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Month: November 2009 (Page 1 of 4)

‘Godfather of Spam’ sentenced to four years in prison

Alan Ralsky and three others received jail time for their parts in a spam stock manipulation scheme

One of the most notorious U.S.-based spammers was sentenced to more than four years in jail on Monday for a scheme that used spam to manipulate stock prices in order to make a profit. Alan Ralsky, 64, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, was sentenced to 51 months in prison in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Ralsky pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and violating the CAN-SPAM act. Ralsky has long been fingered by the antispam organization Spamhaus for sending spam using hacked computers. Ralsky called himself the “Godfather of Spam” and was sued by Verizon for sending unauthorized bulk mail on its networks. Ralsky has also had several other run-ins with the law, including a 1995 conviction for felony bank fraud.

In the latest case, Ralsky and several others were accused of sending out batches of spam that tried to convince people to buy thinly traded stocks in order get the stock prices to rise. The scheme is known as a pump-and-dump scam, where the perpetrators are able to quickly sell the stock for a profit but leave the new investors at a loss when the price inevitable collapses.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Ralsky pushed spam mostly for U.S. companies that were owned and controlled by people in Hong Kong and China. The spam contained falsified header information and was sent from proxy computers. Also sentenced was Ralsky’s 48-year-old son-in-law, Scott Bradley, who received 40 months in prison. Two other people, How Wai John Hui, a resident of Hong Kong and Canada, received 51 months, and John S. Brown, of Fresno, California, received 32 months.
Brown was accused of running a botnet in order to send the spam, while Hui was accused of wire and mail fraud as well as money laundering.

Five people — Francis Tribble, Judy Devenow, William Neil, James Bragg and James Fite — are scheduled for sentencing Tuesday in the same court on charges related to the scheme. Cases are still pending against two other people, Anki Neil and Peter Severa, the DOJ said.

Facebook worm spreads with a lurid lure

Facebook said the problem only affected a small number of users and disputes it is a worm

Some Facebook users have been infected with a worm after clicking on an image of a scantily clad woman, which then redirects the victims to a pornography site, according to security researchers. The worm posts an image on a victim’s Facebook Wall with a photo of a woman in a bikini and the message “click ‘da button, baby.” Wall posts are viewable by a Facebook user’s friends.
If a friend clicks on the image and is logged into Facebook, the image is then is posted to their own Wall.

Their Web browser will then open a Web page with a larger version of the same image. A further click on “da button” redirects the friend to a pornography site, according to Roger Thompson chief research officer for antivirus vendor AVG Technologies.
Thompson posted a video of the attack on his blog. The creators of the worm are likely making money by driving referrals to the pornography site, said Nick FitzGerald, a threat researcher for security vendor AVG.

Researchers aren’t quite sure exactly how the worm works but believe it may be a cross-site request forgery attack (CSRF) or a clickjacking attack or a mix of both. A CSRF attack occurs when a victim’s credentials are used to perform some action but without their knowledge. In this case, the attacker fraudulently posts the image to the victim’s Facebook Wall, piggybacking on the fact the victim is logged into their account.

Another possibility is clickjacking, where attackers use special Web programming to trick victims into clicking Web buttons without realizing it. Clickjacking is possible due to a fundamental design feature in HTML that allows Web sites to embed content from other Web pages. Web browsers are vulnerable to clickjacking attacks, although browser makers have worked to shore up defenses against them.

Facebook classifies the attack as clickjacking, an attack that is “not specific to Facebook,” according to a written statement.
“We’ve taken action to block the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) associated with this site, and we’re cleaning up the relatively few cases where it was posted,” the statement said. “Overall, an extremely small percentage of users were affected.” If the worm does spread through a clickjacking attack, “it may be difficult for Facebook to fix reliably,” FitzGerald said. “Regardless, it is a worm.”

Facebook warned users not to click on suspicious links. However, in this case, the link doesn’t stand out as necessarily suspicious given the variety of Wall postings, graphics and applications that appear all over the popular social-networking site. In fact, one security researcher inadvertently reposted the suspect graphic before realizing something wasn’t right. “This shows that even experts can become complacent and trust systems when they really shouldn’t,” wrote Gadi Evron, an independent security researcher, on Dark Reading’s blog.

I.T version of Psalms 23

The lord is my programmer; I shall not crash.

He installed his software on the hard disk of my heart;

all of his commands are user-friendly.

His directory guides me to the right choices for his Name’s sake.

