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Tech podcast 319 is now out

Hello folks,

Tech podcast 319 is now out. We’ve got quite a bit of news, notes, a braille transcription update, and some commentary in regards to a Security Now episode dealing with sharing files and services out there. RSS is here or you can listen to the show on Live Wire on my box: 2276. I hope to have another podcast out very soon. Thanks for listening!

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Here’s something to ponder: a con man turned cybersecurity pro has tips

I’ve already read one book, in the midst of another, have a third on Bookshare, and now … a fourth book in the series. Cybersecurity Tips From a Master of Deception Turned Consultant is the article title

The gentleman’s name that is being interviewed in this article is Frank Abagnale, a very good con man for his day, seeing he started in the 60s with forged checks. In the 2nd book I’m reading, he talks about getting away from checks, and his reasoning.

The Library of Congress has two of the three available books out, and “Scam me if you can” seems to be another great one when it comes out.

link to Penguin for Scam me if you can

about the book

The following comes from the website, and its about the book.

Are you at risk of being scammed? Former con artist and bestselling author of Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale shows you how to stop scammers in their
Maybe you’re wondering how to make the scam phone calls stop. Perhaps someone has stolen your credit card number. Or you’ve been a victim of identity theft.
Even if you haven’t yet been the target of a crime, con artists are always out there, waiting for the right moment to steal your information, your money,
and your life.
As one of the world’s most respected authorities on the subjects of fraud, forgery, and cyber security, Frank Abagnale knows how scammers work. In Scam
Me If You Can, he reveals the latest tricks that today’s scammers, hackers, and con artists use to steal your money and personal information–often online
and over the phone. Using plain language and vivid examples, Abagnale reveals hundreds of tips, including:
* The best way to protect your phone from being hacked
* The only time you should ever use a debit card
* The one type of photo you should never post on social media
* The only conditions under which you should use WiFi networks at the airport
* The safest way to use an ATM
With his simple but counterintuitive rules, Abagnale also makes use of his insider intel to paint a picture of cybercrimes that haven’t become widespread

other books in the series

In no particular order, here are the other books in the series. Where appropriate, the book number will be made available from the library of congress. As discussed, only two out of the three are available, and one is available both in audio and braille for those who want it in braille. All are on Bookshare if you’re members.

  • Stealing your life: the ultimate identity theft prevention plan DB64907 I’m reading this one right now. This looks to be the third in the series, and this one is also in braille. The braille number is BR17324 and is two volumes long. The reading time in the audio book is 7 hours, 34 minutes.
    • Former criminal, now a fraud expert, provides a guide to safeguarding personal information. Exposes criminal tactics and offers a twenty-step prevention
      plan with tips including using a shredder, avoiding questionable web sites and ATMs, and consolidating credit cards. 2007. Its read by Butch Hoover for the Library of Congress.
  • Catch me if you can: the amazing true story of the youngest and most daring con man in the history of fun and profit DB55517 This book was recommended to me by the library and I couldn’t put it down! I even saw the movie of the same name, which went in to more detail of what happened after he served his time. Both were excellent. Its also co-authored by Stan Redding. Jack Fox did a great read of this book for the Library of Congress.
    • Lighthearted autobiography of a high-school dropout from the Bronx who became a master counterfeiter and a millionaire by the age of twenty-one. Describes
      his successful impersonations throughout the 1960s of an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer, and a college professor, before being apprehended. Some strong
      language. 1980.
  • The Art of the Steal I’ve downloaded this one to read after the first title in this list is read. Its not available on BARD.
    • In his celebrated bestseller, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, Frank Abagnale recounted his youthful career as a master imposter and forger. Before he was 21 he had
      cashed US$2. 5 million in forged cheques, practised as a lawyer, doctor, pilot, and college professor, even though he was a high school dropout. In THE
      ART OF THE STEAL, Abagnale tells the remarkable story of how he parlayed his knowledge of cons and scams into a successful career as a consultant on preventing
      financial foul play – while showing readers how they can spot and outsmart perpetrators of fraud. Technology may have made it easier to track down criminals,
      but cyberspace has spawned a skyrocketing number of ways to commit crime, much of it untraceable. Frank Abagnale has discovered that punishment for fraud,
      much less recovery of stolen goods, seldom happens – prevention is the best form of protection. Drawing on his early years of experience as a master con
      man and his 25-year career on the other side of the law, he shares eye-opening stories of true scams – and tips on how they could have been avoided. A
      peek inside the predatory criminal mind from a past master of the con, THE ART OF THE STEAL is the ultimate defence against even the craftiest crook.

