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- Homer Simpson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Actrix Online Informer is published each month to help keep Actrix customers up-to-date with what's happening on the Internet, and to help ensure they have every opportunity to benefit from it.

Questions and comments about the Actrix Online Informer can be e-mailed to editor@actrix.co.nz
Other inquiries should be e-mailed to support@actrix.co.nz.

Actrix - New Zealand's first Internet Service Provider

Welcome to the August 2008 Actrix Online Informer!

Welcome to the August Actrix Online Informer – the usual mix of the funny, the informed and the occasionally relevant. I hope there's something for you this time around. If you're one of those who quickly scan the Interesting sites section and then move on, I'd encourage you to take a closer look. There are often some interesting things to be learned among the News Snippets. There's an interesting story there about a worldwide spam experiment. The subjects surfed without spam protection to see what would turn up. One punter got 23,233 spam emails during the month, and many were from 419 scammers as covered in last month's scam article. Aren't you glad we provide spam filtering!

On the 419 topic, there's also an article on scam-baiting (Scamming the online scammers). If you were interested in that aspect of the whole scam saga, you'll certainly enjoy that article. There's also one on how 419 scammers are now turning more to the 'hit man' scam. And lastly, there's a news story on a Romanian phisher. Phishing is the topic of this month's scam story.

The forum section is a little light this month. Please do feel free to send in questions. Do try and keep them internet-related however. We're not really in a position to give advice on general computer matters or how to use software such as Word, Excel and so forth.

STOP PRESS: And wouldn't you know it, just as this edition of the Actrix Online Informer is due out, with an article on phishing, the most brazen phishing attack I've seen in a while has been deliberately targeted at Actrix customers. Maybe these guys can't afford to set up a false website. Maybe they don't know how. Maybe they're just too lazy. They just come right out and ask you to please send them your personal details!

Our filters should be catching most of these now, but if you receive the following email, please be sure to ignore it:

PLEASE PROTECT YOUR ACTRIX.CO.NZ ACCOUNT FROM BEING CLOSED

Greetings to you,

This is to formally notify you that we are presently working on the actrix.co.nz web, and this can close your webmail account with actrix.co.nz completely.

To avoid this, please send your surname and password to actrix.co.nz customer care email address:webb_customercarecentre@live.com Please do this,so your actrix.co.nz account can be protected from being close.

Your immediate response is highly needed.

As is typical of most phishing emails, it's not terribly well-written, and reasonably easy to spot as a fraud. No doubt Actrix is only one of many ISPs being targeted here, too.

Rob Zorn

Scams of the Month #2 Phishing, spear-phishing and money mules

The Internet can be a scary place if you're not careful, and it's not just viruses and spyware you have to worry about.  Just like the real world, the Internet has its share of baddies out to steal your cash (and your pride) by combining new technology with age-old confidence tricks.

This month we're carrying on with our series of articles on scams. Last month we covered the famous Nigerian 419 scam. This week we'll have a look at phishing, spear-phishing and money mules. I wrote an article on Phishing back in March this year that looked closely at a series of phishing emails I had received. Rather than repeat all that information, I'll just provide a summary. If you want to, you can go read No honour among phishers yourself.

Phishing

The most common type of phishing is where fake emails arrive that appear to have come from your bank. They often have subject headings like "Security Alert" or "Account maintenance". They prey on people's fears and security concerns about such things as their online banking. They might say your account has been locked, possibly due to inactivity or to failed log-in attempts. You're supposed to worry that either someone has been trying to log into your online banking account, or there's been a stuff-up somewhere and the bank thinks you're not using the account. 

Of course, this is all just a ruse to get you to use a log in at a fake site that looks like your bank's website. Then they can capture your banking user name and password so they can go in later and help themselves.

Another possibility is that, rather than a fake log in, they just want you to come to their site where some malicious program lives that will infest your machine if you don't have good security or up-to-date software. This 'malware' could be designed to hunt your hard drive for personal information to send home to its makers, capture your key strokes, or turn your computer into a spam sending zombie.

Phishers use a scattershot technique. That is, they send heaps of emails out and a fair percentage will arrive at customers of the bank being impersonated. This is also why so many phishing emails appear to have come from banks or companies with whom you don't have an account. It's a "hit or miss" game. And of course phishing attempts don't just appear to come from banks. The can also purport to come from eBay, TradeMe, PayPal or anywhere cyber-criminals can gain an opportunity to rip you off.

Phishing emails are usually easy to recognise. They tend not to greet you by name, though they might insert your email address in the greeting. This is because of the scattershot technique mentioned above. Their emails have to be fairly generic as they work on the principle that if you send a million of these out and only a fraction of a percent are successful, you've still done well. It's pretty hard to personalise millions of emails to any great extent.

They usually impersonate the banks pretty poorly too. The emails typically have spelling or grammar errors, and often they're just accompanied by the bank's logo.  However, there's nothing to stop them from doing a good impersonation job, so don't take a good-looking email as a sign of authenticity.

Banks know all about phishing and therefore make it their policy never to send their customers emails with links to log in pages. If they do want you to log in for whatever reason (such as to view new policy updates or something) they will instruct you to use your own bookmarks, or type in the URL to their site by hand so you know you are going to the real thing.

The last thing to note about phishing attempts is that they are very common. You don't need to worry that you might have been specifically targeted. Millions of these e-mails are sent out and the senders almost certainly don't know anything specific about you. The phishing e-mail itself is probably not all that dangerous either, as long as you don't follow their advice or instructions. Attaching a virus to it would only make it more likely to be caught by ISP filters, so they are most likely to save the dangerous stuff for when you arrive at their fake site.

If you do receive phishing emails, just delete them and get on with your day. If you're really concerned you can ring your bank, but chances are they're already well aware the phishing emails are out there.

Spear-phishing

Spear-phishing is when the phishing attack does become personal. It's much less common, because it's much harder to do and it involves a little research on the part of the scammer, but it also has a higher success rate.

Spear-phishing emails may contain your name or your employer's name to make them appear legitimate. They may contain legitimate phone numbers and contact details. Sometimes the email messages  are designed to look like they come from within the recipient's company or organisation, often from the technical or human-resources departments. In big companies where staff may not know each other, the victim might easily be fooled into assuming an email asking them to log into some website or install some attachment is legitimate.

It has also been known to happen that scammers will make phone calls to their victims to further 'legitimise' their scam. Wikipedia claims at least one case where messages appeared to come from a bank and told users to dial a phone number regarding problems with their bank accounts. Once the phone number (owned by the scammer) was dialled, prompts told users to enter their account numbers and PIN.

In April this year a targeted emailing was sent to corporate executives in America, informing them they had been sued. This attack worked well by preying on the victims' fear of litigation. It took them off guard and many clicked the links to malicious sites or opened the nasty attachments because they were worried and the email mentioned them by name. Incidentally, when a large scale attack is made on senior executives of big, important companies, the practice is known as 'whaling'.

Spear phishing certainly happens in New Zealand. Otago University's ITS Update April 2008 has a short article on spear phishing attacks they have recently detected and advises that university staff will never ask for passwords or personal details.

If you have any doubt about an email you've received asking about your personal information or log in details at work, you should check with a trusted staff member before you follow the instructions in the email. Phone calls from scammers in support of their spear phishing attempts aren't all that common here, but again, if you have any doubt call the company back by using its legitimate phone number (not necessarily the one provided in the email) and ask what's going on.

Lastly, if you do receive a phishing email that mentions you by name, don't panic right away. It may not be spear phishing. It's not hard to design an email sending program that personalises a greeting according to your email address. If your email address is rob@actrix.co.nz, that program could simply be grabbing the 'rob' from your email address and using it as the greeting – exactly as it is doing for millions of others.

Money Mules

You know that saying – if something seems to good to be true, it probably is? Well, the saying is good and true. So when you receive emails with offers of jobs where you can "make thousands from home in only 2-8 hours a week", alarm bells will ring for the sensible. Click here for some examples.

These sorts of 'job opportunities' are usually what's known as the money mule scam. You can work from home and make gazillions of dollars by doing very little. But what you'll actually be doing is helping steal from other people.

Foreign phishers and scammers need a Kiwi bank account to transfer stolen money into because there are blocks or limits on transferring money overseas over the internet. Many businesses will refuse to transfer money or ship goods to certain countries where there is a high likelihood that the transaction is fraudulent, for example. So you essentially end up running a forwarding service for money through your bank account, earning a percentage for each payment you forward.

You are also acting as a human proxy helping to obfuscate the path the stolen funds take, and sometimes they'll want your postal address so you can receive and send on mysterious packages.

This may all seem like easy work, but being a mule is illegal, and one day you will find Foreign Affairs or the police on your doorstep asking you to pop on down to the courthouse to explain yourself. Claiming ignorance or that you're just really stupid will not be much of an excuse. You are part of a crime ring and you are likely to do jail time.

For those interested in reading more, here's a Washington Post article from January this year telling the story of how one poor lady was duped into becoming a money mule. It provides a good overview of how the whole scam works – and she was lucky!

Next month: love and dating scams and fake websites.

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Readers' forum 

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

--

John writes: Hi Rob. Enjoy reading the Online Informer each month. Regarding the article on scams – I read my email before going for my annual medical check. The doctor was busy taking my blood pressure when I told him an email that morning informed me I had won GBPounds 100,000,000 in a lottery. His laconic reply was, "No wonder your blood pressure is up." When I get my winnings I'll shout you a beer!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers, John.

That's excellent, John, and congratulations on winning all that money. How 'bout you buy me that beer now while we wait for the money to come through. Just to save time... -Rob

--

Martien writes: Hello Rob, I am having a problem with messages stuck in the outbox. I can receive messages but not send them. Please can you help me to solve this problem?

Brian Dennehy from Actrix Support replies: Hi Martien, It's possible that one of the emails in your Outbox may have become corrupt which is why the email is "stuck". The best way to get rid of emails that are stuck in the Outbox and seem to stay there no matter how many times you try to delete them is to delete what is called the Outbox.dbx file. This will delete everything that is in your Outbox and start it over from scratch, so it may be best to double check that there are no emails in the Outbox that you would like to keep before proceeding. If there are you could simply copy and paste the emails into another folder, such as Drafts. However, rest assured that everything else in the Inbox, Sent Items, and any personal folders you have created will be left unharmed. It is a fairly long process, but if you would like to give it a try please follow these steps:

  • Make sure Outlook Express is not currently open and click on Start, and then Search.
  • The screen that appears will give you a few options on the left; click on "All files and folders".
  • In the box labelled "All or part of the file name" type in: *.dbx
  • Make sure the "Look in" field is set to look in your C: drive, and then click on Search.
  • It may take a few minutes, but the search should bring up a few results including Outbox.dbx. Rename Outbox.dbx to Outbox.old or something similar by right-clicking the file name and selecting "Rename" from the menu.
  • Close down the Search window and Open Outlook Express. You should now have a brand new Outbox completely clear of any emails that were causing problems!

See how you go with this, and if you get stuck at all or if you would prefer to speak to one of our friendly Helpdesk Team then give us a call on 0800 228 749.

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Interesting sites 

(Click the picture links to access the sites)

Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents.

Got a site you think would be neat to share with other readers? Click here to e-mail and let me know!

Forgotten medical cures
www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/8929/cures.html – "This compilation of home remedies and cures is a growing list that began in October 1998 when about 50 members of Roots-L Genealogy Mail List began sharing the home remedies they had found during their journey into the past, as well as the "yucky stuff" that they remembered had been tried on them at some point during their lives. Since the birth of the site, however, many other visitors have also shared their cures..."
Things that look like other things
http://schizoidman.com/top-20-things-that-look-like-other-things.html – Here are 20 pareidolia and apparitions, mainly involving clouds, Mars and Jesus. There's a dog pee stain that looks like a dog, a cinnamon bun in the shape of Mother Teresa, Rasputin in a kitten's ear and many more. Did the IRA deliberately plant the image of the devil in Queen Elizabeth's hair? Of course they did.
Sensible units
http://sensibleunits.com/ – Finally someone has done it! They've come up with a units of measure conversion tool we can actually relate to. I don't want to know that 37 kilograms equals 81.57 pounds. Boring! But I am interested to learn that 37 kilograms weighs the same as 7.4 average domestic cats or 2.1 microwave ovens. If you insist on being sensible, the Units tab does give you more traditional conversions.

IQ tests gone wild
www.iqleague.com/ – "For centuries great thinkers, philosophers and psychologist have been trying to find ways to determine the level of intelligence of a person. We think we got one step closer to solution. We know that everyone has got their own strong points and weak points. We give you the mix of questions and compare your answers to answers (and time it took to answer) of other people to exact the same questions. We re-calculate median and deviation of all answers and adjust IQ scores daily. Our IQ score actually means something!"
Ten essential sites for tips and how-tos
http://mashable.com/2008/06/30/top-10-how-to-sites/ – "The advent of the Internet and social media have spawned a number of how-to sites, which has made finding tips and resources easier than ever before. Weve put together a list of 10 essential sites where you can find or in some cases contribute tips and how-tos on a wide range of topics. No matter what your interest, these sites will connect you with the information that youre looking for."
I hate him so much
http://ihatehimsomuch.com – Ladies, your honeymoon is over. Your wedding album is gathering dust. And now the man of your dreams is giving you nightmares. Welcome to the real world. You could visit this site, turn your speakers on and just enjoy sticking pins in the voodoo doll... or you could do the marriage assessment and make the love potion. You&Me.WE is a nonprofit healthy-marriage initiative designed to help couples thrive in relationships and prepare for the commitment of marriage.
Hundreds of ways to turn your financial life around
http://zenhabits.net/2008/07/golden-money-list/ – "Ive learned a lot about personal finances in recent years, and I hope my lessons will prove valuable to you, or at least stir up some thoughts that help you in your journey... So here it is – a list of the best money articles on Zen Habits, as a resource for anyone trying to live more frugally, get out of debt, save money, or simply create a better financial system in their lives. Bookmark it for future reference if you like. Enjoy!"
Nice critic
http://nicecritic.com/ Ever wished you could find a nice, tactful way to tell a co-worker the smell of their lunch is overpowering or that they need to get better acquainted with a bar of soap? Nice Critic allows you to send anonymous, untraceable emails to other people to do just that sort of thing. You must select from a range of optional short messages, that are deliberately worded to be as inoffensive as possible, and there is also an option to send anonymous praise.
Write rhymes
www.writerhymes.com/ – This would have been a wonderful tool back in the days when I wrote terrible poetry. If you currently write terrible poetry and you're ever stuck for a rhyme, this is where you can go for help. Type in the word, hold down the alt key and click on it. Up will come all the words in English with which it will rhyme. That will save you time and be quite sublime.
World wide Fred
www.worldwidefred.com/home.htm – Fred's wonderful and zany design team come up with the some really neato products ideas for houseware and gifts! You can actually buy all this stuff, but most people come to the site just to browse and enjoy the products. In fact the whole site is quote entertaining, even the About and Who pages.

 

Cyberspace news snippets

What's been happening in the online world?

New Zealand

Get your novel into print – online: An internet banking code released recently limits the circumstances under which customers can be held liable for online fraud losses, but stops short of providing a strings-free guarantee that banks must reimburse customers. Click here for more.

