Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chinese Feng Shui Money Bag Theory for October 2012

Beware! It's a Cyber World: Summary -- Chinese Feng Shui Money Bag for October 2012

Widely circulating email Facebook message states that October 2012 has 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays and 5 Wednesdays and that this combination of days only happens once in 823 years.

The message on Facebook looks like:

 And reads as:


This year October has 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays and 5 Wednesdays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called Money Bags. So Share this at your wall and money will arrive within 4days. (Based on Chinese Feng Shui)"

Beware! It's a Cyber World: Explanation -- Chinese Feng Shui Money Bag for October 2012

This message, which has been circulating via social networking websites as well as email, claims to reveal an "interesting fact" about October 2012 in that the month has 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays and 5 Wednesdays. The message claims, on the basis of Chinese Feng Shui Money Bag Theory, that this particular combination of days in October only happens once in every 823 years.

It's just a hoax even though it is completely right that October 2012 has 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays and 5 Wednesdays; but, such a combination happens far more often than every 823 years. The message is just a reshaped version of very similar - and equally erroneous and baseless - messages about  October 2010 and July 2011

'Help find Kara': Trended on Twitter, but was a hoax

The tweet by Kara Alongi was re-tweeted for  33752 times and she gained hundreds of followers after asking people on Twitter to call 911 on Sunday evening. People re-tweeted her message and the hashtag "#helpfindkara" trended on the social network.  

According to Clark Police Chief Alan Scherb, investigators later received information leading them to believe the Twitter message was a hoax.

 The 16-year-old Kara Alongi was last heard from Sunday evening when she allegedly tweeted "There is somone in my hour ecall 911." It is assumed the message was intended to indicate someone was inside her house and that she wanted authorities to get notified.

Continue reading below:


Monday, October 1, 2012

Reborn Hoax -- Reality of 'Visit the New Facebook/Timeline' Link

Beware! Its a Cyber World -- 'Visit the New Facebook' Link: Summary

A message is widely spreading on social network 'Facebook' claiming that if any Facebook user receives a message from someone, even from his/her friends' list, asking to click a link titled as 'Visit the New Facebook'; don't open the link as it may lead the user to a hacker's trap and may lose the access to his/her Facebook account.

The message looks like:

Reborn Hoax -- Reality of 'Visit the New Facebook/Timeline' Link
And reads as:

"W A R N I N G .. ! ! .....W A R N I N G .. ! !
If someone in your profile or a
friend sends you a LINK that says
... NOT open it. If you do, you're
... ... ... ... ... sure to say GOODBYE to your
Facebook account. This is actually
a trap by a HACKER who steals
your details and REMOVES you
permanently from your own
page. please COPY and paste it
on your wall and send it to your
groups too"
Beware! Its a Cyber World -- 'Visit the New Facebook' Link: Explanation
There are plenty of phishing scams and hacking attempts from internet fraudsters and cyber criminals trying to gain access to Facebook accounts; but in this specific case there's no reality and the warning is totally baseless. 
According to Facebook, "this re-worded hoax message is currently circulating. The original, whose warning was "Visit New Facebook", began circulating about a year ago. Now, with the recent introduction of the Timeline, someone has changed the message to say "Visit New Timeline", but the claims in the message are still untrue." 
According to Snopes; this warning is nothing more than a hoax spread by well-meaning but credulous Facebook users: there have been no recorded instances of "Visit the new Facebook" come-ons containing malicious links of any kind (only warnings about them) and none of the major computer security/anti-virus software companies has reported users' actually encountering Facebook info-stealing malware that reached them in such fashion. 
Therefore, the simple advice is not to pass on such sensational alerts without confirmation to your Facebook friends. Some hoaxes malign companies and individuals. You don’t want to be responsible for damaging the reputation of an innocent party just by automatically posting a story to your wall. It is great to spread useful information and legitimate warnings to your friends – just do a little fact finding before clicking “share.” 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Yahoo password theft -- Consequences and threats

Yahoo has reportedly fixed the security blemish that provided hackers an access to passwords of almost 450,000 users. Yahoo confirmed it through its blogpost on Friday (July 13).

Yahoo password theft -- Consequences and threats

According to the referred blogpost:

Yahoo! revealed that the data of those users were compromised who were registered members of Associated Content prior to May 2010, when it was acquired by Yahoo! and presently known as Yahoo! Contributor Network.

“We have taken swift action and have now fixed this vulnerability, deployed additional security measures for affected Yahoo! users, enhanced our underlying security controls and are in the process of notifying affected users.  In addition, we will continue to take significant measures to protect our users and their data,” the blogpost revealed further.

Apart from Yahoo’s efforts to counter the hackers’ attack experts think that inter-linked ID’s might also be on risk because Yahoo Contributor Network facilitates users to sign in through a Yahoo, Google or Facebook ID.  This means that if you use log in to any user service provided by Yahoo via any other ID such as Gmail or Facebook, you should also change your password for that account as it could have been compromised.

According to earlier reports, a hacker group dubbed as D33DS Company, broke into an undisclosed subdomain of Yahoo’s website where they recovered unencrypted account details and then posted these details online.

The Yahoo hacking is the second biggest so far this year; after LinkedIn was hacked earlier this year restricted almost 6 million users to lose access to their accounts.  While insufficient tech security provided by these Internet giants are a major cause of concern, the substandard and ordinary passwords chosen by users are also contributed to such disasters. 

According to an online analysis by CNET, that passwords of more than 2,200 of hacked accounts were “123456″ and 780 of the passwords were just “password.”

Report Tags: Yahoo, Yahoo!, Yahoo Inc., CNET, Yahoo Hacked, Yahoo accounts hacked, D33DS Company, Hacking, Yahoo Contributor Network, Associated Content

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Facebook/Text Message Health Warning Reality: June 05 as Heaviest Sunny Day Causing Skin and Eye Diseases

I received a health warning text message on my cellphone yesterday (Monday, June 04) from one of my close friends, terming June 05 (Tuesday) as the ‘Heaviest Sunny Day on Earth’, which can cause skin and eye diseases. The same kind of messages are spreading also on Facebook and other social networks.

Facebook/Text Message Health Warning Reality: June 05 as Heaviest Sunny Day Causing Skin and Eye Diseases

The message reads like below:

Save your family and yourself 5th June 2012…the worldz heaviest sunny day on earth..please be careful with eyes and skin disease. Aware other and save lives. The Civil Defence has given notice that within the next few weeks temperature will go up to as high as 50 degree Celsius.

All employees who drive, whether company vehicle or company owned vehicles, are advised NOT to fill their gasoline tank to maximum. The high temperature can overheat your gasoline tank. This memo serves only as a reminder and precaution for everyone. Please take care and inform your friends and family.

Many people have started receiving the text messages about so-called –heaviest sunny day and they kept on forwarding such messages without confirming the authenticity of the source.

The message is totally baseless in terms of warnings associated with the excessive hot temperature like skin, eye disease and overheating the gasoline tank.

After a thorough research and search it was found that such warnings, whether spreading through text messages or as Facebook posting, don’t bear any credibility and the same has been concluded by Director General Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Arif Mahmood.

He termed the assumption of Heaviest Sunny Day on June 5 (Tuesday) as a rumor and asked citizens not to fear of going outside their homes.

According to APP report quoting DG MET, “Assumption of June 5 as a Heaviest Sunny Day on Earth is not scientifically proved and it is not necessary that temperature rise on this specific day. Temperature can rise any day during the month of June, July and August”.
DG MET Arif Mehmood further told that there is no doubt about the present June days being the longest hot days of summer but a sudden rise in temperature reaching 50 degree Celsius can neither be calculated nor predicted.

Report Tags: June 05, Heaviest Sunny Day, Heaviest Sunny Day Warning, Health Warning, Health Warning Hoax, Pakistan Meteorological Department, Eye disease, Skin Cancer, Fake health Warning, Arif Mehmood,



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stuxnet-led cyberwar against Iran's nuclear program started by U.S. and Israel

The cyber-attack against Iran’s nuclear program, discovered in 2012 and known as Stuxnet, was originated from U.S., current and former U.S. officials confirmed on Friday after a New York Times report. 

Stuxnet-led cyberwar against Iran's nuclear program started by U.S. and Israel
The cyber-attack destroyed nearly 1,000 of Iran's 6,000 centrifuges, fast-spinning machines that enrich uranium. The National Security Agency (NSA) developed the Stuxnet virus with the assistance of Israeli experts.

According to details; a secret cyber-war, instead of launching a traditional military attack, against Iran's nuclear program was started with the collaboration of U.S. and Israeli experts after the orders of U.S. President Barack Obama and the step was taken to slow down Iran's evident progress toward building nuclear weapons without launching a traditional military attack, U.S. officials revealed on the condition of anonymity.