The last one in this list is a 2001 title, so I read the first, the third, and will go back to the 2nd. I don’t think the order much matters, but this is a great author, not saying that the series by Kevin Mitnick was bad either, but this is a different type of con, and a good one too. I was impressed by catch me if you can, his mind is sharp, yet, he was even able to con his own father. You all should get a chance and get this article, check out the books if you’re interested in them, and feel free to let me know what you think about them. Looking forward in hearing from you!

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Say what? More than a million people have their biometric data exposed in massive security breach

Before I get to the heart of my post, I must add that this post is three days old, but still fresh off the presses. This is definitely something to think about.

I just saw this article entitled: More than a million people have their biometric data exposed in massive security breach and it brings up some very interesting questions. Sadly, I’m not versed on this, and I would rather pass along the article than to comment on something I’m not versed with. I do know that the OPM breach was mentioned, and sadly, if this breach is similar to that one, there is nothing we can do. Hey Steve at GRC? Are you reading? I don’t think this will be the last time we hear of this.

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You cannot pay your Apple Card bill online if you lose your iPhone

I did not know Apple had a credit card. This is quite interesting, until you go to pay a bill that you can’t access for some reason or another. Why would I want to give a company a bunch of info just to pay my bill? I had paid for the first time, a gas bill, and Internet bill. None asked for any information such as social security number, but verification of address or number and/or both was performed. I also will be paying electric bills too, and have set that up over the bank through the electric company web site. Why would a company ask for name, address, SSN, and other information just to get a bill paid? I’d be asking for payment info to assist, and maybe your name. You cannot pay your Apple Card bill online if you lose your iPhone is the article and you should check this out.

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Its time for windows update again

Hello all,

Its time for windows update again if you haven’t applied it. < Trend Micro has a great blog post as usual describing some of whats fixed in a lot of detail, but we can’t forget Krebs On Security as well for providing a post on this. Both have their good points, just look at them and decide what may be of importance information wise for you. Both were good reads.

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Breaking: AIRA now free for calls of Five Minutes or Less

I saw this article on blind bargains, I had to do a doubletake. Michael Hingson, a representative of IRA, spoke at the Accessibility Advisory Committee in our last meeting in regards to IRA. Either a meeting back, or two meetings back, Paul Schroeder also spoke as a public commenter in regards to IRA. I talked briefly to both gentleman about IRA and what I’ve heard amongst the community here on twitter and elsewhere.

I was on Facebook today, why, I don’t know. Perusing the posts, was the announcement from Michael Hingson himself, in regards to the free offering that IRA is offering. I’ve personally never used the service, and this is definitely a welcome change for those who can’t afford long term services.

I’m going to link to the blind bargains post, and I’ll look to utalize it to do basic mail stuff to determine what I need to keep, and what can be thrown away so when I do get help, they can only deal with what I know I needto have help with.

Blind Bargains: Breaking: AIRA now free for calls of Five Minutes or Less August 14, 2019

I’ll look at getting the app, and see what I think. The demo at Metro had some issues due to connectivity issues but for the most part, it went well. A video was also shared.

Thanks Michael and Paul for letting Los Angeles Metro know about the service, I hope that we can have a partnership with IRA where we can utalize the service in some way while traveling, so we can get assistance with finding bus stops, train departures, and the like.

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More breach news, the breaches just keep on coming


In the past two days, I’ve seen breach notifications. In an article I found on twitter, over 800 South Carolina employees that work the state in some capacity or another got breached and someone is getting diciplined. 824 current and former Charleston County employees impacted in HR data breach is the article, and the good news out of this will be that the number is small compared to some of the other big time breaches.

The next one comes from Krebs on Security where we get an update to a breach from First American. SEC Investigating Data Leak at First American Financial Corp. is the name of the article and let it be known that this is huge.

