Is Your Email Account Hacked?   January 26th, 2014

Today, I received an email from a well-meaning friend asking if my email account had been hacked. He forwarded the original email to me, and it was immediately obvious that “Hacking” was not what was happening here. The appropriate word for what was done is “Spoofing”. My name was Spoofed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_spoofing). To see the email I received, please see the bottom of this post.

What this means is that someone, somewhere got my name and used a bogus email address to send email to my friend – showing my name, but not from my address. This is a very important distinction. Had they used my email address, even with a DIFFERENT name, I would have been “Hacked”. I’d have to change my passwords and worry about my email account’s security. In this case, there’s nothing I can really do, but at least my information is safe.

I’m sure you’ve all seen emails like this. Emails that appear to be from friends, but are promoting something you KNOW your friend wouldn’t promote, or that has some wonky link in it.

If you’re wondering why this happens, there are several possible contributors to the cause:

1) Sending batch emails to dozens of people or strangers and CC’ing all the emails, exposing everyone’s names and addresses to everyone else. This is easily resolved by using BCC (for a tutorial on BCC, please visit my YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DunBSu6mL0)

2) Using BCC in your emails, but forgetting to remove the dozens of email addresses that had been forwarded to you by others who didn’t know BCC

3) (This seems to me to be the MOST prevalent) Keeping your Contacts (or Address Book) on a free email server – like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and others. It’s not too hard for a hacker to access your information from there :

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gmail/r8AOu5cPpaU
http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/34518/spam-that-comes-from-names-in-my-address-book-but-not-their-email-addresses

To support this idea, I can see that my friend received his email on his gmail account. My name is listed on his gmail account as a contact. The link and actual USED email address have something to do with cars. My friend is very connected with the car business and has likely been tracked as we all are, while doing some of his research.

Some articles blame social media, however I’m not among the people who believe that to be the culprit. My personal name is not listed in full, as used in this email on almost any social sites. In fact, the ONLY place this name is listed in this way is in Google+ (in which Google has endeavored to link everything Google to everything ELSE Google).

So, my suggestion is to stop using Free Email addresses on public sites. Now, I know that’s not going to happen, so here’s the next best thing. Check the email information – and look for the email ADDRESS from which the email was sent. If the listing is as it appears in the screenshot below – IMMEDIATELY delete the email. DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS! Then, consider removing your friend’s name from a public listing on your free email account, and consider using BCC correctly in emails to protect the names and emails of your friends.

Spoofed Email

Look at the email address this was sent FROM

Oh – THIS is lovely! ProDesignTools.com has created a page dedicated to ALL the Help files for ALL the Adobe products, in searchable, discussable format! They’re even downloadable as PDF’s!

Check this out:
http://prodesigntools.com/online-manuals-help-documentation-all-adobe-products.html

If you subscribe to Adobe CC (Creative Cloud – henceforward the only way to get the new versions of the Adobe software), you already know that your software must be downloaded via the Adobe Manager/Assistant to install it, and no installers remain on your system. If you need to reinstall, you must download again.

Well, ProDesignTools.com has created a page with direct download links to all the CC Trial versions – which can be used to install/reinstall the software, and activate using your CC account. Great resource!

 

http://prodesigntools.com/adobe-cc-direct-download-links.html

Creative Cloud Backlash   May 11th, 2013

SO many people are responding negatively to Adobe’s recent announcement of their sole offering of a cloud based Creative Cloud subscription that I’m seeing dozens of posts on the subject. The article below offers some links to follow the discussion (read: Rebellion), and a link to a petition to sign, if you find a life-long payment plan is not for you!

http://creativebits.org/photoshop/creative_suite_6_forever

Photoshelter has posted a link to a FREE PDF that will teach photographers the ins-and-outs of U.S. copyright law, the major trends we’re seeing today, and how to avoid infringement.

