stupid individual and, to boot, is full of shit. I have a very strong feeling that he would have stampeded his way off that bus faster than anyone and pissed his pants in the process. Such is usually the way with the loud of mouth.

The next “Internet tough guy” on the CBC is:

TCJRBS wrote:
Posted 2008/08/01
at 4:50 AM ET

I have to say that as a human being, I am utterly ashamed that not a single person on that bus did not do a single thing to subdue the attacker. I am also disgusted by the amount of comments that have been posted which attempt to rationalize their cowardice .

Let me ask you this: If your child, friend, or next of kin was being stabbed by someone who was only a few feet away from you, would you just flee in terror and let them die?? Give me a break.

If you were gutless enough to have answered “yes”, I hope that the rest of us are spared being in your presence if we’re ever misfortunate enough to be in similar situation as poor Tim McLean.

Again, a moron. I suspect this tough guy would have shit his pants rather than piss them, or maybe he’d do both. Not sure. One thing is for sure, he wouldn’t have manfully jumped over people and seats to “subdue” the attacker unless he is an even bigger idiot than his posting would indicate and that is really saying something. As I said, getting into a wrestling match with an armed psychopath is not a intelligent activity by any measure on the intelligence scale. Hell, even young Earth creationists are more intelligent than that and they’re barely measurable. So, apparently we know where “TCJRBS” fits into that series of measurements… he doesn’t. I’m surprised he can remember to breathe.

On the police front, there is a part of me that wishes that they had just shot the bastard that committed this crime. However, in a society that prizes the Rule of Law, that’s a non-starter. The cops should never become judge, jury, and executioner because, when they do, we have a police state. So, I suppose, I’ll have to live without the emotional satisfaction of them dealing with the potential outcome of a pathetic legal system, but it’s probably for the best. After all, I really don’t like the idea of a police state.

The Wonderful World of Domain Slamming

Today I received a letter from the Domain Registry of Canada in a nice envelope that immediately reminds you of the Government of Canada, red maple leaf and all.

Of course, the Domain Registry of Canada is not actually affiliated with the Government nor, as a matter of fact, is it likely to be your domain registrar. However, they’d like to have your domain and, in order to get it, they send these letters to do it. Now, you may be asking what is wrong with that and therein lies the problem…

In general, all of us get various letters or mailings advertising products and the vast majority of it ends up in the recycling bin. The trash is usually more appropriate, but we may as well do something useful with the sheets of paper that they send. In any case, the one thing that these share is that they’re clearly advertisements in the hopes that you may actually be interested in what they’re offering. As far as advertising goes, this is generally a lot less annoying than spam (hot needles in the eye is less annoying than email spam) or telemarketing. Now, enter the Domain Registry of Canada.

First off, the name is deliberately designed to imply that they have some sort of official status. They don’t claim it, mind you, but they certainly want you to think that way, especially when it’s all wrapped in that envelope designed to appear like it is from the Government. This wasn’t always their name, they previously went under the name of the “Internet Registry of Canada” until the federal Competition Bureau issued a warning about them. Notice the naming trend here? As I said, designed to look official and subject to change as needed. They don’t, however, seem to change the company behind it: Brandon Gray Internet Services. Google them, you’ll see a colourful history there.

Now, we get to the letter. It is very carefully worded, but it is designed as an invoice. They claim that they’re sending it as a courtesy and explain how you could suffer outages should your domain expire. They even help you out with things like a due date, options on renewal, and an envelope (white this time and not postage paid) in order to take care of this dire emergency. For an example, a little dated, go here though be aware that they’ve changed it a little, though the pricing appears to be the same.

Which, of course, leads me to pricing. DRoC offers $40 for 1 year, $70 for 2, and $160 for 5. Great deal, no? Network Solutions will do the same (and more) for $29.99, $49.98, and $74.95 respectively. Admittedly, that’s in US dollars, but that means that the 5 year cost is $76.34 Canadian at the current exchange. In other words DRoC is more than twice the price of Network Solutions, the largest Registrar on the Internet. As an added bonus, for $99.90, Network Solutions will register you for 10 years. DRoC’s “deal” isn’t looking all that good now, is it?

Now, on the subject of the consequences of failing to renew that DRoC outlines, what they also fail to mention is the possible impact of renewing with them. Bear in mind that moving your domain information around isn’t without impact. The change of information can take time to propagate and can result in outages. Also, if your registration and hosting is all one package, the shift can have a real impact on your existing site that goes beyond a brief outage. They don’t really care, of course, once they have your money, but it is something you should be aware of.

Net effect, don’t do it. I’ve sent a message to them with a cease and desist statement. As the owner of several domains, I will never use them and I’ve explicitly stated that I do not want any further correspondence or I’ll file a complaint. I’m sorely tempted to file a complaint anyways, especially with ICANN who has been very irresponsible in this regards, first by allowing these people to become Registrars and, secondly, for making it easier for them to domain slam.