Even though I scroll through the problems of life,

I will fear no bugs and viruses, for He is my backup.

His password protects me.

He prepares a menu before me in the presence of my enemies.

His help is only a keystroke away.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,

and my file will be merged with his and saved forever.

Amen

China executes 2 for role in tainted milk scandal

BEIJING – China executed a dairy farmer and a milk salesman Tuesday, the only two people sentenced to death in a scheme to water down infant formula with an industrial chemical that left at least six children dead and sickened more than 300,000.

The contamination of the milk power with melamine was one of China’s worst-ever food safety scandals, and Beijing is eager to prove it has responded swiftly and comprehensively to eliminate the problem — one in a string of food safety scares. When the scandal came to light in September 2008, there were accusations that the government had prevented the news from breaking until after the Olympic Games in Beijing ended.

Dairy farmers and the middlemen involved in the scam conspired to increase profits by watering down milk and milk products before they sold it, fooling inspectors testing for protein content by adding melamine — used in the manufacture of plastics and fertilizers. Melamine, like protein, is high in nitrogen.

Zhang Yujun, a farmer, was executed for endangering public safety, and Geng Jinping for producing and selling toxic food, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. They were the only defendants among 21 sentenced in January to have received the death penalty.

Much of the phony protein powder that Zhang and Geng produced and sold ended up at the now-defunct Sanlu Group Co., at the time one of China’s biggest dairies.

Xinhua said news of the execution had been issued by the Shijiazhuang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, although a court clerk who answered the phone Tuesday said he was unable to confirm the sentences had been carried out. Most executions in China are carried out by firing squad.

Of the others tried and sentenced in January in connection with the scandal, Sanlu’s general manager, Tian Wenhua, was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to charges of producing and selling fake or substandard products.

Three other former Sanlu executives were given between five years and 15 years in prison.

Govt warns Internet providers over prices

The government could introduce price controls for Internet services if providers do not reduce prices, it warned Tuesday.

“The Government is very concerned that the landing of two cables has not had a profound impact on bandwidth costs and by extension on retail Internet prices.

“This explains why the penetration of the Internet still lags behind all other ICT services. If we do not see any changes in the retail prices for the internet, the Government, through the Communications Commission of Kenya, will have to consider introducing price caps for bandwidth,” Information and Communications Assistant minister George Khaniri said.

The Hamisi MP spoke during the Stakeholders Consultative Forum on the Draft Kenya Communications Regulations 2009 at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies.

He was accompanied by Communications Commission of Kenya director-general Charles Njoroge, chairman Philip Okundi, Postmaster General Hussein Ali and director of communications Ezekiel Mutua.

Mr Njoroge said the caps were not meant to control prices as Kenya is a free market nor punish investors but for “guidance.”

The assistant minister said he was concerned that while enhancement of competition has had a remarkable impact on the reduction of tariffs, particularly in the mobile telecommunications sub-sector “the Government still believes that there is still ample room for access charges for ICT services to go down further.”

Mr Khaniri said in the developed world, national and international trade was now done over the Internet and warned that Kenya cannot survive as a country if it does not scale-up its commercial interactions and presence online.

He said the government plans to establish a Universal Service Fund to finance the roll out of services to the undeserved and unserved areas of the country.

“The kitty will benefit the undeserved as well as the licensed operators with respect to underwriting the costs that militate against infrastructure development in rural and other high cost areas,” the minister said.

The Fund, he added, will also be used to finance the creation of local content to promote the utility of the Internet especially in rural areas.

The Fund is also critical in implementation of e-government services to promote efficiency and transparency and free citizens from travelling long distances to access government services.

He said the impending migration to digital TV broadcasting is expected to create 133 additional TV channels in the country which will stimulate substantial demand of local content.

In a speech read on his behalf, Information and Communications permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo said the mobile telephony subsector has grown from 15,000 lines in 1999 to the current 18 million subscribers.

“The population coverage of the signal also spans 80 per cent,” he said.
The PS said apart from four mobile operators, there were two fibre optic cables, 84 radio stations, 19 TV stations, 143 postal and courier operators and more than 70 Internet Service Providers.

He said ICT regulatory regimes worldwide are moving to create frameworks that can ably deal with convergence, electronic communications and infrastructure and services, as well as the growing availability of broadband.

Source : www.nation.co.ke : 24th November 2009

Testing drive on to fight Aids in Kenya

More than one million Kenyans are expected to get tested for HIV during a national campaign launched on Monday.The drive is expected to target more than 77 per cent of adults in all types of relationships who are unaware of their partners’ HIV status.

