Score One for AT&T

SeanK — Friday, June 29th, 2007 @ 11:18 am
Filed under: Hacking,Internet

I recently received and e-mail that was part of a phishing scam asking me to login to my Paypal account. Of course the link provided actually went to a webpage (probably stolen) of a DSL customer of SBCGlobal. So I forwarded the email to SBCGlobal so they could investigate and I received the email below back from them this morning. As I read through it, I was really impressed at how much useful information they had assembled and provided in one place. So I am posting here and publicly giving them one big thumbs up!

—–Original Message—–
From: AT&T Internet Customer Care Security Team [mailto:abuse@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 5:31 AM
To: Sean Kelly
Subject: AT&T Internet Service Security Department

Hello,

AT&T Internet Services wants you and your family to enjoy the time you spend online. Unfortunately, these scams occur every day and the forgers may choose a variety of different businesses to impersonate. Fake emails have been discovered from banks, mortgage companies and even Internet service providers. Ultimately, you are in the best position to safeguard your personal information from these types of attacks.

How to Protect Yourself

1. Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is over the phone or over the Internet. E-mails and Internet pages created by phishers may look exactly like the real thing. They may even have a fake padlock icon that ordinarily is used to denote a secure site. If you did not initiate the communication, you should not provide any information.

2. If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact the financial institution yourself. You can find phone numbers and Web sites on the monthly statements you
receive from your financial institution, or you can look the company up in a phone book or on the Internet. The key is that you should be the one to initiate the contact, using contact information that you have verified yourself.

3. Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request. A financial institution would never ask you to verify your account information online. Thieves armed with this information and your account number can help themselves to your savings.

4. Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct. If your account statement is late in arriving, call your financial institution to find out why. If your financial institution offers electronic account access, periodically review activity online to catch suspicious activity.

You Can Fight Identity Theft:

Never provide personal financial information, including your Social Security number, account numbers or passwords, over the phone or the Internet if you did not initiate the contact.

Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you believe is fraudulent. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer.

Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information.

If you believe the contact is legitimate, go to the companies Web site by typing in the site address directly or using a page you have previously book marked, instead of a link provided in the e-mail.

If you fall victim to an attack, act immediately to protect yourself. Alert your financial institution. Place fraud alerts on your credit files. Monitor your credit files and account statements closely.

Report suspicious e-mails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.

What to do if you fall victim:

1) Contact your financial institution immediately and alert it to the situation.
2) If you have disclosed sensitive information in a phishing attack, you should also contact one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file, which will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name. Here is the contact information for each bureau’s fraud division:

Equifax
800-525-6285
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374

Experian
888-397-3742
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion
800-680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634

3) Please contact your local police department.
How to report if you have been a victim of an online shopping fraud:

If you have problems during a transaction, try to work them out directly with the seller, buyer or site operator. If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in your state. You can find your state Attorney General’s contact information on the website of the National Association of Attorneys General. www.naag.org

Online Shopping Tips:

Know who you’re dealing with. Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the online sellers physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. If you get an email or pop-up message while you’re browsing that asks for financial information, don’t reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies don’t ask for this information via email.
Do not send cash, checks or money orders under any circumstances:

Pay by credit or charge card. If you pay by credit or charge card online, your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law, you have the right to dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor is investigating them. In the event of unauthorized use of your credit or charge card, you generally would be held liable only for the first $50 in charges. Some companies offer an online shopping guarantee that ensures you will not be held responsible for any unauthorized charges made online, and some cards may provide additional warranty, return, and/or purchase protection benefits.

How to report if you have been a victim of an online shopping fraud:
If you have problems during a transaction, try to work them out directly with the seller, buyer or site operator. If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the

Attorney General’s office in your state. You can find your state Attorney General’s contact information on the website of the National Association of Attorneys

General. your county or state consumer protection agency. http://www.naag.org/

Most answers to your questions can be found at http://helpme.att.net/.

Security viewlets, Firewalls, Phishing Alerts and Spyware removal tools are some ways AT&T Internet Services is making your Internet safer.


Lowest Common Denominator

SeanK — Thursday, June 28th, 2007 @ 11:20 am
Filed under: Internet

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you’re a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

What American accent do you have?


I agree with the conclusion, I just don’t like the way they worded it. I guess I don’t stand out in a crowd.


Very Cool Binary Counting Project

SeanK — Monday, June 25th, 2007 @ 4:09 pm
Filed under: Interesting