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IT & Communications

Thanks to The Harvey Boys, Phil and Rob, for providing us with outstanding service for almost two decades at their company UK Servers Limited, trading as Virtual Names. It's only right that I publicly thank them for all the support they have given me and my companies over the years, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill.

CoNet Section: 

The email is doomed to be subject to review because the idiot sender has spoofed the recipient's address and used it as the sender's address. But, otherwise, for the unwary, in the period leading up to critical gift delivery period, the scam has a high chance of success.

CoNet Section: 

When we found this address was the source for a brute-force attack by hackers on our own administration system, we checked and found that it's being used to mount attacks on Drupal CMS systems around the world.

RECOMMENDATION: BLOCK IT AND PREVENT IT REACHING YOUR CMS.

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When was the last time you logged onto Google +? With even Google's own search engine prioritising members' pages on Facebook, and G+ pages listed far, far away, if at all, one has to wonder if it's still there at all. But, apparently, it's not dead and it's not dying. It's just hovering in that netherland where MySpace, AoL and a handful of others still function at a viable level but will never (again) be stars. But it raises the question - why not run a niche service? And if you do, can you make it relevant to users instead of becoming a totalitarian environment?

CoNet Section: 

We reproduce below, unedited, the full text of two announcements by US-CERT, the US government cyber security office, relating to the HIDDEN COBRA virus which contains information in addition to that previously published.

CoNet Section: 

Today, the US cyber security office, US-CERT has issued a renewed warning about HIDDEN COBRA which it describes as a "spear phishing" virus.

What does that mean?

CoNet Section: 

Common Internet of Things Devices May Expose Consumers to Cyber Exploitation
17 October, 2017
Source: https://www.ic3.gov/media/2017...
Full content below (verbatim)

CoNet Section: 

The UK's Home Office has announced that it intends to "update" anti terrorism laws to identify and act against those who use the internet in ways that suggest that they may be "radicalised" or in some other way involved with terrorism or a terrorist act, or the preparation for such an act.

CoNet Section: 

A new form of spam-scam has come to our attention. We understand that this has not been widely seen before. Its nature is that it is likely that many receiving the email will click on links.

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Like so many developers of so-called artificial intelligence, Google is proud of its efforts and, yet, once again AI has proved that it is often a failure waiting to happen. But this example is ever funnier - and more worrying. Someone has manipulated it and the target, amazingly, is people working in e.g. banks. Should banks, etc. now ban Google Alerts?

CoNet Section: 

When we launched PleaseBeInformed.com, one of our fundamental principles of design was that only those who we had taken reasonable steps to identify and verify would be permitted to post, even to comment. That decision was at the heart of our plan to charge a small annual membership fee, paid by credit card. While American-based social media networks spread across the world with more and more fraudulent accounts, China, it is reported, is taking steps to combat the use of social media for financial and "news" fraud, for that is what fake news and scurrilous social media comment is, at their heart.

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My grandmother, who worked in a police station, used to say "you know when you are getting old when policemen look young." It's strange to realise that many of today's senior people in offices have never known a world without the internet or a phone in their pocket.

CoNet Section: 

"The largest marketplace on the Darknet—where hundreds of thousands of criminals anonymously bought and sold drugs, weapons, hacking tools, stolen identities, and a host of other illegal goods and services—has been shut down as a result of one the most sophisticated and coordinated efforts to date on the part of law enforcement across the globe." So says the USA's FBI. And it is seriously impressive. But, quietly, another investigation, led by Dutch authorities, has done far more damage to the deep web than closing down Alphabay.

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Recently, airbnb angered both "hosts" and "guests" by its decision to prevent the making or rejection of bookings on e.g. religious grounds. Then it started to upset "hosts" by delisting properties based on apparently arbitrary criteria. Next, it decided that, in some cities, it would not accept bookings for a property for more than 90 days each year. And within the past few days, a woman has been fined in California because airbnb has entered into an agreement with a California state department. All of this is in addition to long and complex agreements between "hosts" and "guests." The big question is ... how much control is so much control that it turns airbnb from broker to manager?

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The US government's CERT division of the Department of Homeland Security has issued a statement that explains the risks and problems associated with the Petya ransomware virus and details of it.

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