Victim of some Facebook Phishing

Facebook.jpgToday I became a victim of some Facebook credentials phishing. I received an instant message from one of my Facebook contacts containing a video. When trying to play the video I got prompted to enter my Facebook credentials. After having done this … my credentials went into the wrong hands. And it became obvious that this video was not from my contact.
This happened on my smartphone. I believe on a PC this never would have happened to me because there are many means to cross-check urls and links and other things to detect a phishing. On a mobile device it is much harder. The login screen really looked authentic.
The result was: many dubious videos sent to all my contacts. In the meantime Facebook right away locked my account because they detect suspicious behavior. I also ( too late ) read the warning from my contact in Facebook from whom I had received the malicious message that her account had been compromised.
I unlocked my Facebook account by setting a new password and acknowledging a confirmation code; Facebook did a quiet good job to detect the problem and take me through steps to resolve. I then posted warning on my Facebook page and also sent warning messages to most of my contacts; luckily I have less than 100 Laughing
Interestingly my Chrome browser on one of my laptops later on insisted in downloading a Malicious Software Removal tool from Facebook, which right away was blocked by my virus scanner. This happened while Facebook was working fine in my Firefox browser. I found this very helpful hint here ( see comment # 3 in this lengthy article ) how to overcome this strange means and enable Facebook again in my Chrome browser.

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Longest internet outage you ever experienced ?

In March my internet connection provided by Vodafone was broken for 6 days. That means: no phone, no internet @ home, for a long period of time. Luckily I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini with LTE and hotspot capability and Vodafone gave me free 50 GByte data volume when I called them to address the problem.

Nevertheless, what duration of an internet outage can be tolerated ? I have read articles in the meantime saying that an outage of 3 working days needs to be tolerated, but anything beyond qualifies you for asking for compensation or might give you the right to cancel your contract in advance; typical contracts here in Germany last 2 years and can be cancelled three month before they end.

So, what is the longest internet outage you ever experienced at home and what did you do about this ?

And: how many of those outages can be tolerated per year ? I am asking this because since yesterday my line is down again. I called Vodafone and after keying in my phone number a voice told me something about a global problem.

1900 001337
1900 001337” by StephenMitchell.

In former times when we had an analog phone at home I don’t recall that it ever failed, it always had been available for years and years without a single failure. It just worked.
Modern phones use voice over ip and thus need the internet to work. And internet connections turn out to be quiet unreliable these days, as I am experiencing myself;  also I hear that the line in the house of my mother in law doesn’t work anymore since last week.

In former times we had an analog radio in our kitchen and it always worked. Nowadays we have an ip radio and of course it doesn’t work without an internet connection. Thus: no radio this morning.

Modern technology is fascinating, but much more fragile than older technology. If I think about the Internet Of Things on one end and the increasing amount of activities of criminals on the other end to sabotage that technology, which already is kind of fragile due to its complexity, I get a bit nervous about the future.

And again Windows 10 messed with my display driver …

And again today Windows 10 messed with my display driver …

Suddenly my screen turned black and after a couple of seconds my desktop came back, but a little later I realized that the ‘Sleep’ menu entry in the ‘Start’ –> ‘Power’ menu had been gone.

Running powercfg –a as recommended here revealed that the ‘Sleep’ capability had been disabled by my graphics driver. And checking my graphics driver revealed: it once more had been changed to ‘Microsoft Basic Display Adapter’.

I found 341.81-desktop-win10-64bit-international.exe in my download folder downloaded in October last year when this happened, ran it and let it re-install my NVIDIA graphics driver. I had to reboot – problem solved.

Windows10 has been messing with my graphics driver

Last week Windows10 attempted to update the graphics driver on my computer and failed with this error 0x800705b4. When I rebooted my PC over the weekend I noticed that my graphics resolution had gone down and changed it back to my usual resolution.
Then, when playing a browser game, I noticed how slow it was and checked a bit closer my display settings. Apparently my NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT driver had been replaced by some Microsoft Basic Display Driver; see also this discussion.
I visited NVIDIAs web site for driver downloads ( German site in my case ) and first let it detect my installed graphics hardware. Before that worked okay I had to upgrade my Java. Finally NVIDIA correctly detected my graphics hardware and offered me the correct driver download. Everything back to normal now, after roughly one hour wasted and two reboots.
Dear Microsoft, how about the following: when you fail to upgrade software on my computer, can you please leave it like it was before instead of installing some different software without my permission ?

Windows 10 first experience: start menu not opening

OK, did the upgrade to Windows 10 today.
Took roughly two hours to download and install.
First experience was terrible: start menu not opening, task manager not responding.
I tried this solution for the first problem without success.
Thru my Rainmeter process monitor I noticed that MsMpEng.exe kicked in quiet often with high CPU usage. This opened my eyes that apparently Microsoft Security Essentials is part of Windows 10 !? Since I had Avast Antivirus installed on my system this was a good cause for trouble: two virus scanner competing with each other for disk resources, a great way to slow down the system to almost a halt.
The turnaround then was to de-install Avast Antivirus. After another reboot I finally was able to open the Start menu and use task manager and overall system behaves much smoother now.
The Windows 10 installer should consider this and ensure not two virus scanner will be running in parallel. It should either prompt with information that Microsoft Security Essentials will be available with Windows 10 and offer to de-install any other installed virus scanner, or offer to disable Microsoft Security Essentials if user prefers to stay with his current virus scanner.

Problem to connect to MySQL on Fedora 17

I am running Fedora 17 in a VirtualBox and after installing httpd web server and mysql-server I encountered the following problem – not initially, but later on after a restart of my VM: my web application ( written in Python and using the  mysql.connector ) wasn’t able to connect to MySQL anymore. In the error_log of my web server I saw

mysql.connector.errors.InterfaceError, referer …

at the bottom and at the beginning of the chain of errors:

cannot open Packages database in /var/lib/rpm, referer: …

Google offered 975.000 search results about the latter error message but after reading a couple of confusing articles about this I gave up to find the answer there.

I decided to run a little test Python script via console and look: it worked ! Thus apparently my Python application was just unable to connect to MySQL within my web server’s environment.

I decided to stop my httpd and start it again ensuring doing so as root user. And look again: problem solved ( for now ), my web application worked !

Firefox says: The requested URL could not be retrieved …

This error shows up for many people and might have many potential reasons. In my case I started getting that error after using a Firefox add-on to unblock some sites usually not accessible in my country by going through a proxy. Symptom has been that I was able to visit this site but started to get this error typically for sites in foreign countries ( not for sites in Germany ). The problem shows up only when using Firefox of course, not when using other browsers like Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Even after disabling that add-on & re-starting Firefox that problem didn’t go away. After a while I figured out that this add-on had changed my proxy settings ( that’s basically how it works ) but failed to set it back to normal.

After heading to Tools –> Options –> Advanced –> Network –> Connection Settings and changing my settings back to “No proxy” the problem was solved.