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Yet Another Email Trojan Hits NZ
If you've received an email purporting to be from the Westpac Bank and inviting you to make a donation to the Australian Paralympic team then ignore it -- it's a phishing expedition with a twist. The web-page linked to in the email contains a trojan that affects unpatched versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web-browser. More information is posted in the Aardvark Forums

Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Scams, ID and more Dullardry 1 June 2004 Edition
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Almost four years after Aardvark first warned people about the shonky SkyBiz pyramid scheme, local victims of this scam will be able to try and claw back at least a little of their losses.

According to the Commerce Commission, over 5,000 Kiwis don't read Aardvark -- and hence were sucked in by this scheme with a total of some 13,000 "web packs" being sold here.

There's more on this story over on the NZ Herald's website.

And while on the subject of fraud and such, the Herald also reports that our government is about to toss nearly $15 million of taxpayers' money at developing their own system for online transactions.

Is this a case of reinventing the wheel?

Do the government remember INCIS and the raft of other government-initiated IT systems that started out with grand goals?

Let's hope that a goodly percentage of that sum is invested in good project management (this time).

Now have your say
Got something to say about today's column, or want to see what others think?  Visit The Forums

While you're here, why not visit the Aardvark Hall of Shame and perhaps make your own nomination.

Mind you, if Philip Greig is any example, the IQ of your average identity fraudster is probably little more than their hat-size.

Greig was sentenced to 20 months prison last week after he used stolen credit card details to buy a total of about $7,300 worth of computer gear from Compulink's online store.

Then, to prove his lack of smarts, he stuck the stolen gear up on TradeMe, where it was spotted by Compulink staff who called the police.

But this, along with the now endless waves of phishing scams, highlight the need for a globally effective identity/authentication system for use in important online transactions.

Maybe if the government can come up with a ground-breaking system that solves the problems intrinsic to existing technologies, we could end up leading the world.

Eh?

Sorry -- I was just off in a little fantasy world there for a minute -- a world where the government acts responsibly with taxpayers' money.

You see I've already come up with such a system and done some preliminary coding work. What's more, I actually offered it to government several years ago. (I even mentioned this in the April 27, 2001 edition of Aardvark).

No, I wasn't demanding a king's ransom -- or any financial compensation actually. I simply asked them if they were interested.

The result...

I was told that the government *was* interested and someone would "get back to me" -- but since then...

Not a murmur, not a squeak, not a word.

And now they embark on spending $15m to attack exactly the same problem.

Maybe I'm just too much of a hot potato for the government to even consider talking to these days. If that's the case I have only three words to say: nose, face, spite.

Yes, You Can Gift Money
I've published this website for the past nine years as a service to the local internet and IT industry and during all that time it has been 100% free to access. It is my intention to ensure that it remains completely free and free of charge and contains only the most sparse levels of advertising. Aardvark is not a business, it is a free resource.

If you feel that this is a good thing and/or you hold a "geniune affection" for yours truly -- then you are welcome to gift me some money using the buttons provided. In gifting this money you accept that no goods, service or other consideration is offered, provided, accepted or anticipated in return. Just click on the button to gift whatever you can afford. NOTE: PayPal bills in US dollars so don't accidentally gift more than what you were intending :-)

Contacting Aardvark
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Other media organisations seeking more information or republication rights are also invited to contact me.


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