BLISS – for babies born too soon, too small, too sick

Just a quick post to highlight a worthwhile cause and to ask you to help in
anyway you can.
A friend of mine had reason to make use of BLISS some time ago, and I was recently
reminded of the charity by a tweet by Tess
Morris
.
Tess and her husband (Lee
Morris
) will both be running 10miles in the Great
South Run, and sponsoring them both is a great way to help the charity.
Even if you can’t afford a few pennies at the moment, please donate 5mins of
your time and forward this event on to your friends, family and work colleagues.

From the JustGiving page
set up by Tess
Morris
.

Our little girl Eden Summer was born at 29 wks, 11 wks, early by emergency
caesarean at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital, miles away from our local
hospital which didn’t have the facillities to look after a baby so small
. Eden’s incubator was donated to the hospital by Bliss and the intensive
care unit was also referred to as Bliss. I eventually held Eden for the first
time after 4 days and quickly started kangaroo care which Bliss says helps
pre-term babies and parents,it did,after 3 wks Eden was transferred to our
local hospital where she stayed another 3 wks after which we were allowed
to bring her home. It was the scariest time of our lives but the staff at
both hospitals and Bliss were fantastic .The work Bliss does is amazing and
my husband and me are trying to raise as much money as possible for them
to continue their work. So thats why we will be running 10 miles in The Great
South Run so please help us help babies like Eden.

BLISS

For more information on BLISS, you visit their website at http://www.bliss.org.uk

Bliss, the special care baby charity, provides vital support and care to
premature and sick babies across the UK. Founded 30 years ago this year,
we offer guidance and information at a critical time in families’ lives. We
also fund ground-breaking research and campaign for babies to receive the
best possible level of care regardless of when and where they are born

Remember, these babies are too small to be able to help themselves. Help BLISS
give them the best start in life. As I say above, even if you can’t afford
to give a few pennies, then forward this post to everyone you know, or send
them the link to the JustGiving page.

Hotmail Accounts Hacked: New Trojan doing the rounds.

New variant of Trojan via Hotmail Instant Message

Be warned and on the lookout for a new round of Hotmail accounts being hacked
and suspicious links being sent to you from your contacts.
You might receive a message from a known contact that will contain a link to
what initially appears to be a to a profile picture.
What it is actually doing is trying to get you to download a windows Trojan.
Hotmail Message from Hacked Account

The message you will receive could look something like the following:

Hacked Hotmail Account Message | Trojan Dropper

The text will say something similar to the above: "ahha is this you??
hxxp://images-id.com/profile.php?=yahoo:shinerweb@yahoo.com"

How does the attack work?

If you receive the above message or similar, because it has come from a "trusted
friend" in your Hotmail contact list, you are probably likely to believe
the link to have come from them.
Most people will just click on the link, but don’t worry, you haven’t been
hacked just yet. In this case of this attack it actually requires you to install
it, but believe it not, many people will do just that.

In this instance, clicking on the link above will download a self-extracting
zip file to your PC. (Yes, we are talking a Windows Trojan here).
But you still haven’t infected your PC. You now have to actually run the self-extracting
zip file by navigating to the location where it was downloaded and clicking
on it. (Some chat programs allow you to open the downloaded file by simply
clicking on it from within the chat program).
But you still haven’t been infected if you do just that. All you have done
is to extract the actual virus to your PC.
It still requires you to now navigate to where the file was extracted and open
it.
Only now will you have infected your machine.

At the time of writing, only one anti-virus vendor was giving a warning, with
two other vendors marking the file as suspicious.
It will take most of the leading Anti-virus companies up to another 6-12 hours
before they release new definitions to catch this one.
It will probably be a few days before the rest of the bunch catch up with some
taking up to a week.
So even if you have the most up-to-date virus definitions, you are not going
to detect this trojan just yet.

Despite the number of manual steps involved in order to become infected, many
hundreds of thousands of users around the globe will still do just that.
Some will do it primarily because the link and the files came from someone
in their Hotmail contact list that they probably trust.

So why did my Hotmail contact send me this link?

Actually, your contact didn’t. The bad guys have gained access to
your contacts username and password and have control of their account.
There are a number of ways that the bad guys can gain access to these details.

Trojan: The payload in this instance is a trojan that installs
other software to capture personal information from the infected machine. The
user could already have been infected with this trojan or another similar
and the Hotmail account details stolen (via a Keylogger for example).

Phishing: There have been a number of incidents already this
year whereby legitimate sites have displayed adverts or malware inserted by
the bad guys. This presents the visitor with a dialogue box very similar (almost
an exact copy) of the Hotmail Login screen. The user then blindly enters their
Hotmail Username and Password. The bad guys scripts will then usually display
a failure message before redirecting the visitor the genuine Hotmail Login
screen. But by this stage it is too late, they already have your Hotmail account
details.

In this instance, this is what I suspect to have happened in that the user
has fallen foul of a phishing attempt on a site they have recently visited.

The short answer is that your Hotmail contact did not send
you the message. In fact, they probably have no knowledge what-so-ever of any
messages being sent to you.
They will probably tell you that they didn’t even have their computer switched
on at the time so it could not have come from them.
The bad news is that it didn’t need to be. The bad guys already have their
username and password and they use a program of their own to login and send
the messages from any computer they like.

At a later date, I will post an update on how to prevent or reduce the chances
of falling foul of these types of attacks.
Some quick advice though is:

  • Never to trust any files sent by friends
    no matter how much you trust them. It might not be them sending it in the
    first place.
  • Always have your chat program configured to run an anti-virus scan of
    ALL downloaded and transferred files. (Though this would not have protected
    you in this instance).
  • Any file you are not sure of, upload it to Virus
    Total
    and see what they have to say about it.

The information below is the technical information about how the virus works.

Continue reading “Hotmail Accounts Hacked: New Trojan doing the rounds.”

Random calls from overseas telephone numbers (03598815400011)

It happened to me last night around 12.30am.

It was my mobile number this time.

The phone rings twice, and then the call drops.

By the time I get to the phone, there is a missed call from 03598815400011

That is a number from Bulgaria and more than likely, a premium rate number.

I had a quick check online to see if there are any other reports on this number and low and behold, there are plenty. It does however appear to be a new number in use.

I was amazed to read some of the comments on one site and a few of the questions
I have listed below:

“How do they get my number?”

“Why are they ringing me at that time of the morning? I’m not likely to answer”.

“Why do they only let it ring once, I will never be able to answer the phone that quick”

Some people just don’t seem to understand when they are about to be conned even when it jumps up and bites them on the nose.

They didn’t “get your number”.

And the reason why it only rings once is because they don’t want you to pick it up and answer it.

(If you do, that costs them money and they don’t want to actually spend any money, they just want to make as much as possible).

Here is a copy of my reply I posted in reply to one comment.

Continue reading “Random calls from overseas telephone numbers (03598815400011)”

Who the heck is Anthony Benner?

Well the quick answer is nobody special, although I get the impression that he probably is the kind of guy who thinks he is.
So what has he done to get up my nose? Well nothing major, so if you here for some gossip, move on, it’s just a rant from me.

I think it was 2006 or 2007 that I joined Ecademy which is a great UK based Business Social Networking tool (and here you can see my Ecademy Profile).

Continue reading “Who the heck is Anthony Benner?”

Glad not to be mentioned in a Tweet

The following gave me a chuckle, and given the large number of Twitter accounts I run/manage, I was glad to see that no names were mentioned. It’s probably the one and only time I’m glad not to be mentioned in a tweet/post.

I must give credit to Ike Pigott (@ikepigott) for the idea of a "Top 10 People to Unfollow" list.  Although I can easily think of several individuals I’d like to place on this list, I figured it would be too mean to actually call them out by name (and possibly result in a libel suit).  So the list below contains ten archetypes that I’ve noticed on Twitter.

From the post “Top 10 List of People to Unfollow on Twitter” on the blog by Shannon Whitley.

I’m hoping I’ve never fallen into any of those categories, though looking at my main “personal” Twitter account, one or two (erm, try most) are getting pretty close to another Top 10 reason category of “Too Drab to be of any interest”.

Pop over to Shannon’s site and add any categories you can think of to the comments on that post.

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Long Time No Post – Update

I am still here, just… Apart from being very ill the past few months (erm, let’s try apart from being ill since my last operation on January 8th which is more exact), I’ve been working on 10 new sites as well as a few new ventures with a couple of other people. I’ve also just come back from a 4 week residential pain management course at INPUT, St Thomas’ Hospital, London.  If you want to read all about that, you can follow my updates over at another blog of mine – “My Own Personal Pain

Quite a lot has happened since my last post, and in fact it was when Pompey dropped out of the UEFA Cup last night that I remembered that the last time I posted was when the draw for the first round had been made (back in August 2008 – Pompey in the UEFA Cup).  I didn’t get to watch it last night, but I did catch poor old David James howler on the news this morning.  I think we can forgive him his error seeing as he probably earned us 75% of our points last season).

Anyway, I am hoping that I’ll be updating a lot more often over the next few weeks as I begin to put into practice what I learned at St. Thomas’.

 

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Pompey in the UEFA Cup

So Pompey have drawn Vitoria SC from Portugal in the UEFA Cup.
I could do with an away trip to sunny Portugal, just not so sure I could get away with it right now.
Oh well, I’m just glad that Pompey are in Europe for the first time in my life time that I can remember.
I shall just have to find out which non-terrestrial station will be broadcasting it and bemoan the fact that I don’t have a subscription for it.

The rest of the draw looks pretty good for British clubs too:

Portsmouth v Vitoria SC (Portugal)
Manchester City v AC Omonia (Cyprus)
Nancy (France) v Motherwell
Everton v Standard Liege (Belgium)
Litex Lovech (Bulgaria) v Aston Villa
Tottenham v Wisla Krakow (Poland)

Jogue acima o pompey, pompey jogam acima as they say in Portugal.

Lancaster Bomber over Bramley

I forgot to post these a few weeks back, but despite the delay and the fact the event is no longer relevant, I think a few of the images are still worthy of a post all on their own.

Trust me, the hairs were standing up on the back of my neck as this marvel of British Engineering flew over the house, and I mean right over the house.  

I can’t even remember which of the two nearby air shows it was, but it must have done 3 laps of the air field during a display and each time it’s turning point on it’s approach back was directly over my back yard.  The first time it came over I watched and listened in awe to the unmistakable sound of those engines, and then ran indoors to grab the first camera I could find in case it came back (for which I was rewarded).

Lancaster Bomber Lancaster Bomber
Lancaster Bomber Lancaster Bomber
Lancaster Bomber Lancaster Bomber

The last image is a final shot of the plane as it headed away from the air show back North, North-West.

I know it’s taken at long range on maximum zoom (both mechanical and digital), but what struck me about this picture was the exact angle away from me that the plane flew.  It was almost perfectly in a line with me. Every propeller and all of the tail is perfectly aligned.  Boy did I wish I had a high definition camera with me that day.

Anyway, like a said, just a short post because it was worth it. It doesn’t need many words to support it, the pictures are the post.