The Trojan of the Month Award goes to: Avril Sparrowhawk CWIH8974 PAYMENT RECEIVED

I just got a bit of malware spam: “CWIH8974 PAYMENT RECEIVED” / “Avril Sparrowhawk []”

This fake financial spam does not come from Les Caves de Pyrene but is instead a simple forgery with a malicious attachment. How did I know it was spam? I don’t buy wine. 🙂

If you receive this e-mail, delete it immediately and contact your IT Support company. Do not open the attachment(s).

virusThe attached file is a malicious document “CWIH8974.doc” which has a low detection rate. There are likely other variants of this virus going around but in the cases we’ve seen it downloads a malicious executable file from.

The virus itself allows the hacker to compromise the web browser so that when the user tries to log in to their Internet Banking, the details are leaked to the hacker who attempts to withdraw funds from the user’s bank account.

From: Avril Sparrowhawk []
Date: 22 December 2015 at 11:14
Continue reading “The Trojan of the Month Award goes to: Avril Sparrowhawk CWIH8974 PAYMENT RECEIVED”

Our heart are with the people of Paris

Shocked I read the news this morning from my (relative) safety of my home in the UK. I quickly checked on Facebook to see if my lifelong friends in Paris were fine and thanks to the Safety Check implemented I was able to breathe easy.


The police has released an appeal to the public to stay indoors and only go out if really necessary and call the unique number of the Paris Prefecture at 0800 40 60 05.

[FLASH INFO] Consignes de sécurité suite aux évènements graves qui se déroulent à Paris

Suite aux graves évènements qui se déroulent à Paris actuellement, la Préfecture de police recommande à ceux qui se trouvent à leur domicile, chez des proches ou dans des locaux professionnels en Ile-de-France d’éviter de sortir dans les prochaines heures, sauf nécessité absolue.
Par ailleurs, les lignes 3, 5, 8, 9, 11 du métro parisien sont coupées.

Ne relayez pas de fausses informations sur les réseaux sociaux et suivez les comptes officiels.

– A ceux qui se trouvent à domicile, chez des proches ou dans des locaux professionnels en Ile de France d’éviter de sortir sauf nécessité absolue.

– Aux établissements recevant du public, de renforcer la surveillance des entrées et d’accueillir ceux qui en auraient besoin.

– D’interrompre les manifestations ou évènements en cours en extérieur.

Toutes les manifestations de voie publique sont suspendues jusqu’à nouvel ordre.

Pour toutes informations, un numéro vert a été ouvert par la préfecture de police de Paris : 0800 40 60 05.
Un site Internet est à votre disposition pour aider les enquêteurs ainsi qu’un numéro unique : le 197.

[FLASH INFO] Safety information following the serious events taking place in Paris

Following the serious events taking place in Paris today, the Prefecture of Police recommends that those who are at home, with relatives or in professional premises in Ile-de-France to avoid going out in the coming hours, except absolute necessity.
Furthermore, lines 3, 5, 8, 9, 11 of the Paris metro are cut.

Do not relaying false information on social networks and follow the official accounts.

– To those who are at home, with relatives or in professional premises in Ile de France to avoid going out unless absolutely necessary.
– In public buildings, strengthen the monitoring of inputs and to welcome those in need.
– To interrupt events or current events outdoors.

All public events are suspended until further notice.

For more information, a hotline was opened by the police prefecture of Paris: 0800 40 60 05.
A website is your available to assist investigators and a single number: the 197.

As a side note:

Do not blame muslims for the attack. Blame terrorist groups. You would not blame Christians if one or two went out to kill people, no?

Connection between the Internet time and low grades?

A recent research (Social and Psychological Correlates of Internet Use among College Students) proved that students spending time each day on the Internet, texting or talking on mobiles appeared to be more anxious, miserable people and got lower grades. The study involved 536 students representing 82 different majors.


During the research, the students recorded daily mobile use, and each of them took social science tests which measured anxiety and satisfaction with their life, or happiness. The study was divided between students who used their gadgets only to keep in touch, but were able to put it away and get on with other tasks. Another group was higher frequency users, who were unable to control phone use and therefore glued to their mobiles.

The researchers admitted that they chose college students for their study because they seem to be the first generation to grow up immersed in the digital technology. The students allowed the researchers to retrieve their cumulative grade point average, as well as to measure their texts and calls sent and received and overall use.

The researchers revealed a strong relationship between high mobile use and high anxiety: for example, the students who text under the table during lectures don’t do as well as students who leave the phone in the backpack.

Preparing for Your Future Online

When pursuing your online opportunities, developing your business plans, setting up your online stores, websites, blogs, and Preparing for Your Future Online, do you have a short term view, a long term view or both?  What is your “Success Strategy”?  Are you doing what everyone else is doing or anticipating where the internet is taking us?  Are you Preparing for Your Future Online…  the Key to Success Online?

When considering things like:

  • The newest news:  Google Print ( Insiders Report)
  • The rumors invading the world of Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) regarding Google possibly changing their affiliate policy.  Everyone’s worried about it, but if they were set up properly they wouldn’t have to (keep reading this article).
  • Google’s ever changing landscapes the average SEO battles to stay on top of.  The efforts to try and anticipate updates and algorithms…  making things more complex than they need to be.
  • The expansion of the internet (
  • The efforts to understand PageRank (PR) when the PR of today won’t be here tomorrow.
  • People trying to figure out how to write good sales copy…  but trying to boil it down to one formula when there isn’t one.
  • Debate over how to approach the design of websites and everyone arguing about which method is the best when they don’t take the whole picture into account (The Market; The Future)
  • The revving up of RSS as a way to provide more content on your website
  • Blogs affecting the offline world including politics ( Story)
  • The explosion and importance of forums.  It seems everyone is starting a forum.
  • And a million other things changing and influencing the way we do things now…

Everyone is scrambling to try and figure out the right “Success Strategy” and what direction to take with their business, websites and marketing.  We are all looking for the Key to Success.  But there is no right way…

You see not only is the internet vast and changing and developing rapidly, but everyone’s products and services can be and should be approached differently.  Markets very and situations demand different strategies.  But most importantly, will the things you’re doing today work in 1 year, 5 years or 10 years?

Are We Planning for the Future?

Many of us listen to what’s happening now, but what about 5 years from now?  Who is going to be still in business 10 years from now?  What works now will be obsolete.  Will you be left behind or be riding the wave as it grows?

Those who are prepared to adapt and have built a digital infrastructure for their business that anticipates the future will survive.  You can’t be static.  You can’t invest a lot of time and money into something inflexible that may be replaced by another technology next year.  We must understand what’s happening and what to anticipate.  You have to understand the big picture to make the right choices about your business online.

You can use many of the methods today and do very well short term, but you must have an exit plan.  You must move as the internet moves.  An important Success Strategy is having an exit plan.  This plan might be deciding that you will pursue an opportunity for 2 years, and then you will sell that business and have another one waiting in the wings.  It’s an important Key to Success Online if you want a long term presence.

The Internet’s Reflection

The internet in the future will be a reflection of the off-line world.  It isn’t yet, but it’s coming…  Why do I think that?  I believe that because the structure of the offline world has been developing for thousands of years and it works.  It’s in a continuous state of change, but the basic structure is in place.

To draw a comparison:


OFFLINE: If you want free information, where do you go offline?  The library…
ONLINE: Eventually you will find that same information available online.  Some of it is, but it will get better as you can see by Google’s activities.
OFFLINE: If you want a new book, magazine or other fresh information, where do you go?  The bookstore…
ONLINE: You already have bookstores online.
OFFLINE: If you want information about fishing, where do you go?  The library…
ONLINE: Eventually the online library.
OFFLINE: What if you want to buy a fishing rod?  You go to a fishing store…
ONLINE: You go to a fishing store.

How about Music, Electronics, or Office Supplies?  You can find them all online and offline.

Many people are worried about a move like “Google Print”.  A deal involving the libraries of five of the world’s most important academic institutions including:  The full libraries of Michigan and Stanford universities, as well as archives at Harvard, Oxford and the New York Public Library.  Why are you worried?  You didn’t anticipate this?  Never get too used to your environment, especially online.  Even offline markets change, products develop, and the technology improves… so will the internet except it will be magnified.

I believe the internet has several dimensions:  Leisure, Educational, Consumer, and Business to name a few.  All of these will develop side by side eventually catching up with the offline world and then pushing forward and getting better into the future.  The Key to Success Online is to understand how it’s all coming together and building your business to join that movement.

We must all understand that we just invented the wheel… so much more is to come.  The offline world and the online world will become seamless in years to come. It will be exciting to watch and be a part of.  Your Success Strategy should integrate the wheels of change.

So you must stop thinking in one dimension.  You must look beyond the present and understand how the changes might effect you.   You can’t fight the changes, but you can anticipate them.

What Exactly Do We Need to Worry About?

Some of you won’t have to worry about your products.  For instance if you sell jewelry, chances are people will still want jewelry in 10, 20 or 30 years.  But you do have to be flexible enough to move with the webs development.

Others of you will have to prepare a contingency plan.  You will have to decide how long your product will work for you and have another one ready to launch to take its place.  This is especially important for those involved with digital products.  Better yet, you should have multiple products and streams of income to roll with the changes.  If one drops off it won’t matter.  You’ll have others in place and another one ready to launch.

Too many of us think we only need to find one opportunity when in reality we must find one and look for another.  And again the best way to provide security is to have multiple product lines or sources of income.  We must not only work hard to develop the business your in, but prepare for the day that business might not be profitable…  the Key to Success is to anticipate that change.

 The Speed of Change and the Importance of Education

There is a difference online as far as the speed that business changes.  Things can change overnight.  Google only has to change one little thing in their algorithm to put someone out of business or launch someone else into success.

If you choose to pursue online opportunity, you must understand that your environment is in a constant state of change.  Just like anyone involved with technology, you will have to always be educating yourself.  Continuous education will help you be prepared and ride out the storms to come.  Education must become a routine.  It is another important Success Strategy.


