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The Road Ahead

News, updates and thoughts from Calzada Media

0
22 Jan 2019
 by Alexander John in Email, Help & Support
Length: 16 seconds (53 words)

In response to a recent support query, we've added an article to our support knowledgebase on how to remove the '--' signature separator from Mozilla Thunderbird when using custom HTML signatures.

In case anyone wonders what me mean by a signature separator, have a look at the screenshot below.

Thunderbird_remove_signature_separator_0.png - Click for larger image

0
22 Jan 2019
 by Alexander John in Help & Support, Maintenance
Length: 18 seconds (61 words)

We will be performing some routine server maintenance from around 20:00 tonight (UK or GMT time). There may be a slight impairment of our services whilst this work is taking place.

As always and updates or changes will be posted here and on our Twitter feed.

Update 11:16, 23rd January 2018

All maintenance work has been successfully completed.

0
21 Jan 2019
 by Alexander John in Help & Support, News
Length: 5 minutes, 24 seconds (1079 words)

The new year has brought a new flavour of spam: attempted extortion. In the last week received two messages that are a blatant attempt at extortion (see copy below) whereby the senders are attempting to extort money from the recipient or they claim to release a video of you performing a sexual act to all of your contacts and Facebook friends.

We consider this message to be a malicious spam message. We strongly recommend all customers that receive this message delete it immediately and do not attempt to open or download any attachments.

This is a step up from phishing as these malicious individuals are not only playing on people's insecurities but fear of potential social embarrassment and exposure (no pun intended). Electronic extortion is growing, not only by email but also but by direct action. We know of organisations who've had their IT equipment hacked and their data encrypted with the malicious party demanded a substantial ransom to release their data.

We recommend all customers to ensure that they have up-to-date security software installed as well as the latest Windows and other software updates.

Examples of Message

Message 1

ATTN: demoadmin@taxioffice.net

THIS IS NOT A JOKE - I AM DEAD SERIOUS!

Hi perv,

The last time you visited a p0rnographic website with teens,
you downloaded and installed software I developed.

My program has turned on your camera and recorded
the process of your masturbation.

My software has also downloaded all your email contact lists
and a list of your friends on Facebook.

I have both the 'Demoadmin.mp4' with your masturbation
as well as a file with all your contacts on my hard drive.

You are very perverted!

If you want me to delete both the files and keep the secret,
you must send me Bitcoin payment. I give you 72 hours for payment.

If you don't know how to send Bitcoins, visit Google.

Send 2.000 USD to this Bitcoin address immediately:

34DYvLobRmK1NEnBpKN4YMAHvRXmRPEbyM
(copy and paste)

1 BTC = 3,580 USD right now, so send exactly 0.563864 BTC
to the address provided above.


Do not try to cheat me!
As soon as you open this Email I will know you opened it.

This Bitcoin address is linked to you only,
so I will know if you sent the correct amount.
When you pay in full, I will remove the files and deactivate my program.

If you don't send the payment, I will send your masturbation video
to ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES from your contact list I hacked.

Here are the payment details again:

Send 0.563864 BTC to this Bitcoin address:

----------------------------------------
34DYvLobRmK1NEnBpKN4YMAHvRXmRPEbyM
----------------------------------------

You саn visit police but nobody will help you. I know what I am doing.
I don't live in your country and I know how to stay anonymous.

Don't try to deceive me - I will know it immediately - my spy ware is
recording all the websites you visit and all keys you press.
If you do - I will send this ugly recording to everyone you know,
including your family.

Don't cheat me! Don't forget the shame and if you ignore this message your
life will be ruined.

I am waiting for your Bitcoin payment.

If you need more time to buy and send 0.563864 BTC,
open your notepad and write '48h plz'.
I will consider giving you another 48 hours before I release the vid.

Anonymous Hacker

Message 2

LAST WARNING demoadmin@taxioffice.net!

You have the last chance to save your social life - I am not kidding!!

I give you the last 72 hours to make the payment before I send
the video with your masturbation to all your friends and associates.

The last time you visited a erotic website with young Teens,
you downloaded and installed the software I developed.

My program has turned on your camera and recorded your act of
Masturbation and the video you were masturbating to.
My software also downloaded all your email contact lists
and a list of your Facebook friends.

I have both the 'Demoadmin.mp4' with your masturbation
and a file with all your contacts on my hard drive.
You are very perverted!