Bubble bursts for Kiwi social network: The New Zealand-backed social network for adults, iYomu, has closed its doors. Even offering a US$1 million prize to encourage membership to its site didn't give the company the legs to last a year. Click here for more.

Race begins for .wellington web address: The New Zealand capital could face competition for the right to manage ".wellington" internet addresses. Click here for more.

TradeMe in court for "black market": TradeMe is being sued for an undisclosed sum in damages by an importer who claims it did not do enough to prevent counterfeit versions of his goods being sold in online auctions. Click here for more.

Health watchdog slams name and shame site: A website to name and shame mental health providers and staff who breach codes of practice has been condemned by the Health and Disability Commissioner. Click here for more.

Watchdog warns against posting signatures online: The Privacy Commissioner says the posting of signatures in online registers is a matter of concern, after an Auckland-based IT contractor found his published and available to anyone at the Charities Commission website. Click here for more.

Te reo going live on Google: Māori will soon join Afrikaans, Zulu and even Klingon as an optional language setting on the website Google. Click here for more.

Police gear up to fight cyber crims: New Zealand police are gearing up to fight increasingly clever cyber criminals. And computer users were warned against complacency following a High Court judge's decision to discharge a Whitianga teenager without conviction in Hamilton today. Click here for more.

Consumer says NZ website back after cyber attack: The Consumers Institute says its website is back in business after coming under cyber attack earlier this month. Click here for more.

Trade Me row vendor admits telling 'porky': A Mataura man who claimed he was an ex-Jesuit priest, to enhance the worth of Catholic memorabilia he was selling on Trade Me, has confessed he told a "porky" about his religious career. Click here for more.

Nearly every Kiwi online in 25 years – NetSafe speaker: New Zealand has one of the highest rates of internet penetration in the world, at 80.5 per cent in March this year, according to the International Telecommunications Union the seventh-ranked country on monitoring website internetworldstats.com. Click here for more.

General

Eavesdropping laws met with email bomb: A public outcry against Sweden's eavesdropping law reached new heights with protesters sending more than 1 million emails to politicians, parliamentary officials said. Click here for more.

Spam experiment overloads inboxes: Surfing the web unprotected will leave the average web user with 70 spam messages each day, according to an experiment by security firm McAfee. Click here for more.

Spam wars: Spam, spam, spam. It's everywhere. It has spread through the internet, from its original home of email where the majority of traffic is now illegitimate to instant messaging, blogs and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Click here for more.

Russian blogger sentenced for 'extremist' post: A Russian man who described local police as "scum" in an Internet posting has been given a suspended jail sentence for extremism, prompting bloggers to warn of a crackdown on free speech online. Click here for more.

Call for web to stay open for all: Governments, scientists and businesses must do more to ensure the web stays open for all, says Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Click here for more.

Peers call for cybercrime shakeup (again): Peers are calling for a reversal of rules that stop UK victims reporting cybercrimes directly to the police. The House of Lords science committee is also encouraging the government to introduce a data breach notification law. Click here for more.

My word! Online Scrabble goes legit: As Facebook has blossomed into a hot Internet hangout, its users have passed countless hours playing Scrabble with friends – or at least, an unauthorized version of the word game that Scrabble's owners have tried to shut down. Click here for more.

Free speech is thorny online: Rant all you want in a public park. A police officer generally won't eject you for your remarks alone, however unpopular or provocative. Say it on the Internet, and you'll find that free speech and other constitutional rights are anything but guaranteed. Click here for more.

Prescription drugs easily purchased online: Despite new efforts to regulate internet pharmacies, 85 per cent of sites selling controlled drugs do not require a prescription, researchers reported. Click here for more.

Bebo booze-up story sparks six lawsuits: It read like the teenage party from hell: a riot of sex and wanton damage fuelled by under-age drinking that only ended when the police arrived. Click here for more.

Firms 'miss' social site success: Businesses are missing out on the huge potential that social networks present, a leading information technology company has warned. Click here for more.

World's Oldest Blogger Logs Out at 108: An Australian woman renowned as the world's oldest blogger has died at the age of 108, with her last posting talking about her ailing health but also how she still sings a happy song every day. Click here for more.

Scamming the online scammers: Life getting a bit humdrum of late? Don't worry. There's a host of dramatic characters on the internet willing to put some sparkle into your life while emptying your bank account. Click here for more.

419ers crank up the menaces: You know how it is - things are a bit quiet in the internet cafes of Lagos, people have sussed MARIAM ABACHA doesn't really have $30,000,000 (THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS) in gold bullion looted from Saddam Hussein's personal vault, and so it looks like it's time to up the email scam ante. Click here for more.

Oldest New Testament heads into cyberspace: More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time this week. Click here for more.

Romanian phisher confesses to scam targeting financial giants: A Romanian man has admitted he took part in a sophisticated phishing scam that targeted PayPal and at least nine other financial institutions by tricking their customers into giving up their account credentials. Click here for more.

Retirees lead the charge online: The web may be thought of as a young person's game, but older people are leading the charge in internet take-up in Australia, embracing a technology that has only become pervasive in the years since many of them retired. Click here for more.

Hacker's alien habit may log him off for life: British man Gary McKinnon is just days from learning whether he is on the fast track to a 60-year prison sentence, thanks to his obsession with aliens. Click here for more.

Net-savvy before age 6: Children in one in five Australian households are surfing the net before their 6th birthday and 30 per cent of young people are never supervised online, says a report on internet use. Click here for more.

Dead author's estate snatches child's domain: A British couple has lost the battle to keep the narnia.mobi domain name which they claimed was only registered so that their son could have a Narnia-related email address. The address will transfer to a company representing CS Lewis's estate. Click here for more.

Taking control of your online image is vital: The rise of online networking sites has made it easier than ever to connect with colleagues and learn about job openings. It's also part of a much larger trend in which more information about you may be available to anyone who's interested – including hiring managers, who often perform internet searches on job candidates. Click here for more.

Security and Safety

New internet banking code limits liability for fraud: Just outside his bedroom window, beyond the chain-link fence that surrounds his next-door neighbour's yard, sit the reasons David Adams says he can't sleep: two bushy-tailed dogs that bark and howl all night. Click here for more.

Internet dating puts women off guard: The Auckland Sexual Abuse Help Foundation says attacks from first time meetings through internet dating are increasing. Many of the women who report assaults after internet dates have just met their attacker that day. Click here for more.

Online privacy fight begins in US Senate – Google, Microsoft, Facebook face grilling: Executives from major internet players - Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. - are due for a grilling about online privacy in a Senate committee Wednesday, but the company likely to get the most scrutiny is a small Silicon Valley startup called NebuAd Inc. Click here for more.

Internet security breach tackled: Computer experts have released software to tackle a major security glitch in the internet addressing system. Click here for more.

Net address fix foxes web users: Many users of the ZoneAlarm firewall have been floored by a fix to the net's addressing system. Those hit found they could not get online after installing a Microsoft patch to close a security loophole. Click here for more.

Malware authors declare start of World War III (again): It beggars belief that anyone would think that they'd first hear of World War III through a spam email. But hackers are relying on such credulous fools in an attempt to spread a new Trojan. Click here for more.

Unpatched Windows PCs own3d in less than four minutes: An unpatched PC is likely to last just four minutes on the internet before being attacked and compromised. Click here for more.

Guide to keeping kids safe online: For kids, the internet is not just for fun. It's fast becoming an indispensible tool for learning and socialising. Unfortunately it can also be a haven for explicit content, as well as a hunting ground for online bullies and predators. Click here for more.

How a Facebook fraudster stole my identity: The first I knew about it was a phone call. My girlfriend admonished me for succumbing to the temptations of Facebook, a website whose poisoned fruits I had previously said I found unappealing. Click here for more.