Word of the SEC investigation comes weeks after regulators in New York said they were investigating the company
in what could turn out to be the first test of the state’s strict new cybersecurity regulation, which requires financial companies to periodically audit and report on how they protect sensitive data, and provides for fines in cases where violations were reckless or willful. First American also is now the target of a class action lawsuit
that alleges it “failed to implement even rudimentary security measures.

I know one thing, I store backups of my stuff in dropbox, unlinked, safely in my hands, and protected by two factor. While no service is 100 percent fullproof, we must start somewhere. Having databases open like the capitalone breach, insiders like the capitalone breach, firewall issues like the capitalone breach, and the like won’t cut it anymore. Maybe not all these factors were related to Capital One, but all of them are the same in every breach. This can’t be good. It can only get worse, correct?

Thoughts? Feel free to sound off.

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Bard suspending accounts older than 180 days

I just saw the following in my list email that I thought you should know. It was delivered to my email on the second of August.

Suspending Unused BARD Accounts

As of Friday, July 26, 2019, patron accounts that have not been used for 180 days will be moved to an Inactive/Suspended status. This means the account
will be temporarily suspended and the account holder will not be able to log into BARD.

This is a security measure put into place by the Library Of Congress. Accounts that remain unused for an extended period of time pose a security risk.

If you try logging into your account but find it has been disabled, simply call your regional library for assistance. Contact information for your library
appears at the bottom of every screen of the BARD web site.

Thank you,

The BARD Support Team

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Philmore orders new server

Hello folks,

Last update we got was at some point last week indicating that Philmore Productions would be ordering a new server for the voice mail system. On Sunday, after recording the first file for podcast 319, it was learned that the IT department will be proceeding with the ordering of the server. My hunch of the company shopping around and looking for a deal looks to be coming true.

Also, it is to be rumored that people are now asking for cancellations left and right.

Philmore Productions is now making it clear you need to ask for money back, going back on their word on automatic refunds for this downtime.

Still not satisfied? You can report your concerns to the BBB who’s link is in an earlier post, as my opinion still stands whereby automatic refunds, and/or no billing past the outage date if prolonged is the necessary step.

Please advise I’m not here to tell customers what they should or not do with their money. I enjoyed Philmore Voicemail when I was on it, but I’m no longer there as I wouldn’t call it very much now anyhow.

Please make the right choice for you.

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Security Now said that Blue Keep was going to be a problem, it may be almost here

I’m on twitter, and I found an article entitled US company selling weaponized BlueKeep exploit and it looks to be a mixed blessing as both a testing tool, as well as something which could be exploited like Security Now’s Steve Gibson and others have predicted. Unless this gets out of hand and it gets reversed engineered, than we’re OK for now. I’m also running the latest version of Windows, which is version 10 update 1903 I believe it was. I updated to that before my computer was shut down for the move I went through. I wonder what Steve will say about this now? I retweeted the article from Twitter, and mentioned Steve so he could see it. Thoughts? Leave them here.

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Waking up with a nightmare

Hi all.
There is nothing worse than waking up early in the morning to find your site is hacked.
There is nothing more annoying to wake up with an error.
So thursday morning I get up early to do a few things only to check email and get an odd message I have never gotten before.
From google search console.
Crawl error with one page, index failure.Solution, not sure.
Site works, page works, so assume a network brounout for 1 or 2 seconds, during index, logical solution is request entire domain index.
Mean time I decided to go and do a health scan.
1. run health scan.
1. you do not have the latest php.
2. your site is not secure.
3. you are missing some optional modules.
Searching all things, 3, doesn’t matter, however I did a download of another php tool for plugins so hopefully things don’t go stupid.
Next ssl, do we have ssl?
Easiest solution for me is to update and get ssl on the site.
Since I don’t have that sort of access the easiest way was to set up cloudflare which I did but not sure if I will bother using as I found out we have ssl already.
So install simple ssl, enable it and set it all up.
So thats up.
So if you get the site in https by default thats why.
Technically it doesn’t matter if we have ssl or not but google puts search ranks up for it so its a good idea.
So thats all that.

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Philmore still down, no end in site

vvHi all,

I want to take this opportunity to give a brief update while I’m on location about Philmore Productions.

We’ve gotten confirmed reports of Philmore Productions billing customers for service which has not been up since July 4, 2019.

