Save Our Dogs, a grassroots effort to save working dogs from CA AB 1634/Now SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter
Visit Save Our Dogs
Dog & Cat Owners Say No to AB 1634 SB 250 ~ ROUND 18plus!
See for FACTS on SB 250
Love your Pets? Read my files on Label Animal_Control.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Critical Thinking, Mandatory Spay/Neuter, & Computer Security

A little of everything in the above subject.

A few good articles that got my attention this week.
Thinking outside the box. Here's a read on that at

After reading that; the concept of critical thinking and lucid comprehension of issues take focus again with the reader -- Yet, back to real life, we continue to witness the the most juvenile and fundamentalist/extreme thinking that is driving MSN proponents everywhere (mandatory spay & neuter). Including California's truly UNHealthy Pets Act. So focused on their own limited perception of reality that they do not see, for example, how this type of legislation adversely affects grassroots efforts at wildlife conservation, the production of food and natural fiber on the farm and issues of population genetics in our pets. Health issues in animals are simply written off as well with broad blanket assumptions, with these people blowing off the experts, as if they have degrees in veterinary science and realize the difference between long term prospective and short term retrospective data. Furthermore, these bills will NOT affect the popularly demonized, commercial mass pet producers, yet the MSN proponents continue to make disingenuous references in that direction. And the sheep continue to follow.

Somewhat related: Newsweek on PeTA and Euthanasia: Euthanization is actually the cop out of MSN proponents to address the shortcomings in their logic and both HSUS and PeTA encourage killing animals rather than rehoming them. Since they are so busy killing animals, analyzing the status of the problem as encouraged in the first link is simply beyond their acceptance. I highly recommend Nathan Winograd's book, Redemption - a good take on it is here. It does encourage facing the history and issues that have compounded the lack of progression on logical solutions.

Getting away from animals for a bit... and along the lines of perhaps encouraging a new way of thinking, see this article about some indigenous people of Mexico who "live forever", from which article I gained the idea that many of our modern foot and leg problems seen in our society could be benefited from taking some core ideas regarding letting our footwear be more natural, so that leg strength and flexibility are natural benefits.

And tonight, I just discovered a new blog which covers issues that affect everyone using the internet - see Spyware Sucks. I've found that many people continue ignore the serious implications of HTML in email - especially as malware gets more sophisticated and do not understand that surfing and reading web pages results in thousands of downloads to their computer. From another source, Scott Dunn writes about security, "Visitors to last Thursday got more than they bargained for. A hacked Flash advertisement meant that merely viewing a page in your browser was capable of triggering a malware attack on your PC. According to an alert on the security site Websense, the ad can take control of the browser without any user interaction at all."

I'm using Firefox as my principal browser with "NoScript" which stops scripts in their tracks and another extension "AdBlock" that blocks ads which can sometimes be malicious. The combination makes some busy pages download for reading quicker since I am not getting all that garbage and it makes pages look a little different too. For example, ubiquitous links such as 'google ads' just do not show up on my Firefox browsing. NoScript does allow me to choose which sites I trust as does AdBlock.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/08/2008 01:23:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some Highlights from Symantec Internet Security Report

Some interesting highlights on current internet security issues. I bolded the point at the end of the list but much of the report has elements that may be of particular interest to others. I looked at the PDF version which is rather dry reading but there is a flash, video style presentation that others may prefer to review.

I think many people are aware of some potential risks that there may be online, but seem to feel reasonably sure that the problems only happen to other people because they feel their ISP, their browsing habits, and software are sufficient protective buffers against security threats.

Healthy paranoia can't be a bad thing in light of the increasing sophistication developing every day with internet related threats.

Symantec Internet Security Threat Report
Volume XII: September, 2007
Attack Trends Highlights
• The United States was the country targeted by the most denial of service (DoS) attacks, accounting for
61 percent of the worldwide total in the first half of 2007.
• The United States was the top country of attack origin in the first six months of 2007, accounting for
25 percent of the worldwide attack activity.
• During this period, the United States accounted for 30 percent of all malicious activity during the period,
more than any other country.
• Israel was the country with the most malicious activity per Internet user in the first six months of 2007,
followed by Canada and the United States.
• Four percent of all malicious activity detected during the first six months of 2007 originated from IP
space registered to Fortune 100 companies.
• The education sector accounted for 30 percent of data breaches that could lead to identity theft during
this period, more than any other sector.
• Theft or loss of computer or other data-storage medium made up 46 percent of all data breaches that
could lead to identity theft during this period.
• The United States was the top country for underground economy servers, accounting for 64 percent of
the total known to Symantec.
• Credit cards were the most common commodity advertised on underground economy servers known to
Symantec, accounting for 22 percent of all items.
• Eighty-five percent of credit cards advertised for sale on underground economy servers known to
Symantec were issued by banks in the United States.
• Symantec observed an average of 52,771 active bot-infected computers per day in the first half of 2007,
a 17 percent decrease from the previous period.
• China had 29 percent of the world’s bot-infected computers, more than any other country.
• The United States had the highest number of bot command-and-control servers, accounting for
43 percent of the worldwide total.
• Beijing was the city with the most bot-infected computers, accounting for seven percent of the
worldwide total.
• The average lifespan of a bot-infected computer during the first six months of 2007 was four days,
up from three days in the second half of 2006.
Home users were the most highly targeted sector, accounting for 95 percent of all targeted attacks.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/23/2007 10:35:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Crimeware Addendum TWO - Your System WILL Be Compromised