The Stuxnet virus was developed initially during the George W. Bush administration, under the code name as Olympic Games, and was aimed toward damaging Iran's nuclear potential slowly while generating perplexity among Iranian scientists about the cause of disasters at a nuclear plant.

The use of the cyber-weapon, malware designed to penetrate and harm computer systems, was supposed to force the Iranians assume that their nuclear scientists were incompetent of running uranium enrichment facility, the officials said further.

"The idea was to string it out as long as possible," one participant said. "If you had wholesale destruction right away, then they generally can figure out what happened, and it doesn't look like incompetence."

Related Stories:

Stuxnet: The New Era of Cyber Warfare Has Begun ...

Beware! Here Comes the Duqu Virus after Stuxnet


Report Tags: Stuxnet, Iran’s Nuclear Program, National Security Agency, Barack Obama, Cyberwar against Iran, Cyber-attack on Iran,


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Save kids from cyber bullying, its worse than porn: Study by Elisabeth Staksrud

In context to kids using internet; a widely accepted perception is that the online porn is the most harmful content for the immature minds of children being in touch with web or internet; but now a recent study contradict with this perception.

Save kids from cyber bullying, its worse than porn: Study by Elisabeth Staksrud
According to a latest study conducted in Norway by Elisabeth Staksrud – formerly employed at the Norwegian Media Authority and has extensive experience studying the effectiveness of measures to keep kids safe in cyberspace – concludes that porn isn’t the most dangerous online threat to children. It’s cyber-bullying between youngsters, which child protection filters have no way of stopping.

Cyber-bullying is the most important issue to be tackled, while we wan to save the psychological state of minds of our teens, even more diligently than the available porn on the inernet. 

A study conducted by Telenor, the Norwegian telecom company, suggests that sixty six out of hundred (66%) children from 10 to 15 years of age  reveal that they or their friends have received bullying messages on the internet or mobiles. And 14% say this is a widespread phenomenon of modern era.

While several parents choose to use internet filters to shield their children, few think the likelihood that their own kids are bullying others, according to Staksrud’s study.
Her study hints out what parents should do to keep their children away from internet risks.

“Talk to your kids. Across Europe the youngsters who are generally best at tackling the internet are the ones whose parents have positive attitudes and play active roles in their use of the web. The best thing to do is get involved as early as possible. That’s when kids think it fun to have their parents take part.”

Report Tags: Elisabeth Staksrud, cyberspace, cyber crime, norway, Norwegian Media Authority, internet porn, Cyber-bullying, bullying, Psychology of children, social issues



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brain Hemorrhage by High Frequency Call on Mobile Phones -- Rebirth of an Hoax in Form of Text Messages

I received a text message on my cellphone yesterday from an unknown number in which sender warned me not to attend a call from a specific number because it could cause brain hemorrhage to the listener due to high frequency. 

Brain Hemorrhage by High Frequency Call on Mobile Phones
The message further claims that the suspected number appears on the mobile phone screen in ‘red color’. Referring to a reliable news source ‘Daily Dawn’, the sender also claimed that 27 people have died just because of receiving the call from this number.

The message reads like this:

Don’t attend any call from 0346344446 this number comes in red colour. U may get brainhamrage due to high frequency. 27 persons died just receiving the call. Watch Daily Dawn News to confirm. Please inform all your friends and relatives soon – its urgent..

Rationally thinking, I never believed on the contents of this message and searched for the reality behind this message. 

I found that this kind of hoax messages started back in 2007 in the form of email and similar text messages/SMS; but the hoax was debunked by Urban Legends. 

Same type of evidence found on several other websites like snopes.com, hoax-slayer.com that clearly proves the message in context as a ‘Reborn Hoax’.
Despite of no hard evidence that where these alleged deaths occurred, the rumor continue to persist in different forms.

Urban Legends described it as “Don't panic, it's a hoax. Variants of the so-called "red number," "cursed phone number," or "death call" hoax first appeared on April 13, 2007 (Friday the 13th) in Pakistan, where they caused widespread panic and inspired a slew of ancillary rumors, including the claim that the phone calls, if listened to, could also trigger impotence in men and pregnancy in women. According to news reports, Pakistanis were heard trading secondhand stories of actual deaths that had supposedly occurred, with some claiming the fatalities were the handiwork of ancestral spirits enraged by the construction of a cell phone tower over a graveyard.”


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Phishing Scam: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Refund Notification via Emails

Beware! Its a Cyber World -- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Refund Notification: Summary

A mail is circulating purportedly from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) United States Department of the Treasury enticing the recipients to use the attachment for applying to apply for tax refunds, calculated recently by the Department. 

