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Was PhotonLight.com Hacked?

February 10, 2013 Leave a comment

I have blogged about the possible hacking of DnyDns and Infonec.

Today I am blogging about the the company who makes the Photon Light, a brilliant tiny LED-based flashlight. I own 2 of them.

The situation (once again…)

I use a separate unique e-mail address with almost every company / entity that I deal with. This helps me identify the source of any spam or unauthorized sales of my e-mail address because the only groups that know said addresses are myself and the individual company I am dealing with.

For example, I use a unique e-mail address for this WordPress account. So if I hypothetically started receiving spam urging me to “Enlarge your *****” at that e-mail address, I know that either WordPress was hacked or they sold my address.

Fast Forward To Today (Once Again…)

I received a spam e-mail for some “Asian Bride” website at the e-mail address used for PhotonLight.com. The only parties outside myself that know this address are my e-mail services provider (who hosts dozens of these forwarders) and PhotonLight.com. How did the spammers get my e-mail address? You, the reader, can connect the dots.

General Recommendations

Everybody should use unique passwords for every website / service. This is because, if one site gets compromised, your information might be used to compromise your accounts on other sites. If you used a password on Photonlight.com that was used elsewhere, you should change those passwords immediately.

Categories: tech Tags: , , ,

Spammer Fail?

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment

I received a really strange comment on this blog. This appears to be some kind of hilariously failed spamming script!

Judging from the submitter’s information, it appears that they were trying to create a stealth advertisement for a certain brand of women’s clothing.

The spam text follows…

Read more…

Categories: tech Tags:

SSD: Enable Write Caching? The Difference Write Caching Makes

November 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I got a new SSD. It’s a Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB (PX-256M5P). I followed some guide on how to optimize your system for SSDs. One of its suggestions is to disable write-caching on the drive. Here are my benchmarks.

Write-Caching disabled:

Image

Write-caching enabled:

Image

Device Manager, with Write-Caching enabled:

Image

Moral of the story: Don’t disable write caching. 🙂

Categories: tech Tags: , , ,

Was Dyn DNS Hacked?

October 31, 2012 1 comment

Similar to the apparent re-hacking of Infonec, the lovely e-mail privacy service SneakeMail has again exposed another possible security breach.

The e-mail address I use on the Dyn service is unique and randomly generated. The only parties that have the address are myself and Dyn.

Today, I received a phishing message at that e-mail. How did the crooks get my address? You connect the dots!

I recommend that all users of Dyn change their passwords.

Categories: tech Tags: , ,

Was Infonec Hacked? (Again?)

October 9, 2012 1 comment

Last year, I blogged about a possible hacking of Infonec.

Ken from Infonec management was nice enough to give us an update on the situation, and recommended that users update their password frequently.

After that incident, I changed the unique forwarding address for my Infonec account. The only parties that know this address are myself, Infonec and my mail-forwarding service.

This week, I received “Viagra” spam at this new unique address. How did spammers get the address? I think Infonec has some security holes. Again.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Don’t use the same password across many sites. If just one site gets hacked, all of your accounts could be compromised.
  2. Use a forwarding service like Sneakemail so you can cut off compromised addresses, and so spammers won’t get the e-mail addresses for your other accounts.

In the past, I spent thousands of dollars at Infonec. Still, I haven’t shopped there in years. The closing of their Mississauga branch and opening of a local NCIX sealed the deal. This kind of incident makes me less likely to shop at Infonec in the future.

Categories: Canada, tech Tags: ,

TinyChat Pro Sales & Marketing – Ineptitude By The Seat Of Your Pants?

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I noticed that TinyChat offers a Pro feature that claims to give higher quality video and 16fps video playback. At first glance, it’s tempting. But I have some concerns.

Looking at the way this feature is pushed, it makes me think the TinyChat staff are running some kind of social experiment to see how much they can confuse and annoy their users, and how inefficiently and confusingly they can advertise a product. It’s like TinyChat’s administration is trying as hard as possible to advertise a product that people will be afraid to purchase. Hanlon’s Razor comes to mind.

Here are some examples of why I think this is true:

Unclear Description of Features and Their Implementation

The information on what you exactly get when purchasing TinyChat Pro is extremely unclear. I can think of a number possible explanations for the features that are bestowed upon Pro accounts:

  • Do the Pro features apply to any chat room you visit, as long as your logged in?
  • Do the Pro features only apply in the chat room from which you bought the upgrade, even if you are not the owner? (And are the Pro features usable even by other users who did not pay, as long as they’re in that room?)
  • Do the Pro features only apply in the chat room named after your own account? (And are the Pro features usable by anyone who visits your room, even if they did not pay?)

The very unclear description of what $9.99 / month actually buys already completely turns me off this product. Why would I spend $9.99 on something when the people marketing it don’t even bother explaining what it is?

Inflexible Payment Options

The only option available is a $9.99 / month recurring fee. This is scary. I think a lot more people would give this a try if a one-shot $9.99 for one month payment was available. I’m not particularly comfortable with getting into a recurring payment with a constantly morphing and somewhat buggy service like TinyChat.

Payment Security

The payment page that takes your credit card information appears, incredibly, to be INSECURE! The URL does not begin with https. Insecure pages are easily snooped, meaning that any sensitive information like credit card numbers could be stolen by anyone! Astonishing!

Clearly, the TinyChat administration needs to rethink the way they’re advertising and pushing this product. The whole “hawk an internet service by the seat of your pants” approach is really like shooting yourself in the foot.

Categories: tech Tags:

OpenMedia.ca – Raging Against Empire (Bell, Rogers, Telus) – Mobile Freedom

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment

“On the eve of a critical new wireless spectrum auction, we have reports that the Big Three cell phone giants (who already control almost 94% of the market) are trying to trick the government into shutting independent competitors out of the market. They’re trying to block competitors from being able to use essential wireless spectrum. These giant phone companies are going so far as to use high-priced lobbyists and one is even using a fake grassroots campaign.”

OpenMedia.ca - Stop The Squeeze

Categories: Canada, tech

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I bought a new Samsung / Google Nexus S. My first real Smartphone.

And I really want to carry it around with me as my primary phone. I am prevented from doing so because my screen protector and case are taking ages to arrive. That’s international shipping at Christmas.

Frustrated.

Categories: tech Tags: , , ,

Canada Computers – Retail Aspirations

June 25, 2011 2 comments

Having visited the big new Mississauga location of Canada Computers, it appears to me that the management of CC aspires to become a knock-off version of Future Shop.

I predict that, on or before July 01, 2012, Canada Computers will offer its own store-branded credit card.

Was Infonec Hacked?

June 7, 2011 7 comments

The situation

I use a separate unique e-mail address with almost every company / entity that I deal with. This helps me identify the source of any spam or unauthorized sales of my e-mail address because the only groups that know said addresses are myself and the individual company I am dealing with.

For example, I use a unique e-mail address for this WordPress account. So if I hypothetically started receiving spam urging me to “Enlarge your *****” at that e-mail address, I know that either WordPress was hacked or they sold my address.

Fast Forward To Today

I received messages indicating that someone opened and closed a PayPal account under the e-mail address known to only myself and Infonec.

How did they get my address? You connect the dots.

At the very least, I think that all people with accounts at Infonec should change their passwords.

Categories: Canada, tech Tags: ,