Public Health and Sanitation minister Beth Mugo urged Kenyans to visit voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) centres to be set up in most towns, residential areas and social places.“We can not claim to protect our loved ones yet we do not want to get tested,” Mrs Mugo said, adding that couple testing was important to reduce the rate of new infections in steady relationships.

Testing at night, and at workplaces, door-to-door approach, and mobile centres are some of the strategies in this year’s campaign to increase the number of people to be tested. The campaign, which will run for three weeks at health centres countrywide, will end on December 12.

In a similar campaign last year, 700,000 people were tested.

The National Aids and STI Control Programme head Nicholas Muraguri cited the youth as the most vulnerable groups and called for vigorous campaigns to encourage them to get tested.Dr Muraguri pointed out that denial that the youth are at risk was one of the barriers in controlling new infections among those aged between 20 and 24 years.

“Women are four times more at risk of contracting HIV compared to their male counterparts,” Dr Muraguri told Daily Nation in an interview.The HIV prevalence among women stood at 11 per cent compared to 3.9 per cent among men in the same age group.

However, men were the most affected group after the age of 55, with an 8.3 per cent prevalence.Mrs Mugo urged the youth to get tested to plan wisely for their families.

She further challenged the youth to involve themselves in productive ventures to avoid boredom that later exposed them to risky sexual behaviour.“We expect to meet a target of 10 million people tested by June next year,” the minister said.

According to the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey, there was an increase in HIV awareness among those aged between 15 and 49 years although two thirds had not been tested.The minister called on those who had tested positive to maintain healthy lifestyles through diet, seeking medication and adopting behaviour change to avoid infecting others and acquiring new strains of the virus.

“Make an informed choice and visit a VCT centre to plan your life wisely,” she said.According to government statistics, 45 per cent of people who got tested are in discordant relationships, thus making difficult to monitor the spread pattern of the disease if one of the partners refused to get tested

What Were You Thinking?

There was this Asian lady married to an American gentleman and they lived in Honolulu. The poor lady was not very proficient in English, but managed to communicate with her husband. The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.

One day, she went to the butcher and wanted to buy pork legs. She didn’t know how to put forward her request, and in desperation, lifted up her skirt to show her thighs. The butcher got the message and the lady went home with pork legs.

The next day, she needed to get chicken breasts. Again, she didn’t know how to say, and so she unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her breast. The lady got what she wanted.

The 3rd day, the poor lady needed to buy sausages. Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store…

What were you thinking? Helloooooooooo, her husband speaks English!!

Almost

A married man goes to confessional and he tells the priest, “I had an affair with a woman… almost.” The priest says,
“what do you mean almost?” The man says, “Well, we got undressed and rubbed together but then I stopped.”
The priest replies, “Rubbing together is the same as it in. You’re not to go near that woman again, now say five
Hail Marys and put $50 in the poor box.”

The man leaves confessional, goes over and says his prayers,then walks over to the poor box. He pauses for a moment and
then starts to leave. The priest, who was watching him, quickly runs over to him and says, “I saw that, you didn’t put any money in the poor box!”

The man replied, “Well Father, I rubbed up against it and you said it was the same as puttin

Pearl Gates Interview

Recently a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer wound up together at the Pearly Gates.
St. Peter informed them that in order to get into Heaven, they would each have to answer one
question.

St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked, “What was the name of the ship that crashed into the iceberg? They just made a movie about it.” The teacher answered quickly, “That would be the Titanic.” St. Peter let him through the gate.

St. Peter turned to the garbage man and, figuring Heaven didn’t REALLY need all the odors that this guy would bring with him, decided to make the question a little harder: “How many people died on the ship?” Fortunately for him, the trash man had just seen the movie and answered, “about 1,500.” “That’s right! You may enter.”

St. Peter then turned to the lawyer. “Name them.”

Some Job You Have

The subway car was packed. It was rush hour, and many people were forced to stand. One particularly cramped woman turned to the man behind her and said, “Sir, if you don’t stop poking me with your thing, I’m going to the cops!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about miss – that’s just my pay check in my pocket.” “Oh really” she spat.”then you must have some job, because that’s the fifth raise you’ve had in the last half hour.”

Water in The Carburettor

WIFE: “There’s trouble with the car. It has water in the carburettor.” HUSBAND: “Water in the carburettor? That’s ridiculous.”
WIFE: “I tell you the car has water in the carburettor.” HUSBAND: “You don’t even know what a carburettor is. I’ll check it out.
Where’s the car?”
WIFE: “In the pool.”