The mail is a scam and has no grounds as identity theft tops the IRS's list of common scams that taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year.

See the contents of the mail below before heading towards further explanation:

From: Internal Revenue Service (message07621@34234.irs.gov)
To: (Omitted by Author of this article)
Sent: Wednesday, 29 February 2012 8:39 AM
Subject: Tax notification for
(Omitted by Author of this article)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
United States Department of the Treasury

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have
determined that you are eligible to receive your tax return.

Due to invalid account records we were unable to credit your account.
Please submit a verified tax return request as soon as possible.

Your tax return request form is attached to this email.

After you  submit the tax return request, please allow us
4 to 12 working days in order to process it.

Internal Revenue Service

February 28th, 2012 (10:39:11 p.m.)
Document Reference: (1442361382).
Beware! Its a Cyber World -- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Refund Notification: Explanation

The mail message asking recipients to use the attached form for submitting tax refund request actually leads to a look-alike IRS website showing the form to be filled up by the recipient to submit tax return. The form on the fake IRS website is shown below:

SCAM: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Refund Notification

If you're still waiting to file for your tax refund, you better act quick- or someone else could get it instead.

The IRS is dealing with a surge of reports in identity tax fraud, and web based convenience isn't helping.

"Anytime something's very easy for you to do it's also easy for someone else to exploit," says David Powell of Teklinks.

He warns it's not hard for these web thieves to exploit their victims.

IRS's own website mentions it as:

Suspicious e-Mails and Identity Theft

The Internal Revenue Service has issued several recent consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. When identity theft takes place over the Internet, it is called phishing.

Suspicious e-Mail/Phishing

Phishing (as in “fishing for information” and “hooking” victims) is a scam where Internet fraudsters send e-mail messages to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal and financial information that can be used to steal the victims’ identity. Current scams include phony e-mails which claim to come from the IRS and which lure the victims into the scam by telling them that they are due a tax refund.

Phishing and Other Schemes Using the IRS Name

The IRS periodically alerts taxpayers to, and maintains a list of, phishing schemes using the IRS name, logo or Web site clone. If you've received an e-mail, phone call or fax claiming to come from the IRS that seemed a little suspicious, you just may find it on this list.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

VIDEO: 'Anonymous' intercepted FBI's conference call and uploaded on Youtube

FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) accepted that a group of cyber criminals hacked a conference call on cyber crime between its agents and international law enforcement official.

'Anonymous' intercepted FBI's conference call
The hackers group ‘Anonymous’ claimed the responsibility of breaching into the 16-minute long call, which was released on Internet on last Friday. On the other hand, FBI didn’t name the exact hacking group behind this attempt and announced an inquiry was going to be carried out.

In the mean time, ‘Anonymous’ said that breaching of FBI’s call public was an addition to the series of similar hacks they did against many other law enforcement agencies around the world. Anonymous is a loose collective of hackers & activists having no membership or formal structure.

The latest cyber breach has been proved as an awkward one for the FBI, which is currently fighting out to stop cyber crime that have no boundaries and challenges to cross the international borders. 

A Twitter account holder has claimed to have connection with the Anonymous suggesting that hackers have been keeping FBI’s communications under observation.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anonymous take down several websites, including FBI and DoJ, reacting to Megaupload crackdown

WASHINGTON (Jan. 20) – Reacting to the Thursday’s federal raid on Megaupload.com - one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites - on account of infringing piracy laws, hackers’ group Anonymous have broken the websites for the FBI, Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA, Motion Picture Association of America and Warner Music Group.

Anonymous take down several websites, including FBI, reacting to Megaupload crackdown

“It was in retaliation for Megaupload, as was the concurrent attack on Justice.org,” Anonymous operative Barrett Brown tells Russia Today on Thursday afternoon. 

Only hours after the crackdown on Megaupload the Department of Justice and Universal Music Group sites went down.

As reported earlier, founder of Megaupload, Kim Schmitz aka Kimble and Kim Dotcom, and four others linked to the website were arrested in New Zealand and an international crackdown led agents to serving at least 20 search warrants across the world.

As per RT reports; less than an hour after the DoJ and Universal sites were hacked, the website for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), went offline as well. Later on government's Copyright.gov site and the site for Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) - the licensing organization that represents some of the biggest names in music – were also went offline.

The latest of sites to fall is FBI.gov, which finally broke at around 7:40 pm EST Thursday evening.

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