Category Archives: Email

Update WebMail Notifier To Version 2.9.11 Fixes Broken Gmail Script

imageMy Firefox add-on, WebMail Notifier, stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of my productivity or, lack of the same if it  stops working – as it did over-night. The problem was restricted to Gmail – Hotmail and Yahoo Mail were unaffected – still, what a pain!

From the: Why reinvent the wheel files – Geeks, just like everyone else, turn to Google, or….. – in the event that others have experienced the same problem and, a solution has been posted.

Long story short –

Google has initiated a number of changes in Gmail’s log-in address (which they seem to do regularly), that broke the log-in script in WebMail Notifier. Apparently, this Google rollout is taking place over several days – so, it’s possible that if a user has more than one Gmail account, one or more may be impacted, but not others.

I found a number of manual solutions to this problem – all of which worked. However, if you are currently dealing with this issue – you can avoid all the hassle by simply downloading version 2.9.11 of WebNotifier, which corrects the problem.

Download at: WebMail Notifier

Kudos to the add-on developer for jumping on this quickly – again.

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Filed under downloads, Email, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Gmail

My Days Are Numbered – Someone Wants Me Dead!

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I sometimes wonder if it isn’t a prerequisite that Nigerian scammer wannabes are required to graduate “comedy school”, before they get their scammers license, and are set free to practice their newfound skills on the marginally intelligent.

In an updated twist on an old theme (the infamous 419 scam), Nigerian scammers have upped the ante in a variant of their usual email scam nonsense – the hitman, “I’m gonna kill you” email. These fear-provoking emails (at least they’re intended to be scary), contain a threat that the recipient will be murdered.

Hitman emails are not a new threat – they’ve  been circulating on the Internet since at least early in 2007. They come; they go, and come and go again.

There are many variations of this email, here’s one example received here yesterday. In this particular email, the scammer has bcc’d (blind carbon copied) any number of upcoming murder victims. Seems as if the murder/assassination business is a growth industry.   Smile

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You have been betrayed!!! It’s a pity that this how your life is going to come to an end as your death had already been paid for by someone who is very close to you from all investigations.

I have ordered 3 (three) of my men to monitor every move of you and make sure you are not out of sight till the date of your assassination. According to the report I gets, you seem to be innocent about what you have been accuse but I have no business with that, so that’s why am contacting you to know if truly you are innocent and how much you value your life.

Get back to me if you sure want to live on, ignore this mail only if you feel it’s a joke or just a threat. Don’t forget your days on earth are numbered, so you have the chance to live if only you will comply with me.

WARNING: Tell no one about this mail to you because he or she might just be the person who wants you dead, and if that happens, I will be aware and am going to make sure you DIE instantly.

I will give you every detail of where to be and how to take any actions be it legal or illegal, that’s only when I read from you. You need to stay calm and act unaware of this situation and follow instructions because any move you make that is suspicious; you will DIE as your days are numbered.

On a more serious note:

This scam illustrates the lengths to which these crooks will go to entrap the unwary and gullible. Unfortunately, the description “unwary and gullible”, is easily applied to substantial numbers of Internet users.

As an experienced and cautious Internet user, it’s safe to say that you will not be deceived by this type of clumsy attempt to defraud but, you might be surprised how often reasonably intelligent people are.

So, be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are new Internet users, and let them know that there is an epidemic of 419 scams on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.

12 Comments

Filed under 419 Scam, Cyber Crime, Email

Lookeen – An Outlook Search Add-on That’s FAST!

https://bizchange.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/overloaded-man.jpg?iact=hc&vpx=794&vpy=103&dur=2755&hovh=223&hovw=226&tx=79&ty=136&sig=104081718647520250308&ei=_Y3HT5z1Eef30gGv65itDw&page=14&tbnh=160&tbnw=162&start=450&ndsp=35&ved=1t:429,r:31,s:450,i:149Currently, there’s a BlackBerry commercial running here in Canada in which a young woman declares that she gets over 1,000 emails a day. I have to admit, that the 1,000+ emails that she purportedly receives daily, led me to do a little figuring. Truth in advertising and all that.

Assuming that each email takes one minute to read, that translates into 16+ hours devoted to just reading emails. Perhaps it takes less time than that but, even cutting the read time in half would result in a full 8 hour day devoted to just reading emails.

Riding this train of thought, led me to consider just how this young woman managed (assuming that what she claims is true), to handle the time constraints imposed by this massive volume of correspondence – assuming, that at least some of these emails would require an after the fact action plan.

How would she, for example, search for and find, relevant emails, attachments, appointments, tasks, notes and contacts in a rather extensive  email achieve? And, do so quickly and efficiently – no small task.

Coincidentally, at roughly the same time that I was putting myself through mental contortions in an attempt to break down the 1,000+ email claim, I was offered an opportunity to take Lookeen, an email search solution designed to integrate seamlessly into Microsoft Outlook, for a test ride.