Confession

A woman takes a lover home during the day while her husband is at work. Her 9 year old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them and hides in the bedroom closet to watch. The woman’s husband also comes home. She puts her Lover in the closet, not realizing that the little boy is in there already. The little boy says, “Dark in here.” The man says, “Yes, it is.” Boy – “I have a baseball.” Man – “That’s nice.” Boy – “Want to buy it?” Man – “No, thanks.” Boy – “My dad’s outside.” Man – “OK, how much?” Boy – “$250”

In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the lover are in the closet together. Boy – “Dark in here.” Man – “Yes, it is.” Boy – “I have a baseball glove.” The lover, remembering the last time, asks the boy, “How much?” Boy – “$750” Man – “Sold.”

A few days later, the father says to the boy, “Grab your glove, let’s go outside and have a game of catch. The boy says, “I can’t, I sold my baseball and my glove.” The father asks, “How much did you sell them for?” Boy -“$1,000” The father says, “That’s terrible to overcharge your friends like that.

That is way more than those two things cost. I’m going to take you to church and make you confess.” They go to the church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door. The boy says, “Dark in here.” The priest says, “Don’t start that shit again, you’re in my closet now.”

The Bird

A little girl was walking along a beach in California when she came across a man with no clothes on and just a newspaper
covering his genitals. The little girl said, “What do you have under that newspaper, Mister?” The man said, “Nothing, it’s just a bird, now go away!”

The man thought nothing of her and quickly fell asleep. Hours later, the man woke up in a hospital bed in excrutiating pain.
“Where the hell am I?” A doctor replied, “Someone called 9-1-1 and said you needed emergency help, so we rushed you right over.”
“Well, what the hell happened to me?” “We don’t know, son. Do you remember anything unusual happening to you today?”
The man said, “Well, there was a little girl bugging me just before I fell asleep.”

The doctor sent someone to the beach to see if the little girl was still there, and she was. The person said, “Do you know what happened to that nice man you saw here earlier?”

“Well,” the little girl said, “I started to play with that nice little bird that he had and the damn thing spit on me. So, I wrung its neck, broke its eggs, and set its nest on fire!”

Why I Fired My Secretary

I woke up early, feeling depressed because it was my birthday, and I thought, “I’m another year older,” but decided to make the best of it. So I showered and shaved, knowing when I went down to breakfast my wife would greet me with a big kiss and say, “Happy birthday, dear.” All smiles, I went in to breakfast, and there sat my wife, reading her newspaper, as usual. She didn’t say one word. So I got myself a cup of coffee, made some toast and thought to myself, “Oh well, she forgot. The kids will be down in a few minutes, smiling and happy, and they will sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and have a nice gift for me.” There I sat, enjoying my coffee, and I waited. Finally, the kids came running into the kitchen, yelling, “Give me a slice of toast! I’m late! Where is my coat? I’m going to miss the bus!” Feeling more depressed than ever, I left for the office.

When I walked into the office, my secretary greeted me with a great big smile and a cheerful “Happy birthday, boss.” She then asked if she could get me some coffee. Her remembering my birthday made me feel a whole lot better.

Later in the morning, my secretary knocked on my office door and said, “Since it’s your birthday, why don’t we have lunch together?” Thinking it would make me feel better, I said, “That’s a good idea.” So we locked up the office, and since it was my birthday, I said, “Why don’t we drive out of town and have lunch in the country instead of going to the usual place?” So we drove out of town and went to a little out-of-the-way inn and had a couple of martinis and a nice lunch. We started driving back to town, when my secretary said, “Why don’t we go to my place, and I will fix you another martini.” It sounded like a good idea, since we didn’t have much to do in the office. So we went to her apartment, and she fixed us some martinis. After a while, she said, “If you
will excuse me, I think I will slip into something more comfortable,” and she left the room.

In a few minutes, she opened her bedroom door and came out carrying a big birthday cake. Following her were my wife and all my kids. And there I sat with nothing on but my socks.

Pay Up The Rent

“That bastard husband of mine wanted me to sleep with the landlord because he lost the rent money playing poker,” the
housewife told a neighbor.

“You didn’t do it, did you?”

“I have to admit I did — though with certain misgivings, I might add. What I haven’t done, though, is tell my husband the rent
is paid up for six months!”