From this guide you’ll learn:

Your 6 exclusive rights under copyright law
Tips to register your work through the U.S. Copyright Office
The risks to weigh before posting your photos to social networks
And more

Check it out at http://bit.ly/109HGTt

 

I’m a Software Instructor and Mac Consultant – not an iPhone expert, so I was pleased to find an answer to a question today.

I have a 16GB iPhone 4, which has quite a lot of apps, music, video, photos and books on it. So, I’d expect to have a lot of space used on my phone. However, even with all this stuff, I was losing storage space to a “little item” called “Other” in my iTunes view of my phone – I was losing 2.6GB of space!!

I knew I could restore from a backup, but I’d just spent quite a bit of time clearing some photos and didn’t really want to spend an hour restoring from backup.

Fortunately, I found a very simple solution that worked perfectly:

On the iPhone, Go To “Settings/General/Usage/Music and then swipe left to right over the “All Music” entry and select Delete, then re-boot the iPhone.” He stated, ” you think it would delete all your music, but id doesn’t” (sic)

This was listed at: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3418045?start=75&tstart=0

Research is my friend!

The Macworld Help Desk has a really helpful article about what to expect when upgrading to Mac OS 10.8 (currently 10.8.2) Mountain Lion. The article can be seen at http://bit.ly/10n5gNc

Personally, I haven’t performed this upgrade, but there’s really only one reason for this at this point. I HAVE upgraded to Lion (10.7) and do not particularly like it. It’s GREAT for new users, but for those of us who’ve been using the Mac for a long time, we have to jump through too many hoops to do anything with real control. This is the same issue with Mountain Lion, and from what I see, Mountain Lion has some improvements over Lion. So, you ask, WHY have I upgraded to Lion, and skipped Lion?

Well, I NEED my old applications that run in Rosetta. ”But” (you say), ”Lion doesn’t run Rosetta either, so how can this be a good reason?”

In my efforts to keep my old apps running, I found the ONE version of VMWare Fusion that allowed us to install Snow Leopard as a guest operating system so I can run my old Snow Leopard installation (my favorite OS so far, btw) in emulation – much the same way I run Windows. Now, I need you guys to know that installing Snow Leopard’s Client OS may be breaking the ”letter of the law” unless you use the Server version.

The ONE version of VMWare Fusion that will allow the use of Snow Leopard’s Client (means end-user version) will stop working if I upgrade it, and the old version will not run on Mountain Lion – simple as that!

Oh, and I should tell you that I HAVE tried using the Server version of Snow Leopard in Parallels and VMWare. They work fine, but don’t have the same capabilities as they do when emulating Windows – they don’t allow copy/paste to work between environments, and they don’t allow drag and drop of files from the main environment to the virtualized one (a VERY helpful feature between Mac and Windows – non-existent in Mac to Mac emulation – can you believe it?!)

All this, so you can understand the implications of upgrading your Operating System on the Mac. It may not affect you as most of you have been using the Mac for a short enough time that you don’t have any older programs that require Rosetta. But if you do, you may wish to take heed.

It’s very rare to see Macs targeted for Malware and Cyber Attacks. In large part, it’s because the Mac OS is really quite a secure Operating System, based on UNIX and containing lots of built-in security controls. However, I believe another factor in it’s lack of focus by the “bad guys” was because it has always been a “smaller target” a less popular, less-used OS, because there’ve never been as many Macs out there as Windows computers.

This time, it’s not the OS that’s been targeted directly, but an addition to the OS, called Java. Java (developed by Sun Microsystems) is a programming language that’s used within operating systems to enable the development and implementation of many functions and applications that can work on both Windows and Mac systems (and others). It’s something we rarely see directly being used, but lots of interfaces interact with Java: in particular lots of web apps and games.

So, imagine my surprise when MacWorld released an article named “Apple confirms cyber attack, releases Java update and malware removal tool”. Don’t worry – there’s a fix already posted by Apple in their software update – but you should all know.

Read MacWorld’s article at: http://www.macworld.com/article/2028740/apple-confirms-cyber-attack-will-release-security-tool.html#tk.nl_macwk