What are “Poisoned” Search Results and How Can We Fight Them?

Jul 20, 10 What are “Poisoned” Search Results and How Can We Fight Them?

Posted by in Security, Software, Tech News, Tech Tips/Quick Fix

Sometimes, when looking for something on the internet, the search engine would return search results that, when clicked, redirects you to malicious websites. Although the search result or link may seem to be valid, opening it will redirect you to illegitimate/fake websites. Next thing you’ll know is that you’re PC’s already infected with malwares and other exploits. This is called “Search Engine Optimization Poisoning” or “SEO Poisoning”, another way for criminals to spread malwares and malicious codes by replacing legitimate search results with illegitimate or “poisoned” search results. Moreover, these webpages are attached with malicious code, keystroke loggers, viruses and other exploits that silently corrupt your PC. Usually, cybercriminals and scammers use hot and trending topics then build fake webpages and include the search terms to trick unknowing users. Previous instances include the “Haiti earthquake” where scammers tricked users into entering credit card details on fake charity websites. The death of Pop Icon Michael Jackson was also exploited by cybercriminals, victimizing users looking for MJ’s “autopsy” report. Recently, it was the news of Lindsay Lohan’s jailtime that scammers took advantage of. Often within hours of major news and pop culture events, as many as 50 percent of search results can be “poisoned” – meaning that it’s more likely than not that you will click on a bad link. Imagine the number of naïve internet users falling to this exploit daily, especially children. Here are some tips on preventing this exploit and making your online search activities safer. 1)      Always review the search results and be cautious of suspicious sites. Only click links that are rated “Safe” 2)      Don’t fall for sensational headlines; these are what cybercriminals use to lure users in clicking their poisoned links. 3)      Delete e-mails and ignore search results from people you don’t know and unfamiliar websites – no matter what they’re promising 4)      Be careful on clicking a link on social networking sites, even when the links are from friends. There’s a chance that your friend’s account has been hijacked....

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Mobile Number Prefixes in the Philippines

Jul 05, 10 Mobile Number Prefixes in the Philippines

Posted by in Mobile, Tech Tips/Quick Fix

Remember those days in the 90’s when there was only one prefix for the only two telcos competing? Globe uses 0917 while SMART uses 0918, and the less known Extelcom owns 0973. That’s all you need to remember to know which telco someone is subscribed to. Of course now there are a ton of mobile number prefixes and we have Sun Cellular to think of too as well as Globe and SMART offsprings such as Talk N’ Text, TM, etc. mudding the list. Here’s a quick reference of mobile number prefixes to help you know if sending a message to that chick you just met will trigger your unlimited text subscription. Globe | TM or Touch Mobile 0905, 0906, 0915, 0916, 0917, 0925, 0926, 0927, 0935, 0936, 0937 SMART | Talk N’ Text 0907, 0908, 0909, 0910, 0912, 0918, 0919, 0920, 0921, 0928, 0929, 0930, 0939, 0999 Sun Cellular 0922, 0923, 0932, 0933 Red Mobile | C.U.R.E 0938 (powered by SMART) Nextel 0977, 0979 Chris sent us a tip on how to quickly figure things out. Memorize the fourth digit (091x). 1,2,3 belongs to Sun, 5,6,7 for Globe, 8,9,0 for SMART. Why is the number 4 not used? Now what will happen if all 0900 prefixes get used up? Via Digital Spidey Related posts: No related...

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Remove “Scarewares” with Norton Power Eraser

May 19, 10 Remove “Scarewares” with Norton Power Eraser

Posted by in Security, Software, Tech Tips/Quick Fix

You know what a “scareware” is? It’s those fake popups you somtimes get from your browser telling you that your computer is infected by malwares and trojans so you need to download a software. That software is a “scareware” and downloading and running it will further cause problems to your system. Something like the Antivirus 2009: Looks pretty convincing no? And I won’t be surprised if those people who are not internet savvy like my dad fall victim into such traps. The problem with “scarewares” is that it is pretty difficult to remove because usually, real AntiVirus software cannot distinguish between a user-installed program and a “scareware”. This is why one of the leading internet security companies out there, Norton, created a rescue tools just for these types of crimewares. The Norton Power Eraser eliminates deeply embedded and difficult to remove crimeware that traditional virus scanning doesn’t always detect. Download it and store it on your USB disk just in case you need to do a quick fix on your dad’s machine. There’s a caveat though from Norton when using the Power Eraser: Because the Norton Power Eraser uses aggressive methods to detect these threats, there is a risk that it can select some legitimate programs for removal. You should use this tool very carefully, and only after you have exhausted other options. They also have a Bootable Recovery Tool in case you don’t know how to create a bootable disc/USB for your system which I believe every household with a PC should have. Related posts: Removing the Rootkit Symantec launches Norton 360 version 4.0, much lighter, faster and...

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Hard drive buying tip: Look for Advance Format technology

With a hard drive’s physical size not getting any larger, there comes a point that you can only see up to a certain amount of drive space. Drive platters have a limited areal density and manufacturers have already reached its capacity. But does this mean we cannot see drives exceeding 2TB? Or larger space on a 2.5” hard drive? Not really, thanks to Western Digital’s Advance Format Technology. Currently, hard disk platters use chunks of 512 bytes with each having its own Sync/DAM and ECC, header and tail sectors if you will, that cuts the amount of usable space of a disk by about 7-11%. This architecture is ancient and can still be improved. With Advance Format Technology, each sector is increased to 4096 bytes instead of 512, thus decreasing the overheard required by the legacy architecture. What does this mean for the consumer really? Right now, the only possible advantage of having Advance Format Technology on your drive is the increase in efficiency which improves error rate capability thanks to the longer ECC or error correct code per sector. Consequently, this technology enables manufacturer to cram more space into a single platter so we can expect larger capacity in the future which will lower the price of current drives. Another big advantage is improved performance. A Western Digital Caviar Green (low-rpm) with Advance Format can perform closely with a Caviar Black (7200rpm) which is a high performance drive. [Source] So if you’re planning to buy a new disk soon, look for one with Advance Format Technology. Do note that if you’re using Windows XP, you need to download a supporting software to align the drive. Other OS are Advance Format-ready. Let’s just hope that other manufacturers will follow suit. Related posts: No related...

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Globe 4438 Secret Decoded

Globe Telecom is running a campaign for the SMS short code 4438 and it has been well-promoted with print ads, TV commercials and social media campaigns. The Globe 4438 is set to be revealed on April 4, 2010 but an inside info gave us a tip to de-code this secret. Globe 4438 is a rewards system for subscribers and has the following mechanics: ITEMS to 4438 for list of rewards Globe Products: GLOBE Immortal Call 15 = 15 points UNLITXT20 = 20 pts UNLITXT40 = 40 pts UNLITXT80 = 80 pts SuperUNLI = 120 pts To redeem, text REDEEM to 4438 Gadgets: GADGETS Shopping: SHOPPING PAL Miles: MILES Lifestyle and Enterntainment: LIFESTYLE To view items for each category, text “ITEM to 4438″. Send “DISCOUNTS” to 4438 for list of benefits Food: FOOD Shopping: SHOPPING Health and Beauty: HEALTH Lifestyle and Entertainment: LIFESTYLE To view items in the category, text ITEM to 4438 REDEEM ITEM CODE PIN to 4438 for redemption SHARE POINTS 10-DIGITMOBILE# PIN for point transfer BAL to 4438 for points inquiry. This rewards system aims to increase customer retention and service loyalty among subscribers. Related posts: No related...

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Understanding the CPU: Fast food analogy

Most computer-literate people know that the CPU or the central processing unit is the most important part of a computer. It is the “brain” of the computer but do you know how each CPU element contribute to the processing power? To explain the different CPU elements, here is a loose “fast food restaurant” analogy to help you better understand the CPU which can be useful if a salesperson tries to talk you into buying a PC that doesn’t match your needs. Ok let’s take for example the Intel Core 2 Duo P7350, it has the following specs: 2 cores 2 GHz Clock Speed 1066 MHz Front Side Bus 3 MB L2 Cache So how will you understand what those specs can do for you and your computer? Imagine you’re in a typical fast food restaurant… CoreThink of the CPU core as a cash register. You can only pay for your meal to a cashier manning a cash register. In our example, the processor has 2 cores so it means it can handle more customers at a time. So imagine what a quad core can do. Clock Speed Think of the clock speed as the seniority level of the cashier manning the cash register. Lower clock speed means the cashier is not that familiar with the cash register so processing is much slower. Question, is one cash register with a senior cashier better than two cash registers manned by trainees? Not always, two cash registers are still better especially when there are lots of customers (information to be processed). Front Side Bus (FSB) Don’t you hate it if the queue gets too crowded? You don’t know who’s falling in line and who’s just waiting for something and you’ll end up not falling in line at all? The front side bus is like the cashier lane. The higher the FSB, the wider the lane so customers can get processed much better in an orderly manner. L2 Cache In your typical McDonald’s or Burger King, there’s this...

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Globe iPhone 3G Unboxing and Activation Tips

Got ourself an iPhone 3G and we’re still poking around to the full review to follow. For the meantime, here’s some unboxing pics and additional activation tips for Globe subscribers. Only iPhones that were purchased from Globe Telecom can be activated to work on their network. If you bought your iPhone 3G outside the country, Apple made sure you can’t activate it on other carriers in other countries. (That doesn’t stop you to go get your own unbricking software). For postpaid accounts, there are two activation process — one for the Globe SIM and another for the iPhone 3G. This shouldn’t take a lot of time to do and will all be processed in-store (i.e. Globe Business Centers). For pre-paid kits, you’ll only need to activate the iPhone 3G and this can be done in-store or on your own. Globe has added an activation link bookmarked into the Safari browser. This is fairly easy as you only need to type in your Globe phone number; you’ll then receive an SMS with a PIN you key in to complete the activation process. Prepaid kits do not have 3G internet access out of the box so you’ll have to bring your unit to the nearest Globe Business Center to have the settings keyed in. Related posts: iPhone 3G spotted at Greenhills The Price of Globe’s iPhone 3G Globe all set for iPhone 3G midnight...

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Build Flash online with Sprout

Sprout is a browser-based tool where you could build Flash online. It has pre-built templates, and enables easy asset management. It is easy to use because of it’s drag-and-drop interface. The most interesting part about Sprout is its components. With Sprout, you could add your RSS feeds by simply dragging the RSS Feed control to your working area and by pasting the URL of your RSS feed. Here’s a sample of what I’ve done. I was also able to create a photo slideshow. Check out the sample here. Another neat feature of this is that it allows you to quickly post to the following social media sites: 1. MySpace 2. Friendster 3. FaceBook 4. Orkut 5. Tagged 6. Blogger 7. Hi5 8. Live Spaces 9. Piczo 10. Freewebs 11. LiveJournal 12. BlackPlanet 13. myYearbook 14. WordPress 15. TypePad 16. Xanga 17. Multiply 18. iGoogle 19. Netvibes 20. Pageflakes You may also copy and paste the code to your website. 😀 Related posts: No related...

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Rediscovering the Thunder in Thunderbird

Eons ago when I had to wake up at exactly 6am every weekday just so I won’t be late for work, I start every day by opening Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client, which manages three separate e-mail accounts, two of them international and the other intra-company.  I remember how it worked beautifully for us.   Lag times were almost non-existent, the interface was very user-friendly, and although its color reminds me vaguely of old Windows 98, it was efficient, stable and most importantly free.  When I was “laid-off” from work middle of this year I completely forgot about it, until this Monday when I got fed up opening 7 e-mail accounts from gmail at various times of the day.  Yup, I’m now accessing all those accounts with just one email software.  Mozilla Thunderbird 2 has already been rolled off, and according to the software’s website(download link), it is now more secure than ever and sports new features for easier mail organization.  Frankly I never got to read any FAQs about Thunderbird 2, considering it was very easy to setup and it felt like an old ball on my baseball mitt.  The fact though is that I can now open my seven gmail accounts simultaneously with just one click of a button. And I never get to curse myself again when I sign out my primary mail and I’m in the middle of creating those gorgeous adsense links(i.e. adsense accounts are linked to gmail accounts, and signing out from one signs you out of the other).   If you have suffered from my email blunders I suggest you get Thunderbird as well by following these steps: Download Mozilla Thunderbird here.  Install it on your system.  Log-in to your gmail account.  At the uppermost right of the page, click Settings.    Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Tick Enable on IMAP Access: row, and hit the Save Changes button below. Launch the Thunderbird program. Choose to create a generic e-mail account.  (hint: I  didn’t use the googlemail button) Input the server settings and other information as specified by this page.  That’s it!  On your first use, you would be required to input your gmail password.  Save it with the...

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Fixing Firefox’s Voracious Appetite for Memory

Ok, so its not really a fix… more like a work around. But so far this seems to have worked to help throttle back the Firefox browser’s design to cache pages in memory: Go the address bar of firefox (where the “http://” usually is entered) and type “about:config” Look for “browser.cache.disk.capacity” and click on it. Change the default 50000 to a lower value. It was recommended that if you have 512Mb RAM, you should set it to 15000. Restart Firefox. So far my memory consumption, with a ton of tabs “On”, has been hovering at 80Mb. Much better than the previous 240Mb it used to consume. Originally from Lifehack. Along with that came 14 other great Firefox tips (here). Related posts: No related...

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