The activation date was supposed to be July 15th, but that has since been come and gone. aWe believe Philmore Productions is looking for a cheap server, as several days ago, athey reported they were ordering a new server for the voice mail system. On top of that, net by phone had its own issues of hard drive problems and computer trouble.

Net by Phone seems to be up for now, but the voice mail system haws no end in site. Long time customers are finally seeing what Philmore is all about, and is demanding cancellation or money back which was promised.

Now iuts time for everyone to speak up. Speak up loud and clear. Now is the time to show Philmore what issues are not impressing you. I don’t understand why there is a delay in the server ordering, it should be straight forward, unless Philmore doesn’t have the money to buy the server but yet they say it is being ordered.

We’ll provide updates when we can. This is beyond repair now, I think this is killing the company.

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A blind man couldn’t order pizza from Domino’s. The company wants the Supreme Court to say websites don’t have to be accessible

The Gentleman in this article II grew up with. I’d love to get updates on this, because there are a lot of websites that are not accessible where we could buy things if needed. I’m hoping to hear more, and I hope to see the gentleman in question again to see how this turns out or articles come across my desk about it.

Domino’s has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case, where it could prove to be a landmark battle over the rights of disabled people on the internet.

Source: A blind man couldn’t order pizza from Domino’s. The company wants the Supreme Court to say websites don’t have to be accessible

Comments (2)

Bullet Proof Hosting, how bad can it get?

Hello all,

In the recent article department, Krebs on Security has penned an article talking about one of the bigger bullet proof hosters. The article here is entitled Meet the World’s Biggest ‘Bulletproof’ Hoster and I found it quite interesting that these services are still around.

All web hosters whether we resell from a provider like I do, or you provide services to the public where you do the selling, we have to adhere to very high standards. We can’t host illegal, questionable, adult content, and other rules are in place so the services are legal. The bullet proof hosters tend to ignore complaints, and just take money. We’ve talked about several of these types of hosters, one that come to mind right now was the one in Colorado that got taken down. I don’t remember who it was off hand, but this doesn’t surprise me, especially because bullet proof hosters could have resellers under them that resell services to others.

This particular article has a video. The article also profiles someone who is named Alexander, or YALISHANDA. Feel free to catch the video, and also feel free to read the article and leave your thoughts.

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Yet another ransomware case: are they doing the best job?

In a prior article, I mentioned a ransomware case, and similar tendencies to the article I’m linking to here, and the prior article. I’m talking about QuickBooks Cloud Hosting Firm iNSYNQ Hit in Ransomware Attack in this article. I think they’re doing the best they can, and in some instances, staying tight lipped.

Unlike a company who is suffering serious computer trouble, I was speaking with someone in regards too this article, and they mentioned that it was better to be tight lipped about Ransomware because its different, and they did say they’re restoring from backup. I could understand why they said tight lipped is better. I would continue to provide updates, however, I.E. we’re continuing to restore from backups, the status is … and what the status is.

We’ve recently published an article on Philmore Productions, who hardly provides updates now, and really hasn’t provided many updates, but this article shows that in some cases, saying nothing is better, but I think thta you should be as honest with your customer base and potential customers as possible.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Philmore: … Is Anyone Home?

According to this July 20th 9 am CT update I have a question to ask. Is Philmore home? Alive? Pulsing?

History can be found by reading Philmore: Is It Down for Good? Other articles include Philmore Productions not honoring cancellations? What the hell? and Is Philmore up yet? This all paints a story which seems to be getting worse by the day. It was also reported that the voice mail may have been up if not briefly.

Is this company still breathing, now that we are finding out that its flagship product Net by Phone is now down? Philmore Productions indicates that it went down on July 20th because of a hard drive failure. They claim that it started some time ago, but yet, part of why I think Philmore is dead is because the signs of the drive was going as they claim it was acting strangely. Thats usually the first sign of trouble. Philmore Productions has never run maintenance tools on the drives to determine if there is something going on. We always try to tell people that if there is something wrong, to seak help, if they aren’t knowledgable. There is nothing wrong with not being knowledgable, even I don’t know it all.

