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Topics - tacit

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Community / Anyone on the West Coast/midwest?
« on: August 07, 2014, 09:55:30 PM »
My partner Eve and I have finished our first book, More Than Two, which starts shipping September 2. Beginning on September 9, we're doing a two-month book tour to support it. If any fine TechSurvivors folks happen to be along our tour path, I'd love a chance to meet in person!

We're starting in Victoria, Canada, then on the 9th we'll be in Vancouver. From there, we'll travel down the West Cost, stopping in Bellingham, Seattle, Olympia, Portland, Eugene, and Eureka in Oregon. Then we'll be in the San Francisco Bay Area for several days, starting September 21. We're hitting LA on October 3, traveling to Las Vegas on October 4, then traveling to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver, and Paonia. From there, we'll be traveling to Salt Lake City on October 21; Butte, Montana on October 23; and from there traveling back up to Canada, hitting Banff, Nelson, and Kelowna.

It's going to be madly busy, but it'd be great to have a cup of coffee with some online friends during the tour.

Tech / Scammers are a *very* tenacious lot
« on: June 29, 2014, 08:54:21 PM »
I just finished writing a book, called More Than Two, with one of my partners. It's at the printers now and will be out September 2. That hasn't stopped scammers from offering a "free" download of the eBook version on a pirate Web site for bootleg eBooks.

The eBook does exist, but it has only been released to folks who backed the crowdfunding campaign to make the book happen, so naturally my first thought was one of our backers must have leaked it somehow.

Turns out it's a bit more nefarious than that. The scammers are claiming to offer a free download of the ebook, and the Web site makes you fill out a "survey for a free offer" to get it (naturally, they make money every time someone completes one of these "surveys")...but when you do that, the file that downloads to your computer isn't our book. It's a Windows executable disguised as an eBook.

So basically the scammers are making money, and spreading malware, off of our name and book. Which is really annoying.

I wrote a detailed analysis of the scam on my blog. To say that I'm annoyed is a grand understatement.

2008 / Russian organized crime notices Macs
« on: March 26, 2008, 03:09:59 PM »
Organized criminal groups in Eastern Europe are responsible for many, if not most, computer viruses in the Windows world; they use viruses to remote-control computers, steal sensitive financial information from computers, and send spam. This is not new.

I spend a good deal of time tracking down virus distribution networks and compromised Web sites; it's kind of a hobby of mine. Today, for the first time, a virus downloader noticed that I'm on a Mac, and tried to download Mac malware to my system.

I've put a full writeup on my blog here. This malware is crude and not very effective, but it's a bad sign that Macs are now being noticed by the Russians.

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