Security & Privacy

the JoshMeister on Security: How to Preview Shortened URLs (TinyURL,,, and more)

On many social networks, it’s a common practice to use shortened redirect URLs rather than linking directly to the (often much longer) original URL of a page. This is especially common when character limits are imposed, such as Twitter’s 140 character maximum.

This is a great article with short & quick guidance on how to be safe when utilizing URL shortening services.  They are terrific tools but must certainly be used with caution…

Source: the JoshMeister on Security: How to Preview Shortened URLs (TinyURL,,, and more).

Security & Privacy

N.Y. Firm Faces Bankruptcy from $164,000 E-Banking Loss — Krebs on Security

While it’s true that viruses are a nuisance, there are cases where it becomes criminal in the extreme.

The article below discusses a case where a business person was using her computer as she normally would for online banking.  She had also most likely been using the computer for casual web surfing and in doing so had contracted a nasty trojan horse.  The trojan horse installed software allowing the theft of passwords and other login information.  The thieves then caused her computer to crash through use of software downloaded by the trojan horse.  While she was dealing with the computer crash the crooks made off with her money.

Lesson learned…the computer you use for banking must be secure.  You should not bank on the same computer you use to surf without making sure you surf safely.  Ideally you should bank on a completely separate computer (or virtual machine) used only for banking and NEVER for surfing.  For many this is just not realistic so I’ll put together a “Safe Surfing” article later…

Source: N.Y. Firm Faces Bankruptcy from $164,000 E-Banking Loss — Krebs on Security.

Security & Privacy

Would You Have Spotted the Fraud? — Krebs on Security

Card skimmers, in some respects, are rather impressive devices.  Designed to be invisible, they can be installed by criminals on ATMs, gas pumps, or essentially anything else with a card slot.  The principle is easy…your card gets scanned when you insert it into the machine and generally a camera will be located nearby to record your PIN when you type it in.  With this information, a criminal is able to simply reproduce your card for his or her own use.

As far as I know I’ve never actually seen one.  Just be safe and be observant…if a machine doesn’t look quite right then go somewhere else.

Source: Would You Have Spotted the Fraud? — Krebs on Security.