Mainly Microsoft

Microsoft Open to New Yahoo Talks: Microsoft has said it would be willing to reopen talks to buy all or part of Yahoo, but only if a new Yahoo board is elected, a major boost for investor Carl Icahn's board slate. Click here for more.

Microhoo 'take it or leave it' deal rejected: Yahoo has rejected Microsoft's latest attempt to buy its online search operations in a "take or leave it" proposal that Yahoo said would have dismantled its internet franchise. Click here for more.

Farewell Mr Gates: As Bill Gates finally bows out of Microsoft to pursue his charity interests, we look at some of the hits and misses of the software company he founded. Click here for more.

Mac the News

Beware the Coming of the Mac: As users sneak Apple Macs into the enterprise infrastructure, IT needs to keep an eye peeled for hackers; on the other hand, corporate management may clamp down hard. Click here for more.

Macs and nasty bugs: If it's viruses you want to avoid - don't get a PC. Ha ha. OK, I was being flippant, but the times they are a changin' and even Apple has begun recommending anti-viral software for the first time in years. Click here for more.

Unix, Linux and Open Source

Firefox download record official: Mozilla has officially made history with a new Guinness world record for the largest number of software downloads in a 24-hour period. Click here for more.

Is Open Source Development Insecure?: One of the basic theories behind open source and its relative security is the fact that many eyeballs are looking at code to identify potential and real trouble spots. According to application security vendor Fortify Software, many eyeballs alone aren't enough. Click here for more.

Ubuntu Founder: Linux Should Focus on Looks: Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu Linux and one-time cosmonaut, delivered a rousing keynote oration to the OSCON conference here, detailing the ingredients needed for success in open source and on the Linux desktop in particular. Click here for more.

The Weird, Wide Web

Public humiliation the key for RottenNeighbor.com: Written the great New Zealand novel? Can't find a publisher? Great new song in your head? Want to share it? Go the internet, where everything can be published. Click here for more.

Aussie disappointed with price after selling life on eBay: A Perth man says he's committed to moving on and trying something new, after selling his life and belongings for just under A$400,000 ($510,000) on eBay. Click here for more.

Wanganui man auctions soul on TradeMe: Forget selling your soul to the devil. A Wanganui man is offering his to the highest bidder on internet auction site TradeMe. Click here for more.

Ultimate online embarrassment for internet agency: This doesn't sound good: The nonprofit agency in charge of the internet's addresses recently lost track of its own. Click here for more.

Goofy internet dance goes global: A goofy dance started in a Brisbane office block has taken the world by storm and its creator, Matthew Harding, to the four corners of the globe and most places in between. Click here for more.

It was five years ago today

Each month we dredge through our archives to pull out stories from the Actrix Newsletter of exactly five years ago. Sometimes these stories will show just how much the net has changed in such a short time, and sometimes they'll be included just because they're interesting.

RIAA goes after the little guys: When Karol Franks, a mother of two teens in Pasadena, Calif., heard Wednesday that the music industry was threatening to sue average folks who swap music online like her kids she posed a question that must have been on many minds: "How can there be a lawsuit when there are tens of thousands of people who use file-sharing programs?" Click here for more.

Porn spam set to flood inboxes: More than half of all emails sent to individuals and businesses by September 2003 will be spam, and a fifth of these unsolicited mails in the UK will be pornographic, an industry vendor claimed yesterday. Click here for more.

Cyber sex lures love cheats: Growing numbers of married people are turning to internet chat rooms for sexual thrills, a US study has found. Click here for more.

Bringing it all back home

Rob ZornThanks again for reading the Actrix Online Informer. Feedback can be sent to me via the e-mail address listed below. Please limit this to comments/suggestions regarding the newsletter. Non-forum requests for support should go to the Actrix Help Desk (support@actrix.co.nz) or to the Accounts Department (accounts@actrix.co.nz).

Take care and keep warm through August!

Rob Zorn
editor@actrix.co.nz
http://editor.actrix.co.nz 

 

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