If you want me to delete both files and keep your secret,
you must send me Bitcoin payment. I give you the last 72 hours.
If you don't know how to send Bitcoins, visit Google.

Send 2000 USD to this Bitcoin address immediately:

3P6QJU8moSxLL9N5f4HNjKWyZYZyoLT9SB
(copy and paste)

1 BTC = 3470 USD right now, so send exactly 0.588125 BTC
to the address above.

Do not try to cheat me!
As soon as you open this Email I will know you opened it.

This Bitcoin address is linked to you only,
so I will know if you sent the correct amount.
When you pay in full, I will remove both files and deactivate my software.

If you don't send the payment, I will send your masturbation video
to ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES from your contact list I hacked.

Here are the payment details again:

Send 0.588125 BTC to this Bitcoin address:

----------------------------------------
3P6QJU8moSxLL9N5f4HNjKWyZYZyoLT9SB
----------------------------------------


You саn visit the police but nobody will help you.
I know what I am doing.
I don't live in your country and I know how to stay anonymous.

Don't try to deceive me - I will know it immediately - my spy ware is
recording all the websites you visit and all keys you press.
If you do - I will send this ugly recording to everyone you know,
including your family.

Don't cheat me! Don't forget the shame and if you ignore this message
your life will be ruined.

I am waiting for your Bitcoin payment.

Evalyn
Anonymous Hacker


P.S. If you need more time to buy and send 0.588125 BTC,
open your notepad and write '48h plz'.
I will consider giving you another 48 hours before I release the vid,
but only when I really see you are struggling to buy bitcoin.

Some final points

Whilst we've added the senders (evalyn-767@a.i-hack.cf and sabina-100@h.anonymous-hacked.ga) to our list of blocked senders, realistically this will not stop the messages. The senders will simply use a different sender address. The sender address actually means very little as it is ludicrously easy to send an email purporting to be from any address.

0
20 Nov 2018
 by Alexander John in Help & Support
Length: 28 seconds (94 words)

Over the last week or so another phishing spam message purporting to be from HM Revenue and Customs has appeared (see screenshot below). We have received it several times and we expect many of our customers have as well. The current version of this message originates from the address donotreply@hmrc-payert-gov.uk

We consider this message to be a phishing or scam message and is malicious. We strongly recommend all customers that receive this message delete it immediately and do not attempt to open or download any attachments.

HMRC_Payment_Demand.png - Click for larger image

0
04 Sep 2018
 by Alexander John in Announcements, Help & Support, Maintenance, News
Length: 2 minutes, 1 second (404 words)

We haven’t disappeared, we’re still here. The computer gods have just not being favouring us for the last couple of days.

One of our web servers, NENE, has been offline for nearly 48 hours due to events that are beyond our control. As this issue is not likely to be fixed before Friday (at the earliest), we have temporarily moved all affected websites including our own to a different server.

Our standard mail service have not been affected and are working as normal. We intentionally split our Web hosting and mail services exactly for this kind of situation.

So, what happened?

Over the past few weeks, our NENE web server has been misbehaving for no apparent reason. This behaviour was not apparent to our customers or visitors, but noticeable to us via our daily checking and monitoring.

As any investigation could cause service interruption, we held off until last weekend. Unfortunately, despite many hours of work we couldn’t trace the problem and we suspected that Windows itself may have been corrupted beyond easy repair.

As NENE is actually a virtual server, the quickest and easiest solution was to replace it with a brand new virtual machine (we had backed up all data prior to taking the server offline). With virtual servers, the process of installing and configuration is typically quicker than with physical hardware so we aimed only to be offline for a couple of hours.

So we provisioned a new virtual machine, a process that typically takes a few minutes. It didn’t. It took over six hours for our service provider to provision a new server. Once available, the new virtual server was far from healthy, with one of its’ more apparent problems being its’ inability to restart without hanging/crashing.

We’re currently sitting in a very frustrating limbo as our service provider attempts to find a fix. They’ve managed to independently replicate the problem but have yet to discover a cure.

Update 17:00, 4th September

The latest update we have from our service provider is that they have managed to replicate the problem in their test environment and are currently investigating the underlying cause.

Update 15:30, 5th September

Our service provider has traced the issue. However, as the fix requires some changes to their infrastructure that are unlikely to be completed before Friday (7th September).

Showing 1 to 5 of 39 posts
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