Archive for May, 2008

Remote Configuration Of A Router, Important Cautions

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Important Issue For Non Technical Computer Users. 
A router that is the wired type or wireless type needs to be configured. The configuration of a router can be done on a locally attached computer or you could remotely manage the router configuration through any computer connected to the network or even through the internet. If you are a technically minded computer user, this remote configuration of local configuration of the router would be easy.

But, if you know little about the technical aspects of how to configure a router remotely, the best thing would be to disable the remote management module. This is because a router that is not well configured for being managed remotely, could be accessed by anyone across the network or even across the internet. The router is in most cases a firewall too, anyone with access to the router configuration could set a configuration that compromises your online and network security.

If you would still like to remotely manage your router despite having scant technical knowledge, take the help of a trusted technically skilled person to configure the remote management module for you. Trusted because, remember that he could always keep a loophole that allows him to remotely access your router and network whenever he pleases !!!! The best thing to do would be to read the manual, jump to the section on remote management of the router and disable the function. It would be be safe to take technical help in  learning how to disable the remote management feature of your router.

Fraud Alert, Ship To Singapore, Indonesia, Africa

Monday, May 19th, 2008

This is not a new online fraud but the consistency and perseverence of the fraudsters is amazing. The emails received are quite standard, the contents have remain unchanged for the past 3 to 4 years. From the modus operandi it does appear to be a closely knit group of online crooks. It does sound strange that the long arm of the law has not yet managed to snuff the gang out of their dangerous tactics.

The email you receive in this online fraud will have a few similar features:

(a) The ‘buyers’ generally claim to be from Singapore or Indonesia. They might also say that they are from the U.S or U.K. For U.S and U.K fraud emails, the requested shipping destination for the merchandise is generally given as a destination in Africa. The writer claims to have a chain of jewelry stores in Africa that is starving for your high priced merchandise.

(b) This fraudulent email claims to have seen your wesbite and found a keen interest in your merchandise. There might also be items from your website quoted in the email. The most striking part of these email frauds is that, the item description (if mentioned in the email) is a direct ‘cut and paste’ description. The fraudster generally selects the highest priced item and then requests a quote for 15, 50 or maybe more pieces. This is what excites innocent sellers, the idea of making a huge sale seems to blind you from the underlying dangers.

(c) Another feature of this online fraud is that, the ‘buyer’ says that before making the purchase he would need confirmation of some payment mode. Visa card, AMEX or even Western Union might be touted as some of his preferred mode of payments. The money would ofcourse never be paid to the seller or be paid through a credit card that belongs to someone other than the buyer!

(d) The sender of the email almost always, uses a free email address. The email address might not be a Yahoo or Gmail or Hotmail as everyone knows about these. Remember that a thousand other websites offer free email addresses and these are preyed upon by these online fraudsters. Our network team has come across cases where non free email addresses belonging to U.S universities, reputed companies etc have also been used to perpetuate these online frauds. Such email addresses are most likely hacked or probably belong to students or staff that are a part of this online security problem.

(e) The websites most likely to be targeted include jewelry, watches, expensive electronic gadgets etc. The fraudster seems to have a liking for small sized items with a big price tag.

Remember that you will never get paid for the merchandise you ship. Even if you do get a credit card payment in advance, you will soon get a reversal request (actually a demand) from the credit card company. This is because the online fraudster rarely owns or uses his own credit card. You will be obliged to refund the payment to the credit card company and will have no claims on the expensive merchandise that you have shipped.  

It is in your interest to delete such emails and do nothing. Keep your friends and relatives informed about this fraud. No authority that we know of has been willing to track down such online fraudsters. With official power it would be quite easy to trace the receiver of the merchandise as the merchandise moves to him. The fraud in the email is glaring the moment you receive it, so tracking the merchandise and payment all the way would be no problem. Either the interest or importance of this online fraud is being ignored or underestimated.