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.

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.

Why you need at least two computers these days

At least if your are a Windows user you probably need two computers these days. In the morning after I have turned it on and wanna start working with it my computer usually becomes in-responsive for several minutes while updating the virus scanner, running virus scans and especially when the installer kicks in to install updates.
The disk light goes on and the system is basically freezing. No matter how powerful your computer is, Windows turn it into a slow creature. The disk seems to become the bottleneck while virus scanner and installer read tons of data and other applications almost get no time slice to do anything.
Time to grab a coffee, or use your second computer to get things done, hopefully one with may be Linux installed. I decided to leave my computer alone while it is doing all its morning routine. True multitasking apparently doesn’t work under Windows if a single application or two can force it to be completely under their control.
On my private desktop computer with Windows 7 installed yesterday I changed the settings in Windows Update Center from "Automatic installs" to "Automatic downloads, but prompt me for install". This should allow me to decide when the install actually will run and thus give me as a user the power to first get my things done before letting the computer do its sanitary work. Let’s see how this works out in the future.

( I actually wrote this blog posting on my second computer while waiting for my primary work computer to become usable again Zwinkerndes Smiley )

Browser Wars 2012

Google Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer as the Number One Browser: http://lifehacker.com/5911979/google-chrome-overtakes-internet-explorer-as-the-number-one-browser

More interesting: Chrome overtook Firefox end of 2011. I just think: Firefox became too fat, sometimes it takes so long to load that I forgot why I launched it. And: the tactics of many version jumps per year has made a lot of users angry. The permanent fear that some essential add-on might not work after the next Firefox upgrade has made this browser more unreliable. Chrome is much smarter in doing these updates under the cover and I believe Firefox is now going the same way for future releases.

Firefox is still my preferred browser though, mainly because of some of its great add-ons, even many meanwhile have a Chrome counterpart, but I started using Chrome more often.

Commercials in TV

I really like his attitude towards commercials in TV !

I actually never watch private channels live, I tell you. Everything is recorded, either on tape, DVD or hard disk; I have three units in my home capturing what I like to watch later on. Key is to be able to fast forward through the commercials.

Panasonic DMR-EX79EG-S silber

Time management ? Yes, big topic; think about it: watching a 45 minute TV shows takes 60 minutes when doing it live, and between 50 and 46 minutes when viewing a recording. Obviously it takes longer to fast forward a tape than it can be done with a DVD. And my hard disk recorder – a Panasonic DMR-EX79EG – is a real smart pal: in many cases he manages it to create indices in the recording so that I directly can jump from the beginning of a commercial break to its end to continue watching my TV show almost seamlessly. Wonderful. Thanks, Panasonic, even I might skip your commercials as well.

Installed Ubuntu using Wubi under Windows XP

Today I installed Ubuntu using Wubi on my old SONY PCV-RX 202 with 512 MByte RAM and a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 processor running Windows XP, as described here. Went nice, Ubuntu boots and works and I even can access all my other drives and directories. But a few things simply don’t work out of the box on such an Ubuntu installation:

  1. my Fritz! WLAN stick doesn’t work
  2. I can not play mp3 files
  3. I can not watch flv videos

I started to get the WLAN stick to work and followed some instructions available here. No luck. The linux driver won’t compile, to unpack the Windows driver I would need either Wine or Cabextract; so far I couldn’t figure out how to get any of the two, they didn’t show up as available packages to add to my Ubuntu install.

Besides I noticed another strange thing:

4. the blower in my computer seems to blow full power as long as I am running Ubuntu. No smart temperature management so far.

The journey continues ….


Update on February 2, 2010:

Followed these instructions to install Wine. This caused Update Manager to be activated and ask to install 213 updates. My thought: why not, may be this fixes problem # 4. ? Have been reading a lot about that problem here and here, seems to be a well known weakness in Ubuntu distributions. Isn’t is amazing what things you need to worry about as a Ubuntu user ? Never thought about fan speed while running Windows. It simply seemed to work the smart way.

Apparently none of the 213 updates fixed my fan speed problem.

Anyway, time to install Wine. Well, seems to be not that easy:

Some good news: problems # 2 and 3 are solved meanwhile. Either through the updates or the fact that I connected to my wired network and thus player have been able to download the right codecs.

Meanwhile I tried the link provided in this article to install Wine, and got this:

If they could tell me what packages are missing ? Why isn’t this resolved automatically ? Thinking.

Well, there is actually a second version of Wine offered and even it is called a Beta version I selected this one since the non-Beta version didn’t install.

“The art of finding the right Wine”

Funny enough, this beta version installed fine and a little later I had been able to finally unpack my Fritz! USB installer exe to get to the files I would need:

“Windows Files needed to get my Fritz! USB Stick to work under Ubuntu”

I followed ( kind of ) these instructions now to get ndiswrapper or “Windows Wireless Drivers” installed. I actually searched in Ubuntu Software Center for “ndis” and bumped into the “Windows Wireless Drivers”  package. After installation an entry “Windows Wireless Drivers”  showed up in the System->Administration menu.

Using this utility to add my WLAN driver caused this error:

even “Hardware present: Yes” is finally shown under “Currently Installed Windows Drivers”. I uninstalled an tried the Terminal-Command-Version of the installation procedure with the same result. ndiswrapper –l shows:

WARNING: All config files need .conf: /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper, it will be ignored in a future release.

fwlan : driver installed

device (057C:6201) present

Hmmm, partially good, but a bit obscure. I tried to configure my WLAN connection through network manager ( accessible from the top desktop bar ).  It detected my network “Auto Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7113” but insists in using a “WPA & WPA2 Personal” type of security instead of the 128-bit WEP I need. Changing to WEP still makes it prompt for the WPA authentication when I attempt to start wireless. There seems to be a bug in the connection management software; it automatically adds this WPA configuration and simply ignores my WEP configuration.

What a mess !