There is a lot of opportunity online.  The Key to Success is understanding how the game is played.  You must have the future in mind.  Without a plan and a focus on the future you will find failure much sooner than later.  With a plan for the future and your eye on the future you will anticipate the failures, expect them, adapt and survive.

There is not one opportunity that is going to make you rich and let you sit back, relax and just collect your money.  There is the exception to that rule…  You could get lucky, but it’s unlikely.  You’re probably going to have to work hard, plan smart, and keep your eye on the ball.  And don’t worry about “Google Print”.  It was going to happen anyway…  Google is just poised to do it faster and better than the rest.

Microsoft Office 15 Details to be revealed

Microsoft is ready to release details of the new and redesigned version of Office. The latter, by the way, is a real cash cow and selling licenses for Windows packaged with the Office suite is huge money. However, lately the package, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, has been under intense pressure with the rivals introducing products aimed at taking away its market share.

Office 15 LogoOffice 15 is promised to appear in the shops next year and features a lot of software attachments into Windows 8. However, the developers have been a little quiet about what will be under the bonnet. The experts point out that to do well Microsoft has to knock out any attempt by Google to push its competing Google Docs suite, as well as both Open Office and Libre Office that offer a free version of something very similar. Apple is expecting that people would ignore functionality and forces businesses try to tap 20,000 word reports and spreadsheets on iPad software. The company has somehow managed to keep Office and Google Docs off the iPad – «just in case”.

Overall, Office is responsible for $22.2 billion of the software giant’s nearly $70 billion in fiscal 2011 revenue, or $14.1 billion of operating income, by far the most of any unit. That’s why in case of Office 15 failure virtually every part of the company will suffer.

The official information about the new Office is prepared to be released, but the rumors are abound that Office 15 might enable editing of Adobe PDF documents and have a lot of mobile functions to get onto more devices. Of course, it is expected that the new Office will play nicely with Surface tablets and connect the software into the company’s free Internet-accessible services. In addition, it will be more touch friendly. The rest will be revealed soon enough.

Read more:


Experts Warned of Cloud Complexity

One of the Yale researchers has warned that cloud-based systems might melt down with the systems becoming more and more complex.

Bryan Ford has written a paper, which he is going to present to the USENIX HotCloud 2012 conference soon. The paper says that with the use of cloud computing now becoming more mainstream, major operational “meltdowns” might arise. The matter is that everything will get quite complex, and complexity will cause an accident.

Ford explained that as diverse cloud services share more fluidly and aggressively multiplexed hardware resource pools, the probability arises that unexpected things will happen, including unpredictable interactions between load-balancing and other reactive mechanisms. This may result in dynamic instabilities, also known as “meltdowns”.

According to the experts report, it was a little like the intertwining, complex relationships and structures which could promote global financial crisis. He pointed out that new cloud services may emerge, which actually resell, trade, or speculate on complex “’derivatives” like financial trading industries.

Such components will be maintained and deployed by different companies, which, due competition, won’t share details (if possible) about the internal operation of its services. As a result, the cloud industry might face speculative bubbles. The experts predict occasional large-scale failures due to composite cloud services which have weaknesses that do not reveal until those bubbles burst.

Meanwhile, there’s no solution to the problem. The only advice that the experts can give is that providers should release detailed data about their system dependencies to some special 3rd party that offers cloud reliability analysis services.

British ISPs are trying to bring down Pirate Bay

It has been a long-lasting UK’s struggle to block access to The Pirate Bay, and it finally turned out that the country’s High Court delivered the following decision: the UK’s broadband providers must get involved with the measures taken against the BitTorrent tracker.

According to the BBC report, Everything Everywhere, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, and O2 are ordered to stop their subscribers from accessing the stigmatized BitTorrent tracker. The BPI claimed that the websites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the United Kingdom and undermine investment in new UK content creators. However, BT asked for a couple more weeks to consider their position on blocking access to the website.

Since November last year, the BPI has been asking a number of Internet service providers to voluntarily block access to The Pirate Bay, after doing the same with another site offering infringing links – Newzbin2. But the broadband providers replied they wouldn’t do so unless court ordered.

Now the ISPs admit that they will have to follow the High Court’s request, but add that such measures aren’t part of a long-term solution. Responsible companies will comply with court orders addressed to them, but they strongly believe that changing consumer behavior to fight copyright violation also needs compelling legal alternatives, like the agreement with streaming services, to provide users legitimate access at the right price.

Meanwhile, the British Pirate Party claimed that this move won’t help the content creators get more money. Although the court order didn’t come as a surprise, the truth remains that the country finds itself on a slippery slope towards online censorship.

Everyone knows that there are many alternatives to bypass website blocking, but the industry believes it should keep trying. It also points out that the principle that downloading copyrighted music is against the law hasn’t been reinforced by schools or parents. However, this opinion isn’t shared by Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, who said that the court ruling was pointless and dangerous, because it will fuel calls for stricter online censorship of many kinds, from porno to extremism. As you can see, online censorship keeps growing in scope and becoming easier.