With Anonymous and LulzSec being a bit on the quiet side recently – maybe because the law is breathing down their necks? – you knew it was only a matter of time before some other smart-mouthed organization stepped into the limelight in a quest to annoy us all. Enter the Script Kiddies. This group’s not targeting databases or disfiguring websites; their M.O. is hijacking Twitter accounts and posting dumbass fake stories. Fox News and NBC News have already fallen victim to their idiocy – now add USA Today to the list. This hijacking spread promotional material rather than FUD, however.
Another day, another hack spreading false news of death. But where LulzSec's defacing of the Sun's website was, for the most part, harmless, the news making the rounds today could hold actual life-or-death ramifications. When Taliban members logged into their Internet-connected devices in Afghanistan on Wednesday, they found messages and news reports claiming that the group's spiritual leader was dead. Which, um, he wasn't. While the story may bring a smile to the face of a deployed GI, the Taliban didn't get the lulz.
As Nokia struggles to remain relevant in a competitive mobile handset market, one thing that isn't helping is the prominence of counterfeit cell phones. According to Nokia, as many as one out of every five, or 20 percent, of all cell phones around the world are unlicensed knockoffs, Reuters reports.
"It is mostly China-originated, but it is global. It is not only in Asia, but also in Latin America and even in some parts of Europe," said Esko Aho, a member of Nokia's executive board."
Nokia isn't the only company to complain about forgery in foreign markets. As The Inq points out, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer last year complained about the impact of counterfeit software originating from China. As it pertains to cell phones, the Chinese government has been stepping up its efforts to curtail the problem.
"Recent developments indicate [Beijing] is beginning to take seriously the long-festering problem of smuggled handsets and counterfeit handsets, a thorny issue that not only undercuts the tax revenue but also tarnishes China's image abroad," market research firm iSuppli told TGDaily back in July 2010.
Popular online computer parts vendor Newegg this week gave one of its suppliers, IPEX, the boot. The reason, says Newegg, is that IPEX was the one who supplied the vendor with fake Core i7 chips.
"Initial information we received from our supplier, IPEX, stated that they had mistakenly shipped us 'demo units.' We have since come to discover that the CPUs were counterfeit and are terminating our relationship with this supplier," Newegg said in a statement.
Initial reports had pegged D&H Distributing as the culprit, but the supplier has since been cleared of any wrongdoing.
"Contrary to any speculation, D&H Distributing is not the vendor that supplied us with the Intel Core i7 920 CPUs in question," Newegg added.
Fake CPUs weren't terribly difficult to spot. There were several misspelled words on the retail packaging, including a sticker that spelled "socket" as "sochet," eWeek.com reports. In some cases, the user manual inside the box was blank.
As for customers who were affected, Newegg said it is sending out replacement chips.
See here for an unboxing video of one of the counterfeit chips.
The attack proceeds in a routine way with unsuspecting online banking customers being led to a phishing page designed to extract their account details. After these gullible visitors are through with the first page, instead of being sent to another phishing page or to the genuine website, they are lead to a fake live-chat support window. The fraudster at the other end, posing as a customer support personnel, then tries to extract more account details from them through social engineering.
According to RSA, the fake live chat support window is powered by Jabber, an open source instant messaging protocol. “While at this point RSA has witnessed only a single instance of this attack, we are recommending extra vigilance to operators of all online banking websites and other websites where user credentials are targeted,” RSA wrote on its blog.
Online scammers have contrived an ingenuous way to ride Obama’s rampant wave of popularity. According to Websense Security Labs, certain unscrupulous elements have registered several accounts on my.barackobama.com, the social network on Obama’s website that affords all standard social networking features to users, including personal profiles, groups and blogs.
The charlatans created various accounts on the website and planted a hideous Youtube image with the message, “click here to see movie.” Users who click on the image mistaking it for a Youtube video are redirected instead to a website, which resembles Youtube, but appears to be fraught with pornographic content.
However, when a user proceeds to view one of the videos the website asks the user to download a missing video codec. In its stead is downloaded a Trojan. Further proof of Obama's widespread popularity.