Entries by Alan Zeichick

I am wanted, dead or alive

This long missive is the best spam scam this month: Am I dead or alive? My urgen attention is needed. Because if I’m dead, they can’t scam me, right? Don’t reply to messages like this; just delete them. Even if they need courage. From: “Mr. Godwin Emefiele (email hidden; JavaScript is required) Subject: Re: GOOD […]

Totally legit to send the new accountant my bank details

They’ve got overdue invoices to pay me. Don’t you think so? Uh, no. Don’t send people like this your bank info – or anything. Delete such scam messages, don’t reply to them. From: email hidden; JavaScript is required Subject: RE: Overdue Invoices To: undisclosed-recipients:; Good day, I am the new accountant. I currently reviewed some […]

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New Mexico’s high degree of blockchain

Every new graduate from Central New Mexico Community College leaves school with a beautiful paper diploma covered in fine calligraphy, colorful seals, and official signatures. This summer, every new graduate also left with the same information authenticated and recorded in blockchain. What’s the point of recording diplomas using blockchain technology? Blockchain creates a list of immutable records—grouped in […]

Thank you “Gavin” for the SEO spam

Does “Gavin” seem totally above-board to you? Don’t you want what his real name is? No matter what, it’s a scam. That he tried to bypass my spam filter by spoofing my own email address in the “from” header is a nice touch. And doesn’t the aol.com email address ooze technical proficiency? Don’t respond to […]

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Exploring the autonomous features in the Oracle Autonomous Database

Oracle Database is the world’s most popular enterprise database. This year’s addition of autonomous operating capabilities to the cloud version of Oracle Database is one of the most important advances in the database’s history. What does it mean for a database to be “autonomous?” Let’s look under the covers of Oracle Autonomous Database to show just a […]

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Chatbots meet education at the University of Adelaide

In Australia, at 8 a.m. on ‘Results Day,’ thousands and thousands of South Australian year 12 students receive their ATAR (Australia Tertiary Admissions Rank)—the all-important standardized score used to gain admission to universities across Australia. The frustrating challenge: many are eligible to add as many as nine school and subject-specific bonus points to their ATAR, which can […]

The scammer has a modesty obligation

This seems legit… Not. What made it worth sharing was the opening, “It’s my modesty obligation…” It’s that obligation that will ensure the hitch free transfer of our fund, of course. That doesn’t explain why someone at the United Nations uses a Hong Kong email address for official business, though. Or why someone at a […]

Someone found bad things from an info@ address’ past

Yeah, I’m not worried, not when an email like this goes to an “info@” email address that I monitor. It’s a scam: The link goes to a site that tries to sell you background information on people. Don’t click on messages like this, don’t reply. Simply delete them and move on. From: “Public Records Service” […]


I received two spams on the same day, and with the exact same subject line. The messages, however, are quite different, and are quite laughably bad. Even so, don’t reply to such messages, even if it’s tempting to correct their grammar or spelling. The best thing to do is delete the messages. Both messages are […]

Let’s join the Illuminati

Were they real? Were they dangerous? I’ll leave those questions to historians. However, if you believe in the Illuminati, you’re probably not going to join that secret society by responding to spam. Read, enjoy, but don’t respond to messages like this. From: “The illuminati” email hidden; JavaScript is required Subject: Join the illuminati To: Recipients email […]

Do not destroy this scammer’s career, okay?

Such a tale of woe! None of it true, of course. Sorry, you’re not going to get a share of this £17,352,110 windfall from an abandoned bank account — because it doesn’t exist. Enjoy the email, if you receive it, and then delete without responding. From: “Dr Joseph” email hidden; JavaScript is required Subject: Inquiry […]

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Blockchain meets Mac ‘n Cheese

Blockchain and the cloud go together like organic macaroni and cheese. What’s the connection? Choosy shoppers would like to know that their organic food is tracked from farm to shelf, to make sure they’re getting what’s promised on the label. Blockchain provides an immutable ledger perfect for tracking cheese, for example, as it goes from […]

It’s a really long subject line, but still spam

This is either a mistake or an clever attempt to evade anti-spam filters. There is no message body. I am inclined to believe it’s the latter, guessing that filters will look at the body of the message, not the subject line. Either way, the U.S. Homeland Security department doesn’t use email addresses in Italy for official […]

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Look out! Space junk! Where’s Sandra Bullock???

If you saw the 2013 Sandra Bullock-George Clooney science-fiction movie Gravity, then you know about the silent but deadly damage that even a small object can do if it hits something like the Hubble telescope, a satellite, or even the International Space Station as it hurtles through space. If you didn’t see Gravity, a non-spoiler, one-word summary […]

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14 ways to optimize your application’s real-world performance

Users care passionately about their software being fast and responsive. You need to give your applications both 0-60 speed and the strongest long-term endurance. Here are 14 guidelines for choosing a deployment platform to optimize performance, whether your application runs in the data center or the cloud. Faster! Faster! Faster! That killer app won’t earn […]

Little spam boxes filled with cash

Little boxes, little boxes, all the same. If this spam has anything that makes it interesting, beyond the terrible grammar, it’s that the faux shipments are so detailed: 61x156x73m, with a capacity of 680 liters. Of course, this is spam – the extra details don’t change anything. Delete such messages, don’t respond to them. From: […]

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How not to fail at GDPR compliance

You wouldn’t enjoy paying a fine of 4 percent of your company’s total revenue. But that’s the potential penalty if your company is found in violation of the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25, 2018. As you’ve probably read, organizations anywhere in the world are subject to GDPR if they […]

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The public cloud is part of your network — but it’s not entirely

The public cloud is part of your network. But it’s also not part of your network. That can make security tricky, and sometimes become a nightmare. The cloud represents resources that your business rents. Computational resources, like CPU and memory; infrastructure resources, like Internet bandwidth and Internal networks; storage resources; and management platforms, like the […]


How to streamline third-party security risk assessments

It’s standard practice for a company to ask its tech suppliers to fill out detailed questionnaires about their security practices. Companies use that information when choosing a supplier. Too much is at stake, in terms of company reputation and customer trust, to be anything but thorough with information security. But how can a company’s IT […]

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Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) are essential for cloud computing

No more pizza boxes: Traditional hardware firewalls can’t adequately protect a modern corporate network and its users. Why? Because while there still may be physical servers inside an on-premises data center or in a wiring closet somewhere, an increasing number of essential resources are virtualized or off-site. And off-site includes servers in infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service […]