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Smart Crooks using scam to break CAPTCHA challenges

Posted by Wkiraly at 11/2/2007 12:15 PM
These crooks have found a way to use unsuspecting humans under the influence of testosterone poisioning to break online security systems. While this is funny, it is also a serious reminder of the ingenuity people can use to break into whatever security protections we, as programmers, can come up with.The striptease is the latest attempt to defeat so-called CAPTCHA systems, which is short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.

Those safeguards require users to prove they are human by reading wavy, oddly shaped jumbles of letters and numbers that appear in an image and typing them out.

• Click here to visit’s Cybersecurity Center.

In the new scam, an icon of an alluring woman suddenly appears on a Windows computer infected by a virus.

After clicking on the icon, the user sees a photo of an attractive woman who vows to take off an article of clothing each time the jumble of figures next to her is entered.

But the woman never fully undresses, and after several passwords are entered the program restarts, possibly enticing unsuspecting users into trying again.

Trend Micro researchers say the scam appears to be isolated for now to spammers trying to register bogus e-mail addresses and flood chat rooms with unwanted pitches.

But they worry schemes to infiltrate financial institutions could soon appear.

Paul Ferguson, network architect at Trend Micro, speculated that spammers might be using the results to write a program to automatically bypass CAPTCHA systems.

“I have to hand it to them,” Ferguson said, laughing. “The social engineering aspect here is pretty clever.”


SAN JOSE, Calif. —  In a new online striptease, the buxom, beautiful blonde who promises to remove her slinky scraps of lingerie doesn’t want your money. She’s interested in your brain. Really.

The creation of online scammers, she’s trying to trick unsuspecting Internet users into helping the scammers break the online barriers that banks and e-mail services set up to thwart crooks.

Absurd interpretation of the Americans With Disabilities Act Pushed Further

Posted by Wkiraly at 10/8/2007 10:40 AM
The absurd suit against Target, claiming it is violating federal laws by its web design, has been certified as a class action suit. This gives ever-greedy trial lawyers a whole new avenue to sue large and small companies and extort financial compensation from businesses and website owners. See Rueters article and Overlawyered’s take.

If this continues, we all may be required to do expensive upgrades to our sites and still be, if not be more at, the mercy of  judges who can reinterpret the law anytime they feel someone is getting a raw deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against web site accessiblity, but I am against letting judges make the decision on when a site is accessible enough.

–Bill Cohen-Kiraly

Just a few Apropos 'toons from the Jewish World Review

Posted by Wkiraly at 10/1/2007 1:46 PM

Please note that the WebSIG is hosting CDPUG own Barbara Payne in a talk on “Five Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Business” on 10/20/2007 (Saturday at 10:30 a.m.) See for details.

Fonts in Road Signs, PCs and Macs

Posted by Wkiraly at 8/14/2007 8:41 AM

I occasionally puruse the Coding Horror Blog about programming and recently came across a fascinating entry regarding fontography for roadsign with a side step into the different strategies of Windows vs Apple in rendering fonts for the screen.

The real gem of an article is from the New York Times at href=””> which discusses how designers and engineers are trying to improve sign legibility.

Also of interest is the blog based on this artice found at where the author jumps from road signs to Windows vs. Apple and takes a real beating from the Mac snobs.

Police excuse angry computer user for outburst

Posted by Wkiraly at 7/17/2007 10:15 AM

Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:32AM EDT
BERLIN (Reuters) – A German man who startled his neighbors when he hurled his computer out of the window in the middle of the night, was let off for disturbing the peace by police who sympathized with his technical frustrations.

Police in the northern city of Hanover said they would not press charges after responding to calls made by residents in an apartment block who were woken by a loud crash in the early hours of Saturday.

Officers found the street and pavement covered in electronic parts and discovered who the culprit was.

Asked what had driven him to the night-time outburst, the 51-year-old man said he had simply got annoyed with his computer.

“Who hasn’t felt like doing that?” said a police spokesman.

While escaping any official sanction the man was made to clear up the debris.

Vista Claims Title of Safest Desktop OS

Here’s a link to a Microsoft employee’s blog that claims MS Vista has dramatcially reduced security vulnerabilities making it now the safest OS yet.

