Thursday’s Thrombosis

Black holes no longer suck but Windows still does. Have you downloaded your patch of the month yet?

Meanwhile, Mono 1.0 is out. Can you say dot-net for Linux and OS X? CNET has a good interview with Miguel de Icaza.

  1. Michael Dell is stepping down as CEO of Dell Computers. President and COO, Kevin Rollins, will take charge Friday. Dell will remain company chairman.
  2. President Bush signed a new law Thursday which adds two years to the prison sentence of anyone convicted in federal court of identity theft. The law also calls for mandatory prison sentences for employees who steal data that is then used in identity theft crimes. The FTC logged 214,905 cases of identity theft in 2003, up 33% from 2002.
  3. A Seattle judge has struck down a state law forbidding the sale of violent video games to minors, saying the law violated the first amendment.
  4. Microsoft has won a $4 million judgment against a Canoga Park, CA spammer who used MSN and Hotmail to promote a bogus security toolbar.
  5. Ebay is launching into the music market. A number of pre-approved sellers, including a record label and music distributor, will be allowed to sell songs for download. The six month trial will begin soon. Buyers will not be allowed to resell the music on eBay.
  6. That’s one small step for Microsoft, one giant leap for IM. Microsoft has announced a partnership with AOL and Yahoo to create a cross-platform business IM network. Office Live Communications Server 2005 will let users talk with MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and AIM users transparently. Look for it in the 4th quarter. Or you can just use AIM like everyone else.
  7. Xbox Live has reached one million users in record time.
  8. I missed it last week but Yahoo Mail bought Oddpost – one of the best web based email programs out there. Oddpost uses DHTML to create a very rich client, like a streamlined Outlook. It’s Windows IE only, unfortunately. But combine that with the 2GB of storage Yahoo Mail is offering paid customers and you have a very compelling offering. No word on when the second generation Mail will debut.
  9. Europe’s OD2 music service, co-founded by Peter Gabriel, says it will have 1.3 million tracks online by year’s end, almost twice that of the iTunes Music Store and Napster. OD2 was purchased by Loudeye a few months ago provides service for MTV, Virgin, and other online music stores.
  10. There’s a new Bagle variant out, and it’s spreading fast. Say it with me folks, what should you do with attachments? Phishing Example
  11. Speaking of which, think VERY carefully before you click on those email links. I got an extremely sophisticated and well designed scam email today claiming to be from eBay. Clicking on the link in the email – which appears to be a legitimate secure Ebay link – takes you to a hacker’s server in Japan. Fortunately the server is down, but I bet this fooled a lot of people. It’s times like this I wish Call for Help were still on the air.

I will talk about this, and malware in general, tomorrow at 8:35a Pacific in my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.

19 Replies to “Thursday’s Thrombosis”

  1. I’m really starting to get tired of those Citibank phishing emails. The one I got the other day was alot more convincing than the one with the misspelled words. The people sending them out are stupid; they’re not even trying to hide the info in the headers. I know they can be spoofed but I don’t think this is the case. Idiot sent it to me using Mozilla email of all things; funny that this jerk is trying to practice “safe hex.” That’s hiarlous.

  2. Leo,
    All I have to say is I hope they keep the interface for Yahoo Mail they have.. I use it for my spam account but I run a Mac w/ Camino.

  3. Using a non-Microsoft browser with SpoofStick is what I’ve been doing lately. And updating non-Microsoft browsers when necessary. The best advice is to not click on any email web site link. Go to the web site by typing the address and verifying the link.
    The number of unreported cases is much higher. ID theft is no joke and it can happen to anyone at anytime. According to this report,
    nearly 10 million people have been affected by some type of ID theft in the last year.
    It happened to me, but I caught it early. The earlier you discover the crime the better. I have become more proactive than ever and taken steps to help prevent it from happening again. One important thing you can do is to check your credit reports for errors from the three major credit agencies every few months. There is no such thing as being too careful when it comes to personal information security. provides helpful information.

  4. I watched TSS for the first time in over a month, just because it was the last live broadcast from SF. Everyone seems to be trying hard, but for many old fans it just lacks character. A lot of us use artificial sweeteners, but we still know the difference between Equal and pure cane sugar. Many of the best moments on TSS was when things went wrong. This was live TV at it’s best. I would love to see a montage of segments of hardware failures and program crashes over the years. A collection of TSS/CFH bloopers might sell, or at least be posted as a bittorrent. 😉

  5. I got an email supposedly from my bank, US Bank. Same deal… link to a really well done spoof of their website, with a message that they upgraded their software and needed me to verify my information, otherwise I could be “locked out.”
    I forwarded the email to
    If anyone else received the same mail, I suggest you do the same and by all means DO NOT INPUT YOUR ACCOUNT LOGIN ON THE SITE LINKED TO IN THE EMAIL.
    It looks like US Bank’s site, even down to the address line. (You missed the quick flash where a raw IP number was there first.) IT IS NOT US BANK’S WEBSITE.
    I hope there is a special place in hell for people who pull crap like this.

  6. I wish Call for Help was still on too. I got an e-mail very similar to this one. While I wasn’t fooled, I can imagine many people were. Thanks for writing about it Leo.

  7. these emails are out of hand, I get about 5 a day. a good way to tell if it’s a scam or not is to hover over a hyper link and see what the URL is. Usually it’s just a IP address. Also if you’re unsure you can foward them to or

  8. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Call 4 Help and The Screen Savers with you and Patrick. Literally I have almost no use for my TV anymore, except for NetFlix. I went from being a dedicated watcher for 5 years, 5 days a week to nothing. Now that’s cold turkey. At least I can listen to the weekend radio show! It’s great to be able to download the shows and listen to them again during the week. Looking forward to seeing you back on TV in the good ole USA!

  9. I get a Phisher from PayPal at least once a week. It’s really annoying. I closed the checking account hooked up to my PayPal account and opened a new one at a different bank. I’m about to close my PayPal account. I really wish there was something that could be done about this!
    I can’t wait until my Hotmail account goes up to 250MB. Then, it can hold 100 times the spam! Wahoo! Or not.

  10. Today I got the Citibank one even though I don’t even have an account there which was the first flag. However, it was pretty convincing, all the way down to providing a IP address and saying it’s coming from a proxy server. However, when a lookup is done on the IP, it really belongs to Internet Assigned Numbers Authority in Marina del Rey, CA. The email even goes as far as to say there were multiple attempts to log into the account using that “foreign IP” but no successful login was accomplished.
    I can see how something like this could have fooled many people, but of course, the red flags of an IP address in the provided link and the fact I don’t have an account there made me delete it straight off.

  11. Nix on the nationwide radio talk show. Syndication will be the kiss of death for it.

  12. Hey Leo! I miss CFH and Tech TV Live too! It seems like I spend less and less time tuned in to Tech TV……Where have all the good shows gone? SS is still good!

  13. Leo, if you’re not able to find a new home for Call for Help, you ought to think about doing a nation wide talk radio call in show.

  14. I don’t understand how everyone is apparently on AIM… here in Canada, at least, I know of one other person in my entire circle of friends that uses AIM, and I know two who use Yahoo… the other 100-odd contacts on my list are all MSN. Hm.

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