PayPal virus writing scammer scumbag pleads guilty (Feb 5)
A Minnesota man who tried to defraud PayPal customers through a phishing scam has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
Alec Scott Papierniak, 20, of Mankato in Minnesota, also admitted using viral code to further his fraudulent activities at an appearance in a federal court in San Jose on Tuesday.
Papierniak was able to siphon money from online accounts after he tricked users into handing over their user names and passwords via bogus security alerts. These bogus alerts directed users to a maliciously constructed Web site run by Papierniak, instead of the genuine PayPal site.
In pleading guilty, Papierniak also admitted to emailing a “key logger” virus to PayPal users, again with theft in mind. Both MiMail-I and MiMail-J fit the bill, but we’re not certain if either virus was involved in this case.
The 20 year-old ran the scams for nearly two years until he was caught in September 2003. Papierniak, who admits stealing in excess of $30,000 during that time, has agreed to pay restitution to his victims.
A DoJ statement on the case omits details of how Papierniak was tracked down, beyond saying it was the result of an FBI investigation. If a member of the public was involved we’d be very disappointed if Microsoft didn’t stump up a substantial reward as part of its Anti-Virus Reward Program.
Papierniak pleaded guilty to a specimen charge involving theft of $10,000 from one account and is scheduled to return for sentencing by US District Judge James Ware on May 10. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment but Papierniak’s guilty plea will go some way towards reducing the severity of his sentence.
Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance (Feb 5)
This technical article provides administrators of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with information on how to isolate performance degradations and how to use existing tools and products, such as Performance, Load Simulator, Exchange Stress and Performance 2003, Network Monitor, and Filemon, for this purpose. The information in this article can also be used to ensure that a server is not degrading over time because of hardware issues or malfunctions.
Saint Valentine’s Day Screensaver (Feb 5)
This is a screensaver for Windows which celebrates Valentine’s Day. During setup you can enter the message of love you would like the screensaver to display by editing the screensaver settings.
Download: Saint Valentine’s Day Screensaver
Now, MS Office in 14 Indian languages (Feb 5)
Microsoft India would make available its Office suites, including Office 2003 and Windows 2003, in all 14 Indian official languages in next three years, while plans are in the offing to provide an improved thrust on the company’s e-commerce initiatives in the country.
“We are providing local language interface much ahead of the curve (maturity point) and the enablement in the remaining five languages is under the company’s localisation drive,” Microsoft India managing director Rajiv Kaul told reporters here on Thursday.
The software major had earlier provided local language interface for its Office suites in nine Indian languages, including Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu among others.
On its improved thrust on e-commerce initiatives, he said that Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Customer (B2C) sectors are expected to mature shortly, with a turning point somewhere between 18 and 24 months.
Equant touts hosted Exchange 2003 e-mail (Feb 5)
France Telecom subsidiary Equant, which provides communications and data networking services around the world, announced on Thursday that it will offer hosted e-mail and other messaging services based on Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2003. Equant executives said the service would allow businesses to benefit from recent improvements to Microsoft’s e-mail server without paying big up-front costs. “We’re convinced of the large potential of the emerging market for hosted messaging solutions,” Gilles Pradere, vice president of managed services for Equant, said in a statement. Equant also offers hosted messaging services based on IBM’s competing Lotus Notes software.
Microsoft introduced Exchange 2003 late last year as part of a family of products built around its Office 2003 productivity software. Significant enhancements in the new version of Exchange include new tools for filtering spam and setting up remote access to e-mail accounts.
Gates’ e-post idea gets stamp of disapproval (Feb 5)
Bill Gates may have his detractors in the Internet community, but he united the world’s e-mail users last month with a pledge to end the scourge of spam — or junk e-mail — by the year 2006. The chairman of Microsoft Corp. outlined a number of possible strategies, like creating “computational puzzles” to thwart bulk e-mail programs, but the one he’s placing his bets on is electronic postage. It’s a proposal that some detractors say is technologically unfeasible and may be little more than a veiled attempt at a money grab by Microsoft and other large e-mail providers.
People involved with the Web have been whispering about e-mail postage — also known as “sender pays” — for a decade, but it resurfaced last month when Mr. Gates broached the topic at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The belief is that e-postage would deter rampant spammers; a 1-cent levy on each e-mail, for example, would be ruinous for companies that send out millions of unsolicited ads every day with the hope that a handful of people will respond.
Mr. Gates thinks spammers should be punished retroactively, in a transaction known as a “charge-back.” When a person receives a piece of mail that they deem as spam, they press a designated button and the sender is charged a fee for that message.
Observers agree that combatting spam is a noble and worthy endeavour but feel that the notion of e-postage is fraught with logistical and financial problems.
Bill Sweetman, president and founder of e-business consultancy Kalixo, says the scheme outlined by Mr. Gates is well-intentioned but has an inherent weakness. “The problem with this is you can’t find these folks in the first place, so where are you going to send the invoice?” he asks.
View full article: Gates’ e-post idea gets stamp of disapproval
Outlook 2003 Sample: What’s New in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 for Developers? (Feb 5)
Learn how to use Visual Basic .NET to integrate Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. Although changes to the Outlook Object Model are small in scope, new properties are added to support integration with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (formerly known as SharePoint Team Services) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. The sample Visual Basic .NET Outlook Add-in allows you to import a Contact list from a SharePoint site into Outlook and directly export Outlook Contact items to a SharePoint site.
Are you secure? (Feb 4)
10 Best Practices For Avoiding Computer Viruses
Read 10 tips from the Microsoft Office team that will help you reduce the risk of a virus infecting your computer.
Help Protect Your Computer Against Viruses with Outlook
Read this article to learn how viruses can affect your computer and how to use Microsoft Office Outlook® to help keep your computer safe.
Access 2003 Sample: Using Automation with Access and Outlook (Feb 4)
This download provides a sample Access file for use with the MSDN article “Using Automation in Microsoft Office Access 2003 to Work with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.” Automation is the process of controlling one program from another program.
Server Consolidation Using Exchange Server 2003 (Feb 4)
As e-mail messaging continues to grow in both volume and business importance, organizations are looking for new options to manage future demand in a reliable and cost-effective way. One option is to build a messaging strategy based on advanced technologies available in Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This article discusses strategies for server consolidation using Exchange 2003.
Microsoft Site Appears to Weather MyDoom Attack (Feb 3)
Microsoft Corp. appeared to have survived the worst the MyDoom worm could throw at it Tuesday. Experts say the virus, a variant of the MyDoom.A virus that knocked out another company’s Web site Sunday, was programmed to fire continuous volleys of debilitating data at Microsoft’s site Tuesday. But there was no visible impact on the software giant’s Web site, http://www.microsoft.com, which barely flickered as the MyDoom.B Internet worm’s trigger time of 8:09 EST passed. Microsoft had said Monday it was taking a series of technical precautions to ward off any attack. The company declined to give any immediate comment Tuesday.
MyDoom.B is a low-grade variant of the original MyDoom.A virus, the fastest-spreading e-mail contagion to ever hit the Internet, security experts said. MyDoom.A has infected hundreds of thousands — and possibly over one million — PCs, generating a torrent of spam e-mails and crippling corporate e-mail servers, plus slowing traffic for some Internet service providers. The biggest victim of MyDoom.A was Utah-based computer software firm SCO Group. The week-old worm, also dubbed Novarg or Shimgapi, knocked the SCO site offline Sunday with a barrage of data known as a denial of service attack. SCO scrambled to launch an alternative site at http://www.thescogroup.com.
MyDoom.B, which was programmed to target both SCO and Microsoft with a similar attack starting Tuesday, spread more slowly than its super-potent sibling and was never considered much of a threat, security experts have said. “As far as MyDoom.B is concerned, you’re more likely to see it in the headlines than in your e-mail in box,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Plc. Still, security officials warned Tuesday MyDoom.A was still spreading rapidly despite the fact more computer users were fortifying their machines with a variety of free patches available from anti-virus vendors.
“It’s now become less of a virus infection problem and more of an e-mail glut problem,” Cluley said.
MyDoom Author: “Sorry” (Feb 3)
The MyDoom variant that joined the original virus in wreaking havoc on the Internet last week contains a cryptic message in which the author appears to apologize for the malicious code, security experts say. The creator of what anti-virus experts say is the fastest spreading virus ever on the Internet signed MyDoom and MyDoom.B with “andy,” and left the following message in the latter version: “I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry.”
“Our interpretation is that he’s apologizing to the general public,” Jimmy Kuo, research fellow at anti-virus software maker Network Associates Technology Inc., said Friday. “Our guess is that someone is paying him to write this thing.”
Both MyDoom versions install a “back door” in infected PCs, enabling hackers to commandeer the machines to send spam, launch denial of service attacks, or perform other nefarious acts. Some experts, however, doubted the sincerity of the apology. Many virus writers leave cryptic messages in their code to tease investigating authorities and to pat themselves on the back for their handiwork.
“If he’s really sorry, then why did he release it,” said Michele Morelock, technical support leader at anti-virus software maker Sophos Inc. “I would imagine it’s much more tongue-in-cheek than saying I’m really sorry for releasing it.”
View full article: MyDoom Author: “Sorry”
Access 2003/2002/2000 Sample: On how much time has elapsed (Feb 3)
The On how much time has elapsed sample file provides three sample database functions to learn how Access stores Date/Time values and how to calculate elapsed time. Use this file in conjunction with the Office Power User column On how much time has elapsed.
Microsoft releases metadata removal tool (Feb 3)
I’ve posted the download below at the beginning of this year already. The download link is there because it’s relevant for the article
A year ago, 10 Downing Street published a dossier on Iraq’s security and intelligence organisations. It was cited by none other than Colin Powell in his address to the United Nations. Then a lecturer in politics at Cambridge University discovered that much of the 19-page document was copied from three different articles, one written by a graduate student.
How did he know? In the document there was a listing of the last 10 edits of the document, showing the names of the people who worked on the file. These logs are normally hidden and cannot be viewed directly in Word.
MS Word is notorious for containing private information in file headers, but not any longer. Microsoft has quietly released a tool to scrub leaky metadata from documents edited with its software. The Remove Hidden Data Add-In will permanently remove hidden and collaboration data, such as change tracking and comments, from MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint files. For Office XP/Office 2003 only, we should add.
Project Server Guides (Feb 3)
Project Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Guide
This guide provides guidelines for developing a disaster prevention and recovery strategy for computers running Microsoft Office Project Server 2003.
Project Server 2003 Installation Guide
This guide covers the installation of Microsoft Office Project Server and its related components.
Project Server 2003 Administrator’s Guide
This guide provides information about managing users, managing security (categories and templates), managing views, and configuring Project Server settings for your organization.