Fast facts:

  • Massive increase of E-Mail search speed
  • Finds e-Mails, attachments, appointments, tasks, notes and contacts
  • Supports Exchange Server, Public Folder and external PST-archives
  • Integrated Desktop Search: Search in local and Network Files
  • For enterprises: Central Indexing reduces Server and Network Traffic
  • Over 500.000 installations worldwide
  • Installation in a few clicks

Following an easy installation, the application launches into a brief tutorial as illustrated in the following self-explanatory screen captures.

Step one.

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Step two.

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Step three.

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Step four.

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Step five.

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As shown in the following screen capture, you’ll note that Lookeen adds a simple, yet helpful, search box to Outlook.

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Did I mention FAST?

In the following quick search, the application pulled up 697 related items in three tenths of a second.

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In a more focused search, the application pulled up 79 related items in two tenths of a second.

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In this brief overview, I’ve barely touched on the functionality of this super little Outlook add-on. You can also expect the following:

Lookeen will search everywhere in your Outlook data.

Have every email at your fingertips – no matter how much data you have!

The integrated real-time-indexing enables you to search your local emails (PST), Exchange Server, Public Folder, your complete desktop, and even network files, all while Lookeen is indexing your files.

Lookeen will find every mail – even in the largest of archives.

Execute parallel searches for e-mails, attachments, appointments, tasks, notes and contacts.

Integrated Desktop search enables you to search in documents and PDFs.

Install and manage Lookeen in your enterprise with group policies (Lookeen Business Edition) and use the Lookeen Shared Index feature to reduce server traffic (Lookeen Enterprise Edition).

You can download Lookeen and try it for free for 14 days.

Download at: Lookeen.

As for the young woman’s claim of 1,000 emails a day? Yeah, sure.   Smile

A big “Thank You” to regular reader Lee Garber for taking the time to point me towards this application. Thanks Lee.

7 Comments

Filed under downloads, Email, Integrated Solutions, Software Trial Versions, Utilities

Email That Vanishes – “Burn” Your Emails With Free Burn Note

imageEmail that vanishes – which is the driver behind Burn Note – is nothing new. I first came across similar types of services/applications/plug-ins, ten or more years ago. And, as is often the case with such specialty services, over time, all of them pulled their own vanishing act. Shazam! Gone – into the wild blue.

Frankly, I had no enthusiasm for disappearing email then – nor, am I keen on what the use of such a service might imply – now. * More on that, in a moment.

Nevertheless, I took a quick look at Burn Note – (a recent arrival in this arena – January 30, 2012), since I have little doubt, that there are circumstance in which disappearing email could have value. Exchanging passwords, for example, comes to mind as a practical use. On the other hand, some might say – an email that vanishes (in terms of its effect), is little different than a telephone call.

Still, you, or someone you know, may have practical reasons to engage this type of service. Personally, I fail to see the benefit, but……

From the site:

What’s a Burn Note?

A Burn Note is an online message which can be read only once by the recipient. Each Burn Note has a unique link that can be sent via email, text message, or other digital means. A Burn Note link takes the recipient to a cover page where they can be read and then destroys the Burn Note. Once a Burn Note has been read it cannot be viewed again.

When does a Burn Note get deleted?

By default each Burn Note has a timer after which time it will be automatically deleted. The timer starts as soon as the recipient begins viewing the message. If the sender chooses not to use a timer then the Burn Note will remain visible until the recipient manually deletes it or leaves the page.

Can the recipient copy and paste the contents of a Burn Note?

By default Burn Notes are created with the “Read out” display option which prevents the recipient from copy and pasting their contents. The “Keyhole” display option also prevents copy and paste of note contents. To allow the recipient to copy and paste the note contents use the “Plain text” display option.

Can the recipient take a screenshot of the contents of a Burn Note?

By default Burn Notes are created with the “Read out” display option which prevents the recipient from taking a screenshot of the entire note. It does this by breaking the note contents into short phrases and displaying them one at a time.

A quick walkthrough:

On the site, simply write and address your message (opening an account is not a requirement to use the service). Pay particular attention to the “Options” menu, since it is here that you will set the parameters for the vanishing “act”.

Note: The password (if you choose one), must be sent under separate cover. Impractical I think – but, there it is.

Burn Note 1

As you can see in the following screen capture – a link to the test message appeared in my inbox (within a few seconds). The recipient will have an opportunity to have the “what the hell is this?” query answered – by way of additional links.

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Clicking on the primary link took me onward to the Burn Note site.

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Since I had set the “no copying” parameters in the Options menu, I could not copy the message – nor could I capture a screen shot. Believe me – I tried – and tried.

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True to the service provider’s claim – the email was in fact – burned.

To checkout this service, go to: Burn Note

The technology behind this – now you see it; now you don’t – is relatively simple. It’s based on encrypted keys which gradually “fade away”. Simply put – no keys – no message.

* It would be foolhardy to assume that this type of service can’t, or won’t be used, for activities contrary to the Terms of Use. I can’t think of a current connected device technology which can’t be abused. Or, one which is being used exclusively,  for its intended purpose.

Update: A number of readers have advised me that, in fact, they have been able to capture message images using various applications, including CamStudio and Ashampoo Snap. It seems that this service might not be ready for prime time after all.

Update 2: The following screen capture submitted by regular reader Cliff R., clearly shows this service has an issue which needs to be recognized by the developer.