Microsoft restricts virtualization liscence

Posted by Wkiraly at 7/13/2007 12:59 PM
Here’s an interesting article that came through an email newsletter I get. Microsoft wants even more of your money…

You Can’t Virtualize Vista Home Basic or Home Premium Editions
Microsoft is tightening its virtualization licensing in some versions of Windows Vista. The EULA for Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium states that, “You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.” However, you can use Vista Ultimate within a virtual hardware system. The biggest losers are Macintosh users. Now that Mac runs on Intel x86 hardware, many Mac users run Windows virtualized through a product such as SWsoft’s Parallels. This licensing announcement makes that a more expensive option.

Spike Radway Hospitalized

Posted by eZine Staff Reporters at 7/6/2007 10:26 PM
The host with the most, founding member, frequent presenter and current program director, Spike Radway was hospitalized Tuesday afternoon after checking into UHHS Richmond Hts. Hospital complaining of abdominal pains. Test results showed he had Biliary Dyskinesia, which is the failure of the gall bladder’s mechanism to fill and empty itself.

Word of his condition quickly spread among the CDPUG Board members, his friends and relatives. His impact on our group and the community was very evident judging by the number of calls and visitors he had fielded in the few days he had stayed at UHHS Richmond Hts. The hospital’s receptionists actually thought they had some sort of celebrity on hand. Imagine that!

The outlook for Spike remains grim as he may need to have his gall bladder removed. It’s been a quite a learning curve for the Radways as they try to wrap their heads around the terminology and treatment options for his Biliary Dyskinesia. Both Spike and his wife Christie remain cautiously optimistic and upbeat about the near future. The incredible outpouring of support from friends and family are reflected in the return of his quick witted humor: “What’s the bladder with you? You have a lot of Gall! LPN? Oh, that’s the Least Paid Nurse!”

Well wishes can be sent to or by snail mail to The Radways, 4881 Highland Place Ct., Richmond Hts., OH 44143. Good luck and get well soon!

Reth!nking Podcasting

Posted by eZine Staff Reporters at 7/3/2007 5:41 PM
  (eZine staff)

Miss the meeting? Didn’t receive your eZine? You can catch our monthly meeting follow-ups here on CDPUG’s blog!

This past month’s meeting brought back a familiar face: Spike Radway of Teamspike, and a new one: Christine Lobas of design firm Studioth!nk. Playing to a packed house, Spike gave our audience a very “Pod”uctive evening on the power of podcasts and the impact it had on both the technical and creative aspects of designers’ careers. Christine offered a very tantalizing look into the utilization of podcasting as a vehicle for marketing and message distribution. Her messaging approach to podcasting gave many marketing minded folks a way to “reth!nk” how they implement this new medium.

What is a podcast? In short, it is online audio/video content that is delivered via an RSS feed. Many people liken podcasting to radio on demand. However, in reality, podcasting gives far more options in terms of content and programming than radio does. In addition, with Podcasting, listeners can determine the time and the place, meaning they decide what programming they want to receive and when they want to listen to it. A more comprehensive definition can be found at

Why podcasts? They’re a great way to learn a new subject, catch up on news, sports or a popular television show, get more information on a product, learn how to complete a home improvement project or even listen to 2 guys rant on the current hot button topic of the day out of their garage (Rushes in training). Many of your major media outlets produce and distribute podcasts: NPR, MSNBC, ABC News, Discovery Channel and National Geographic. There are also many independent producers: TWIT (This Week in Tech), The Mac Observer’s Mac Geek Gab,, and Tiki Bar TV. The variety is absolutely staggering.

Contrary to a common perception; you don’t need an iPod or any Apple product, for that matter, to be able to listen to audio podcasts. Video podcasts, on the other hand, pose more of a challenge. This writer regularly listens to podcasts on a Dell Axim PDA running Windows Mobile 5. Apple’s iTunes software offers a simple and comprehensive solution for listening, viewing and subscribing to podcasts. For you Applephobes, there is, a terrific independent aggregate for podcasts on the internet.

Due to the time time constraints and the scope of the subject, Spike was not able to get into the details of how to produce you own podcast (s). Wait! There’s a podcast for that! For the rest of us, we’ll look forward to a future meeting with Spike on that subject.

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