Sunday, September 30, 2007

Anti-Phishing training

The music needs some work; but the information you learn through this interactive tutorial about Internet Phishing scams could save you from ID theft.

Anti-Phishing Phil is an interactive game that teaches users how to identify phishing URLs, where to look for cues in web browsers, and how to use search engines to find legitimate sites.

Our user studies have found that user education can help prevent people from falling for phishing attacks. However, it is hard to get users to read security tutorials, and many of the available online training materials make users aware of the phishing threat but do not provide them with enough information to protect themselves.

. . .

Anti-Phishing Phil was developed by members of the CMU Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory with funding from the US National Science Foundation (Cyber Trust initiative) and ARO/CyLab.

I managed to get every answer correct. Can you?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Microsoft Excel 2007 flunks Math 101 . . .

I bet someone somewhere got really excited when their financial spreadsheet showed $34,465 over their bank statement.

Try this in your spreadsheet program:

Enter the formula =77.1 * 850 into a cell.

What you should see is the result 65,535.

If you're running Excel 2007 (and if you're reading this before the upcoming patch is released) then you may see the incorrect result 100,000 . . . More "accurately," Microsoft says the calculation is correct behind the scenes, but Excel is failing to display the solution correctly.

It appears that any formula that results in one of about 12 solutions triggers this calculation bug.

The specifics for you spreadsheet guru's may be perused at .

Patch is coming, although it's a guess whether it will make this months patch cycle.

Edit: In spite of the above claim that the error is limited to what's displayed, if you reference the cell that display's the incorrect value in another calculation (this IS a spreadsheet after all, so duh, yes we're likely to do that) the secondary calculation will use the incorrect value too.

Windows XP availability extended to June 2008

Behind the scenes: Business customers (and many home user customers) demanded that they be allowed to purchase Windows XP Professional into the next 2008 fiscal budget year instead of being forced to "upgrade" to Vista. Why? Vista has much higher hardware requirements, raising costs for companies that simply want to run office applications. It also has (still) some severe compatibility issues with many older printers -- including some commercial grade printers like large scale plotters.

One case in point: last year a client of mine purchased a $50,000 plotter to print out architectural plans. Vista does not support it, and the printer manufacturer has not released Vista drivers.

So this week Microsoft announced that it will extend the deadline for XP sales to June of 2008. Even that may not be enough to satisfy some customers. There's pressure on MS to extend even further than that . . .

User Friendly - Vista to XP Downgrade?

Monday, September 24, 2007

In my inbox today:

Integrity without knowledge
is weak and useless,
and knowledge without integrity
is dangerous and dreadful.

- Samuel Johnson

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Death of Net Neutrality?

"The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic.

The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to "Net neutrality," the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user.

Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or Web sites faster than others.

Not happy about this development. Not happy at all.

More info: