Author Archives: Brett Callow

About Brett Callow

Brett Callow is a technical consultant and writer based in the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Brett has worked with Microsoft Corporation and other leading international technology companies, has authored numerous white papers, articles, training packages and has been extensively involved in creating domains and content for a number of industry-standard certifcation examinations.

The Environmental Impact of Spam

ICF recently released a document entitled The Carbon Footprint of Email Spam Report that was sponsored by a well-known security company. Some key findings include: Globally, annual spam energy use totals 33 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh), or 33 terawatt hours (TWh). …

The Environmental Impact of Spam
   

Are CAPTCHAs Doomed?

In a recent post at TheEmailAdmin, I grumbled briefly about how annoying CAPTCHAs can sometimes be. Scratch that. It’s not a case of “sometimes” – I find them to be annoying all the time! The problem I have is that I usually …

Are CAPTCHAs Doomed?
   

The spammers and scammers are usually pretty speedy to “monetize” (I really hate that word!) a situation. For example, in the PIFTS.exe matter, malicious websites were updated to use PIFTS.exe as a lure before Symantec were able to react publicly …

Scareware Scammers Monetize Conficker
   

Crime and (no) Punishment

Last year, teenage Kiwi Owen Thor Walker landed a job with major New Zealand telecommunications company, TelstraClear. What makes the appointment somewhat unusual is that the 19-year-old had appeared in court the previous year on charges relating to his creation …

Crime and (no) Punishment
   

BCC Blues

PGP recently sent the following message to potential customers:           Good Afternoon I work in the PGP Business Development team, working with organisations that have a need to prevent the exposure of intellectual property that can result in financial loss, …

BCC Blues
   

Mitigating Vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat

On February 19th, Adobe confirmed a critical vulnerability spanning multiple versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat:           A critical vulnerability has been identified in Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 and earlier versions. This vulnerability would cause the application to …

Mitigating Vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat
   

The PIFTS.exe Conspiracy

On Monday, users of Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus started seeing firewall alerts warning them that an executable named PIFTS.exe was attempting to connect to stats.norton.com. Conspiracy theories immediately started to spread like wildfire. What exactly was PIFTS? Were …

The PIFTS.exe Conspiracy
   

Canada Plays Catch-Up (Maybe!)

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Which of these G8 countries is the odd one out? Well, I suppose that each of them is in some way, but Canada is unique among the …

Canada Plays Catch-Up (Maybe!)
   

Calling all Masochists!

Does the spam that arrives in your inbox not cause you enough pain? Does it leave you feeling short-changed and craving for more? Then SpamRadio may be the solution! Here’s how it works (from the SpamRadio website): Junk email arrives …

Calling all Masochists!
   

AT&T Spam Their Customers

The NYT recently reported that AT&T had spammed its customers with text messages encouraging them to watch the season premiere of American Idol, a show which is sponsored by the company. According to the NYT, AT&T claim that the messages were not …

AT&T Spam Their Customers