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Phishing Scam Warning: The Law Pages

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Background I noticed a rather unusual phishing scam in the RingoDingo trap (part of a security product in development) and decided to take a look into it.

It's constructed in a way which has an impact - it would probably make most people panic a little... it claims to be from a porn site called "passionateseniors.com"!

This is a "If you don't pay us we'll tell everyone" type scam, containing a bitcoin wallet address and demanding payment - incidentally it is not only illegal to blackmail someone like this in the UK, it's also illegal to participate in blackmail from the side of the target of said blackmail.

I've obscured details which may be useful to malicious actors but you can click-to-enlarge (not in the same way as some of the content on that website I hope) the screenshot below: 


I don't even want to look at the alleged senders website tbh :) will assume based on domain name that the content matches the name. It's a good example…

Phishing Scam Warning: Companies House / Late Rooms

Background I get so much spam and attempted infiltrations that I rarely feel the need to share, but this one might affect more people than usual. One of our honeypot servers has been detecting a significant uplift in port scans over the last week or so which may be in concert with some of these phishing attempts.

It's also possible that recent port scan activity had highlighted weak points in online platforms, which are now being exploited in this way. 

Regardless of whom is initiating it's something we should be aware of.
Details After noting an email through on an email address only ever provided to LateRooms.com, it appears that a spammer is attempting to craft phishing emails using the "cpgov.uk" domain - a type-squatting domain meant to sound like ".gov.uk". I think I used the recipient email address in question for one specific booking back in either 2016 or 2017, but I'm not 100% sure of the date.

The emails appear to be sent from suspicious …

Data, Data, Data (Updated)

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(Updated Weds 25th April)

With the lead up to the inauguration date for GDPR on the 25th of May I've noticed a massive uptick in last-minute consultation requests. Regardless of some opinion this is better late than never; however, I can't help but feel that a lot of the momentum is equally applicable to the instruments of law in effect today.

Although GDPR stresses specifics and enhances position it also lays out the fabric with which enterprises use to wrap their customer data.

Unfortunately the media seems to have largely forgotten the momentous impact Max Schrems and team have had on the appalling political attempt to bridge privacy and data protection across the Atlantic. I'm referring both to the Safe Harbor [sic] agreement as well as the equally as useless Privacy Shield agreement. Max appears to have had about enough of PS as well and is awaiting the 25th of May to lodge similar objections.

I can't stress how important it is to have people like Max doing what t…

Scam Alert: Vanquis Bank

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You may - or may not - have seen a recent financial update relating to sub-prime lenders Provident Financial Plc. Their recent forecast for a full-year loss lead to a 90% slump in share prices, along with the revelation that their credit card division - Vanquis - was under investigation by the FCA.

Share prices dropped from the £30-mark to just 426p precipitating the removal of the CEO, Peter Crook, and the calls from investors that the investigation should have been disclosed sooner.

Background
A few years ago I'd applied for a credit card whilst trying to identify the cause of an issue on my own credit file; it turned out that another bank had made a serious error and 'marked' my credit file. They've since resolved the error.

I don't remember whether my Vanquis application was completed or not but last year - two years after my original application - and after no further contact from Vanquis, I started receiving spam through the post.

After a SAR in which they …

Scam Alert - DMR Financial

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Back in September I received a cold call from DMRFS, where the caller asked me about my unclaimed PPI compensation.

Having had a number of these calls I provided the caller false details in order to trigger documents in the post to me. The arrival of these documents confirmed the recipient (who the original caller avoided naming).

Background
DMRFS have been under investigation since mid 2016 by the Claims Management Regulation Service, under Regulation 35 of the CMA. This regulation relates to "complaints or suspicions of unprofessional conduct".

A small company run by Donald M Rees of Llanelli who appear to outsource their call centre operations to another firm (possibly in Cheshire).

When I received the information pack from DMRFS under the name I'd given them, I waited for a short period to separate out events a little and sent DMRFS a SAR in early September 2016. I received no bounces and no response for over two months and so, in order to remind DMRFS that their st…

The Joy of Ciphers (Revisited)

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Some time ago I discussed some of the cipher configurations in Windows 8.1 Enterprise, and with the unwelcome (to most) arrival of Windows 10 I thought I'd see if the landscape had changed. After all if we can prevent outdated modes of security at point-of-source, we're helping encourage a more secure and private internet.

Last time I discovered that when enforcing transport layer security by restricting cipher suites available to Windows and [at the time] Internet Explorer, a core set of websites and Windows services held everything back by requiring significantly lower security cipher levels. It wasn't just one or two periphery services either - a major CSP's hosted email service and the Windows Store.

A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link after all.

During 2016 some of our systems were the subject of attempted breaches. Thankfully they didn't get past the first layers of defence (and of course it goes without saying that nothing was accessed, leake…

[Belated] Naughty List 2016

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I know Santa's already been and gone this year but after last years interview successes he decided to review his options yet again this year. I've been swamped with solution design and development work since December so this article is very late.

2016 saw a marked decrease in spam from the 'major' jobs boards and some new comers then balancing that out by making up for it - Notably My Job Matcher Ltd, who still seem fine with buying your data from India data traders. More of that in the list (yes a spoiler....sorry about that).

2016 also turned up new vectors of spam and processors which are probably unsurprising to most. These new-ish vectors indicate that companies who have received subject access requests SARs from me in the past, decided to sell those details onto spammers and criminals.

Very funny. Should have seen that coming I guess, however I've started designing and writing an anti-spam solution - with help from Santa of course after he got so annoyed wit…