Apr 292009

Man, just when I thought I’d seen it all, 419-scammers seem to have caught on to the fact that most spam filters now simply destroy their mail without people even seeing it. Thus preventing them from ever reaching potential gullible victims. They found a way around it, ellegant and scary in it’s simplicity.
I just received an SMS that read: “Please contact Doctor Kelvin agentdrkelv@gmail.com for your prize of 7500000 pounds” . The number, a +44 is the correct country code for the UK (I had it wrong earlier, corrected now) – don’t be fooled by this.

Yep, the classic lotto prize 419, in an SMS – the interesting thing is that they obviously realized short messages like in SMS is not sufficient to pull a full scam, so they just put the bait there, then lure you to mail them – if you do, of course, it’s business as usual for one of the most effective criminal syndicate systems we’ve faced.

This shows a classic problem with security systems – technology convergence. In the beginning they kept beating spam filters by simply spamming better, now that this is becoming hard as we are getting good at picking up the consistent messages they need, they are targeting using a completely unfiltered technology, and thus leading you into the conversation. Almost no spam filter in the world will pick a message as spam if it’s a reply to one you sent.

It’s very wrong, but it’s very clever. So this post is a warning to those who read it. I am sure I wasn’t targeted for the SMS. These people almost certainly invested in bulk sms packages and are sms’ing large numbers of people in bulk at overseas rates. A much more expensive proposition than mass mailing, but they must believe the payoff is worth it. So when you get your 419 SMS – ignore it, or contact the cops, whatever you do -don’t mail the address in it.

Feb 282007

Despite your expectations, exchange for once in this blog does not refer to the microsoft product but to the buildings used by phone companies. My visit happened since I have a good friend in Telkom’s ADSL division. This has the advantage that my new ADSL line was installed in a record 5 days after ordering (the last 3 was spent waiting for somebody with keys to the right exchange to let us in).
This is probably a record for any South African citizen who isn’t an MP but not Cape Town’s fastest ADSL install ever by a long shot.
That honour belongs to Brangelina who got theirs installed within 1 hour of ordering by this same person. I am now privy to some secrets which allowed this to happen but I won`t reveal those here, instead I will just post a few innocent pix of the inside of a phone exchange and risk getting arrested by the most competent intelligence agent in SA for distributing sensitive information to online espionage agents (you will know he is the most intelligent because he has a webbrowser and doesn’t use it exclusively to visit disnep.com and weirdmonkeysex.net.

PS. Notice the Telkom spelling of “infrastructure” ?

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Feb 222007

I received word from my friend Uwe Thiem that Namibian Telecom has just rolled out it’s first ADSL services, I place his thoughts on it verbatim:

ADSL arrived in Namibia – well, at least in Windhoek and
Swakopmund So I got my shiny new ADSL modem/router yesterday. The boys from
Telecom didn’t know much about it. So I sent them home after they “installed”
the hardware. Took me half an hour to make it work = most of it reading the
excellent manual that comes with it. Now for the really good news: It is
blazingly fast. I ordered the smallest package available (256Kb/s bandwidth,
1GB data per month. Downloaded rather large files from overseas between
40KB/s and 110KB/s. I think Telecom has forgotten to put the bandwidth cap
in. ;-) I might even use IRC or such in future. I might even start blogging
now that I am online permanently.