 

18 Comments

Filed under Email, Encryption, Freeware, Recommended Web Sites, Windows Tips and Tools

Valentine’s “Love” In Your Inbox – Could Be Malware On Your Computer.

imageValentine’s Day will be on us before we know it – so, it’s not too early to get ready for the deluge of  “I love you”, “Wish you were mine”………………., and of course, the customary – “Happy Valentine’s Day” emails.

Hopefully, you will have a Happy Valentine’s Day – but, that happy feeling could be ruined, if you fall victim to the explosion of “spam and scam” that’s aimed at lovers, this time of year –  every year. Much of it designed to take a swing at unsuspecting users machines – leading to a malware infection.

In previous years, starting  just about this time, we saw abnormally high rates of this type of spam and, since cyber crooks are opportunity driven; we’ll see much more of this type of cybercriminal activity this year, I expect.

Perhaps you’re a very cool person who’s significant other is always sending you neat little packages in your email. MP3 files, screensavers, cartoons, YouTube videos, and the like. Could be – you get them so often, that you just automatically click on the email attachment without even thinking. If, you are this type of person, here’s a word of advice – start thinking.

The hook, as it always is in this type of socially engineered email scam, is crafted around exploiting emotions. We’re all pretty curious creatures and, let’s face it, who doesn’t like surprises. I think it’s safe to say, we all find it difficult, if not impossible, to not peek at love notes received via email.

The unfortunate truth is, these spam emails often contain links that deliver advertisements, or worse – redirect the victim to an unsafe site from which malware can be installed on the victim’s computer.

Here’s a tip – If you see something along the lines of – This email contains graphics, so if you don’t see them, view it in your browser – consider very carefully – before you click on the link.

A couple of years ago, a friend, who is an astute and aware computer user, fell for one of these carefully crafted teasing emails. On opening the email, he was taken to a site which had pictures of hearts and puppies, and was then asked to choose which one was for him. You’ll notice that “choosing” involved opening an executable filea cardinal sin.

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Fortunately, he got his geek on in time – common sense prevailed, and he backed out of this site. If he had clicked on this executable file, he would have begun the process of infecting his machine with a Trojan. A Trojan which, in this case, connected to a remote command and control site – (effectively, turning over control of his computer to a cybercriminal). Nasty – I think you’ll agree.

Experienced users are on guard year round for these, and other types of scam/spam email.

You know what to do; right?

Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.

Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.

Don’t click links in emails. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar.

If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them, as they could take you to a web site designed to download malware onto your computer.

Cyber crooks have moved on from using just emails, as a malware delivery vehicle. So, be on the lookout for fraudulent Valentine’s Day greetings in:

Instant Messenger applications.

Twitter.

Facebook.

Chat forums, and so on.

This just in @ 11:56

Uzbekistan Government Cancels Valentine’s Day

That settles it – I’m not giving any Uzbek women my love in protest. Sorry ladies.   🙂

11 Comments

Filed under bots, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Email, Malware Alert, Social Networks, spam

OMG! Mark Zuckerberg Sent ME An Email!

What a rush! Mark Zuckerberg knows I exist and, even better than that – he just gave me $200. Yes! $200! Thanks Mark; I’ll get right on that.   Smile

You don’t believe me I hear you saying – then, take a peek at this email from my Gmail spam box. Oops, I’ve just given myself away – haven’t I? The email is in my SPAM box. With good reason, of course.

While it’s true, that in this particular case, spam filters have isolated this email as both spam and a probable fraud – do not rely on filters as the ultimate safeguard. That’s your job – you are your own best protection.

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Click to expand.

As an experience and educated surfer, you’re quite use to navigating over the rough trails of the “Wild West” Internet. You know, that this email is just too preposterous to be taken seriously. Although, as difficult as it is to believe, there are those who are gullible enough to  respond.

If you’re a regular reader here, please forgive me for repeating the following same old – same old – advice.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are new Internet users, and let them know that there is an epidemic of this type of scam on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.

A technical approach to protecting yourself against fraudsters:

Check whether the email was authenticated by the sending domain. Click on the ‘show details’ link in the right hand corner of the email, and make sure the domain you see next to the ‘mailed-by’ or ‘signed-by’ lines matches the sender’s email address.

Make sure the URL domain on the given page is correct, and click on any images and links to verify that you are directed to proper pages within the site.

Always look for the closed lock icon in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window whenever you enter any private information, including your password.

Check the message headers. The ‘From:’ field is easily manipulated to show a false sender name. Learn how to view headers.

If you’re still uncertain, contact the organization from which the message appears to be sent. Don’t use the reply address in the message, since it can be forged. Instead, visit the official website of the company in question, and find a different contact address.

How gullible can people be? When Michael Jackson passed, I wrote a piece entitled “Hey Sucker – Read This! Michael Jackson’s Not Dead!”, simply as a test of “curiosity exploitation”.

The results that followed were astonishing – within days, this article was getting thousands of daily hits. Even today, this article continues to get hits. Talk about gullible people!

14 Comments

Filed under Cyber Crime, cybercrime, Email, email scams, FaceBook