No What??? For a Week

Through the kitchen window a farmer’s wife sees her son coming home from school. The boy’s in a bad mood, and as he crosses the field he kicks a pig. He walks a little further and kicks a cow. Once inside, his mother says, “I saw what you did, young man! For kicking the pig you’ll get no bacon for a week, and for kicking the cow, no milk for a week.” Just at that moment, the boy’s father walks through the door and boots the cat halfway across the room.

The boy looks at his mother and says, “Do you wanna tell him, or should I ?”

Over and Over Again

A horny young man went to a brothel… The lady at the counter asked himwhat his choice would be. The man wanted to know what was available.
Madam, “On the first floor, we have the ex-models… they are all slinky and sexy… On the second floor, we have our ex-actresses…they are all buxom and beautiful… On the third floor, we have our ex-teachers….
they…”< Man, "Say no more! Lead me to the third floor." Madam, "Are you sure... I'm surprised that you would prefer ex-teachers to ex-models and ex-actresses." Man, "It's obvious, ma'am, teachers always make you do a thing over and over again, until you're perfect at it."

I Need More Rope

One day, a young cowboy and a cowgirl decided to get married. He was a man of the world and she was an innocent bride with
no experience.On the first night of their honeymoon the couple washed up and started to get ready for bed. When they get into bed, they start exploring each other’s bodies.

Things are going fine until the bride discovers her husband’s penis. “Oh my”, she says, “What is that?” “Well, darlin”, the cowboy says, “That’s ma rope”. \She slides her hands further down and gasps. “Oh my goodness. What’s them?” she asks.”Honey, them’s my knots”, he answers. Finally, the couple begin to make love.

After several minutes, the bride says, “Stop honey. Wait a minute”. Her husband, panting a little, asks, “What’s the matter honey?
Am I hurting you?” “No”, the bride replies. “Just undo them damn knots. I need more rope!”

Losing Weight Instantly

A fellow was reading the paper one day lamenting the fact that his doctor has ordered him to lose 75 pounds. Next thing he sees is an advertisement for a guaranteed weight loss program. Guaranteed like heck, he thinks to himself. But lets see what they think they can do. He calls them on the phone and subscribes to the 3 day, 10 LB weight loss program.

The next day there comes a knock at his door, and when he answers, there stands before him a voluptuous, athletic 19 year old babe dressed in nothing but a pair of Nikes and a sign hanging around her neck. She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company. The sign reads, If you can catch me, you can have me. Well, without a second thought he takes off after her (like who wouldn’t). A few miles later, huffing and puffing, he finally catches her and has his way with her. After they are through he kisses the girl one last time and thinks to himself with a nod, I like the way this company does business.
For the next two days, the same girl shows up and the same thing happens each time. On the fourth day, he weighs himself and, sure enough, he has lost 10 pounds.

Deciding that he likes his somewhat more slender physique, not to mention the method of treatment, he calls the company back and subscribes to their 5 day, 20 LB weight loss program. He thinks that losing 20 pounds in only 5 days seems like a lot, but he is intrigued by what their workout schedule might be like this time. As expected, the next day there comes a knock at his door. When he answers it there stands a 22 year old knockout dressed in nothing but a pair of Reeboks and a sign hanging around her neck. She is simply stunning, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company. The sign reads, If you can catch me, you can have me. He’s out the door like a shot. This gal is in excellent shape and it takes a while to catch her. But when he does, it is worth every cramp and wheeze. She is wonderful, the best he has ever had. He is really looking forward to the next four days… For the next four days, the same girl shows up and the same thing happens each time, much to his delight. On the sixth day, he weighs himself and, unbelievably, he has lost another 20
pounds. I love this company, he thinks to himself, I never knew losing weight could be so easy and so much fun.

Feeling much better about himself, he decides to go for broke and subscribe to the companies 7 day, 50 pound weight loss program. Are you sure, sir? asks the representative on the phone. This is our most rigorous program. Absolutely, says he, I love your program. haven’t felt this good in years! The next day there comes a knock at his door and he enthusiastically answers it. There stands before him a 200 pound perfect specimen of a man dressed in nothing but racing spikes and a sign around his neck. He introduces himself as a representative of the weight loss company.

The sign reads, If I can catch you, I can have you.

No $

Dear Dad,

$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard.
With all my $tuff, I $imply can’t think of anything I need, $o if you would
like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.

Love,
Your $on.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear Son,

I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an
hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble
task, and you can never study eNOugh.

Love,
Dad

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