The Phishers / Virus Makers have Hooked Amazon now

Phishing is all about getting people hooked, line a sinker, this time Amazon is the recipient of the Phishers focus.

It seems to be the usual DHL / UPS style scam, where a zip archive is attached to an email that carries the nasty payload.

Asking you to print the attached postal label to get your package.

As usual, delete these emails as they are nothing but a cover for a dangerous virus or scam.

Here is the transcript of the email


Thank you for shopping at
We have successfully received your payment.

Your order has been shipped to your billing address.

You have ordered ” Asus Eee PC T91Go ”

You can find your tracking number in attached to the e-mail  document.

Print the postal label to get your package.

We hope you enjoy your order!
Attachment is called

It is interesting to see these people targeting suppliers / vendors that have wide audiences. Removing any refernce to DHL or UPS as this is starting to get a little old.

I wonder how long it will take for the Anti virus brigade to recognise this new variant.

Avast Antivirus – Wow!

I have used a number of Antivirus programs over the years. I was a big fan of Mcafee back in the DOS days, moved onto Nortons when it came with my PC (Threw it away when it got too bloated). Tried a number of others and then settled on AVG.

AVG was great. It was free, wasn’t bloated like Norton was (I have been assured that the 2009 and 2010 versions are much better) and seemed to do everything, except custom scheduled scans, you needed to pay for that.

Over the last few years it has worked great for me and I have been through a number of versions, till the recent v8.

However, I noticed it too was getting a bit bloated, using memory and system resources that seemed a bit big while idle.

I thought I would try Avast.

It too is a free anti virus program, for non commercial use and has all of the current drop of shields including Instant Messaging, Web,Mail, Network and more.

Resource wise it was better, not to much between them, but it definitely used less memory than AVG. This was ideal for my laptop that only has 256mb of RAM.

After some toing and froing between versions, the newest version of Avast has been released, so installed this on the resource challenged laptop.

Well some of the initial tests have been quite stunning.

While the proof will be in the protection it provides (The previous versions seem to be good in that regard), the resource usage of this new system is quite staggering.

With AVG installed, the laptop idled once fully loaded at around 260mb (remember this only has 256mb of RAM)

With Avast this reduced to 195mb, around 65mb less. On such a tight resource budget this is huge. Updates and scans obviously take more cpu and RAM, but that is to be expected. Why waste resources when they are not needed.

Well done to Avast, they have made a good product even better, enough to get a WOW out of me!

You can download it here

Email Scam targetting mail users at specific domain

Well they keep rolling off the spam/scam production line.

This one pretends to be an email from mail support of a specific domain. As with all of these mass email scams, they don’t realise that the person they sent the email to manages all of the mail for that domain (Including the “support” that is mentioned in the email)

This is a phishing scam hoping to gain logins and passwords to try to gain access to mail (or if you are sharing login details) or other online services.

Here is a transcript

Subject: Your profile will be locked in response to a complaint received by the Administration

***This message was created automatically by mail-delivery software. Do not reply to this message.*** 

Your profile will be locked in response to a complaint received by the Administration 29.01.2010 ?.
According to "paragraph 8 of the user agreement, reserves the right to suspend or terminate the provision of services, promptly notifying the user. 

Refute the statement may be, following this link:
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href=""></a>

If the application is not rejected within 7 days, your e-mail an account will be blocked.
It has a number 237242679231777. 

In the near future we will contact you.
It takes up to 3 days to process your request.
Thank you!
mail support service 

As you can see they are using shortened style urls to hide things, but it is unsophisticated as they use a completely unrelated domain as the link.

Most likely this will be handled by the antispam handlers, but shows these scams are still out there and are unlikely to go away.

Other variants of this try to dupe gmail users into giving their logins to the phishers

DHL, UPS Virus Email, What Next NZPost?

Many times there are things that show the US Centricness (Is that a word?) of the internet:

  • .com readily meaning US site
  • US date formats in online forms
  • USD as the default currency

Well another example is the idea that every country must use UPS and DHL for their parcels.

Why else would all of the post / courier etc virus emails sent all around the world have these two as the only options to use.

The phishers seem to have a better idea…use a local provider to have a better chance of success. (Even these guys get it wrong: Note to Spammers – I dont have any Commonwealth Bank of Australia accounts)

What is wrong with NZPost? I suspect that in any case like this, an email from a local bank / services company / postal service etc would be more troublesome to the local population.

So, look out for suspicious emails from local suppliers, and as should be usual practice, here are a few standard tips to protect you from email nasties:

  • Any email asking for any form of login / password should be treated suspiciously
  • Any email warning of a security breach should be treated suspiciously
  • Don’t click on any links in emails that you are unsure of, instead go to the website manually
  • Don’t open any attachment that is unexpected, this especially includes zip files
  • Keep your virus software up to date and make sure email scanning is turned on!

Let me know of any other tips or other virus laden emails you have had to send to your trash bin.

Twitter Phishing Problem or Twitter Security Breach?

I have received a Twitter email saying that:

Due to concern that your account may have been compromised in a phishing attack that took place off-Twitter, your password was reset. Please create a new password by opening this link in your browser:

Now, funnily enough, I don’t remember any phishing attempts coming my way, and by the number of similar issues that others are having, who also don’t remember any phishing attempts, it seems more likely a glitch at Twitter.

Phishing attacks are usually to capture logins and passwords so the attacker can gain access for some illicit purpose, but there were no bad tweets, no changing of settings, no damage I could see at all.

Again, none of the others I have read about have found any damage either.

I use some third party software and plugins to manage my Twitter account, so it could be one of those, but that isn’t phishing, that is a security breach.

No one seems to have any ideas, the closest I found was a reference to software such as Seesmic or Tweetdeck users having problems.

Some people were getting these emails ten times or more.

Here is a blog post about someone else’s experience (worse than mine, so far 🙂

Have you received one of these, have you had any issues resetting your Twitter password?

Let us know in the comments…

Is this the needed Push Out the Door for IE6?

Internet Explorer 6 is an old browser, in internet terms it is a dinosaur. Released in 2001, it has been the mainstay of peoples internet experience over the last 9 years.

The masses are often reluctant to change unless something pushes them along.

Firstly, Firefox gave users a good alternative browser to use (Better in my opinion)

Then came regular security issues, each time a further section of the browsing public moving to another browser. Most recently was the security hole that caused a breach in Google and over 30 other companies.

The key thing to note about this last issue was the speed and loudness of some governments urging people to look at other browsers to prevent further problems.

Some say that Firefox has overtaken Internet Explorer as the first choice in some countries.

However, there are still about 20% of the internet population using Internet Explorer 6.

I have now just read of Googles impending chang in in policy to cease support of IE6 from the 1st of March. This specifically deals with Google Docs and Sites, but shows a willingness to help push the remianing 20% into more modern browsers.

I support this as it has the following benefits:

  1. Wider support for the new HTML5 (IE6 would not be able to offer this new technology)
  2. Improved browser compatibilty with web standards
  3. Speed

It would be great if those 20% could not use Google at all, that would really send a message!

If you want to know more you can visit IE6 No More, a site dedicated to helping it disappear as soon as possible

If you use IE6, why don’t you upgrade?