The problem with spam and phishing has become so much of a problem that Google, has resorted to using Yahoo’s patented DomainKeys technology to protect their email users through Gmail with the security system. DomainKeys was patented and developed by Yahoo but was released under a dual license under the GNU General Public License which allowed the software technology to become a widely accepted internet standard. It uses encryption technology to verify that the domain from which mail comes from is in fact the true source of the sent mail blocking re-directed spam and other malware from taking flight. These types of technology have been vital in the protection of consumers who do online shopping, many of whom fall victim to fake and phishing scams resulting in financial losses.
Internet companies themselves get victimized in terms of the resources they have to allocate to resolve such incidents that start from eBay transactions gone bad that hackers use as phishing tools. Once these people get their hands on the account information of legit users, they go on expensive shopping sprees that costs the e-commerce industry a lot of lost revenue. It also causes a lot of misinformation on the security and reliability of online stores (some are truly legit but most are well…..). Hopefully more and more fake PayPal and eBay scams would be denied giving people more time to develop better protection systems. There are a lot of tips on the internet about online safety with regards to these email and other scams so you’d better brush up and stay informed of the latest news if you love online shopping and haggling over eBay. Safe online Shopping everyone!!
As if we haven’t gotten enough warning about free stuff of the web, here’s a classic case of such malware found by an unsuspecting programmer who just happened to casually do a de-compilation of a popular utility used on Google Mail that allows archiving of all your email. As the story goes, A programmer was on the hunt for a way to back-up his email from GMail which he submitted a request to CodingHorror.com for such a utility from fellow programmers. He was referred to a commercial program called G-Archiver which was distributed by an American firm Mate Media. As all freeware usually do (which is not as much as their advertising says) it disappoints him quite to the extent that he decides to reverse engineer(in the fashion of true hacking) the said utility only to find the email address and passowrd of the program’s creator within the code that raised red flags as to the reason behind the said suspicious details. As it turns out, the said program was sending private data with respect to the users who have downloaded and used the said utility to archive their Gmail accounts.
The program contained the said information (email address and password) of the programmer so the said utility can send information to him without the users knowing about it from any platform and location it may have been used.
Most of the sites which offered the program for download have removed them from their software offerings and the authors at ZDnet Asia where this was first reported have not been able to get a reply from the firm which distributes the said utility as to an explanation to the said event. This is a classic case of complacency wherein people rely on big names for their needs sometimes even sacrificing common sense in the process as sad as it may seem. The reluctance of the developers to reply to the said allegations. The programmer took the email address and the pasword using it to log-on to Gmail where he finds 1,777 email from all the people who have used the software including their passowrds and other vital information. So, be wary of free and sometimes harmless stuff, they are the ones who can do most harm.