Are we still breathing over there in Chicago? The weather had a hand in motion, but its always the company that has to make sure things are operating the best it can. There was recently an article published, not totally related, about a company who is recovering from ransomware. In this case, being tight lipped is not a bad thing, but backups in both Philmore and the company in question is key. We know that Philmore has little to no backups. We know that in the article I speak of, the company in question is recovering from the ransomware by restoring from those backups. While I’ll talk about that article more in a different post, I’m emphasizing that each situation is different, and updating your customer base in any situation is the key to each situation that comes up.

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Is Philmore up yet?

Philmore is either going to be up, or is going to be down. Today is the day that Philmore promised his customers that it would be up. Are you interested in the latest update?

Go and download this 1mb file which talks about how i’m correct.

The company claims that they were not prepared for this. Some of this is common sense.

  • Did Philmore Productions back up? Probably not since he’s trying to restore from corrupted data.
  • Why did it take a month to come out and tell his customers about the fact that he couldn’t recover their data after the power outage?
  • The system was up, probably slower than normal because it couldn’t access the data customers had for years.

There’s probably more, but the problem we have is that I still think its too late. One customer on a line indicated to me they’re calling Philmore Productions to cancel all boxes. When I last wrote about cancelling, Philmore Productions would not take cancellations until the 10th which was the day I published that article. Philmore Productions did not have a data recovery program available to him which should’ve been run the first day after his systems came back up.

This is the same company that decided to have a running live system while data recovery was in process, and the promise it would be done in days.

School doesn’t teach these things, common sense does. I would have:

  • had my software backed up somewhere
  • customer data backed up somewhere
  • never taken down sensitive data while traveling, saving the message until I could take it down safely
  • made sure if I had trouble, be prepared to tell my customers about the issue and what I was going to do with it and
  • be transparent on everything to do with the business and its operations which include good or bad.

I’m sure that now is the time to say something. Now is the time to show this company about how serious this mistake has cost him.

Have you read Philmore Productions not honoring cancellations? What the hell? yet? There is more live coverage around the phone lines if you know where to look.

This includes:

  • Gordon Radio: 832-999-8255
  • Philmore Productions customer service update: 773-572-3000
  • Unsensored partylines customer service line: 773-572-6200

Make your voices heard. It may be till August before the system sees the day of light. This can’t be good.

Thanks for reading!

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Stop punishing developers who are trying to make their games accessible

hI just read this applevis post Stop punishing developers who are trying to make their games accessible and it has an accompanying blog post or two. I read the first one, and it is sad that we have to see this. I didn’t read the comments all the way through, nor have I played crafting kingdoms, but it looks like this company is trying. We need to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially since its a small company. Lets give them the praise they deserve.

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What I’ve been reading of late

Hello folks, here is some of what I’ve been reading. Maybe you’ll find it of value.

This is only some of what I’ve been reading. There’s plenty more, so why not check out my twitter to see if anything fancies you? You can follow me, and get some interesting news. I try not to put my own thoughts in to things, however, I try to put out things people might be interested in.

You also might want to comment here for in audio for a future podcast. Transfer files through wetransfer and send it to my email address for the blog. Let me know what you think.

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Philmore Productions not honoring cancellations? What the hell?

Hello folks,

It has come to my attention that Philmore Productions is not honoring cancellation requests by customers. Within the last 24 hours of this posts timestamp, 773-572-3000, has a message about the catostrophic downtime and estimated restoral of July 15th.

After this announcement, he gives his office number (312) 396-4160 for questions and concerns.

According to the BBB search on Philmore Productions, the company has an A. Recently, the company was called in regards to cancelling services. Its been reported that Philmore Productions said that customer service is closed, and cancellations will not be honored until the 10th of July. This is a responsible customer who wishes to cancel and has a right to cancel as they are not happy with the level of service Philmore is providing. We all know that in coverage here on the blog, that Philmore is not covering themselves very well through this difficult time. I understand it isn’t easy, but they’ve done it all wrong. The link to the BBB provides a complaint form that you may access to file a complaint against the company if you wish to do so. Telling customers that you’re closed, yet you provide your office number, seems wrong to me. If you didn’t want to have people calling, don’t give your number out! Philmore does not like dealing with customers live. His behavior towards customers have been good at times, but at times also bad. The security of the company is laxidasical at best.

Its time for you to show Philmore Productions who is boss here. Demand money back, or you’ll go and file a complaint with the BBB through the link to the search above. Its time the mistreatment of ligitament customers comes to an end.

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