Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Consumer Credit Rights, Widgets and Trojan Attacks

Ever get tired of the onslaught of credit card offers filling your mailbox? Did you know that you can stop them for a period of time with one phone call? 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) Check out this US Federal Trade Commission website and more information (under Credit Bureaus) or this Experian link.

While we are on the subject of stopping unwanted solicitations: Don't forget about the National Do Not Call Registry. Works for both your "land-lines" and your mobile phones.

Many Americans can now get a free copy of their credit report every year. Check out this link for more information. You may want to be careful of some ads you may be seeing on late-night television that offer a similar service. You will get your credit reports BUT also may end up paying for a credit monitoring subscription and other service as well. That may not be a bad thing. Just know your consumer rights before you consider the "extras".

A fellow mechanic found the Konfabulator. It supports cool "widgets" for your Windows desktop (very similar to the concept from Apple). I personally like the free-ware Samurize application myself. It is kinda tech-y but you can design your own custom configurations pretty easy or download some cool ones already made. As any vanship owner knows, once you get customizing it can be really addicting!

Finally, be on the lookout for a trojan attack on government offices. This first was discovered by our neighbors across the Grand Stream in Britian, then udated by our friends Due North. The email address is spoofed to appear to come from inside government agency offices, so the likely-hood of a user getting tricked is increased. Now, you would think email anti-virus protection systems would keep most executables from being attached, but it wouldn't be hard to send a link to a compromised web-site to launch a silent auto-install infection on a user's pc via JavaScript or ActiveX (see middle section on MJ Suicide email link).

See you in the skies!

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