Although I've had it installed for a couple days now, I haven't started getting familiar with LinkScanner. This was recommended by Robert Vamosi in recent security alerts. I have two other postings on this matter, here and here. The latter link shows what happens when a recording is made of Internet Explorer visiting a banking site. These attacks can happen to anyone.

Since I wanted to see what a red alert would look like, so I did a few keyword searches that are most likely to hit some compromised pages. The image above shows the alert or clear icon (a green checkmark) on a sample search. Above is using Google search but you get similar results on a few other search engines such as Yahoo below. Linkscanner doesn't run with Altavista so be sure you use a search tool that LinkScanner works with.

If you mouseover the red x marks, below is sample of a warning you get when the site is positive for threats.

Keep in mind that you do not have to go to a risky site to be exposed to malware intended to be used in identity theft. :(

Please realize that Sponsored Links on search engines can be dangerous too! These guys pay to make their sites highly visible, so that they can infect more people. Steal more identities. People who just click to visit their sites will load the page, just like in the video of the banking site above! Then the malware starts to write to the person's hard drive.

If I did not have LinkScanner installed, I would not have seen the red X before I visited the site. (this was an experiment, grin)

I'm safe! Since I am using NOScript on Firefox, when I clicked on the page, NoScript informed me that scripts wanted to run on that site and did I want to give permission? Of course not! However, if I had not seen the Linkscanner warning, I might have assumed that maybe some little harmless tool wanted to run.

Practice safe Hex! :)

LinkScanner Links

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/11/2007 04:22:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, September 10, 2007

Crimeware Addendum - Video

The video is rather chilling if you missed it. :(

See related posts on the label crimeware

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/10/2007 05:35:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Internet Security - The rise of crimeware

It has now come to the point that you cannot safely surf even your bank's site or popular commercial sites, or any other site without having all of your security software, your browser, and in fact everything active on your computer -- all up to date.

No, I'm not talking about phishing, where a site pretends to be what it is not. Phishing relies on people not realizing they have clicked on something that is spoofing a legitimate site.

Yikes! No... it's different now!

Now, it looks as though it may be a good idea to also have a link analyzer to ensure the safety of any site you visit, including YOUR BANK or anyplace you do online shopping or even Petfinder or your trusted friend's site! Why? The servers that host the sites could be compromised, if only for an hour, it could be the hour you are logged on. :(

I have antivirus, spyware scanners, and firewalls. These generally test for things that are "obvious" to the technology of these types of software. I use Firefox for my principal browser, have an adblocker on and also use NoScript. I only use IE for troubleshooting and testing web code. Also, all the email I do is done from plain text, and I read email headers all the time. Healthy paranoia, I think! None of this slows me down, as it's all rather habitual.

However, new malicious technology is growing all the time. There's tons of money in it for criminal types and they are so motivated. Taking Robert's advice in the article below, I installed Link Scanner, as a test for now.

If you want to understand more about the nature of this crimeware threat, go and read Robert Vamosi at CNET, writing about The rise of crimeware and give consideration to his recommendations (behaviors and software to install) for safety on the internet:
"For a few hours late last week, visitors to the Bank of India Web site had their browsers covertly redirected to a site hosting malicious exploits. Increasingly, criminals, often without any technical experience, are defacing popular Web sites with code that allows them to direct your browser to download content without you even knowing. (click to go to the rest of the article. . .) "
The nature of security issues on the internet changes constantly. Keep it safe and fun. Stay informed, subscribe to internet security newsletters. CNET, with Robert Vamosi is a favorite. has a newsletter too, I have an RSS feed for it on the left hand column in one of the two grayish boxes.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/10/2007 03:00:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments