Security

The Evolution of Mobile Phone Thugs…

DISCLAIMER:

Reposted with permission from Becky. The original post can be found here…

I think it has become slightly safer for people to talk on phone while walking downtown Nairobi. After seeing their comrades beaten to death over cheap phones, I guess the thugs have changed tact.

But it does not mean that the thieves have abandoned their trade, they have just become sharper; the steal the phones that are more expensive.

My friend Muthoni, made us laugh the other day when she told a story of how the thugs in the estates have learned the value of the phone by the ringtone.

Her story was that there was this woman going home one day in Dandora estate, and she was passing through an alley. It was at 7 pm so there were many people walking to and from the shops, acting busy.

Though her phone was ringing, she could not pick because of the four men who were walking with her group. So the phone annoyingly rung and it was apparent that she was fearing that her phone might just go.

Put off by the ringing or failure to remove the phone from the bag, one guy said, “Mama oya thimu ithuii tutiendaga Motorola.” (Just pick up the phone we are not interested in your Motorola).”

But if its a Nokia, they know the series by the ring tone and they just kindly ask you to pretend you are relatives and just hand over the phone! They even force you to hug them as they rob you in front of everyone.

Others are able to tell the kind of phone when its in the pocket; depending on the shape it projects in the pocket.

The tips are apparent; don’t wear tight trousers then slide the phone in the pocket, unless you want to invite the crooks. If you can, let the phone be on vibrator or the single beep then vibrator otherwise the phone will just go.

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New type of SMS Fraud…

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

This is a message I came across a mailing list I’m a member of & I thought it might be worth sharing with you readers. Anybody come across something similar?

“Wanabidii,

I have two friends who received threatening Sms Messages purporting to originate from hired killers. The messages originated from different numbers and I have been thinking that its a new type of fraud because in one of the instances, the ‘Killers’ requested for 30,000 to be sent via Mpesa to a particular number so that any further action can be forestalled. The sms message from the number 0735974157 read as follows…

‘Okey !! There is a fellow business man . who is behind your life. Am a killer if you want help  call us now.’

In case you call and happen to be very scared you can imagine that you will just fall into their trap and they will get to know more about you and progress further with their threats. However if you ignore such a message they could just re-send once more before they give up.

My friend happened to have been going through a legal dispute case and so it appeared so real to her. She called to find out the details but that made things worse and for a number of days she could not eat and was really scared. She reported the case to the police for investigation. My other friend who had got almost similar message just wondered who would want to ‘Kill’ him and for what reason. He just ignored the second message sent to him and I therefore thought to myself that this is just a case of attempted sms fraud.

The fraudsters know that people have problems of every kind so they chance to prey on unsuspecting people who may be conned out money easily. I think the 30k Mpesa amount is carefully chosen as this is the max limit one can send in a single transaction. In case anyone has come across such types of messages please report appropriately to the police and mobile service provider.

Please also share in this forum so that we can get to know the extent of the problem. Is there a journalist in this forum  who can investigate this scam and publicise accordingly? I can imagine there are people out there suffering silently.

MM”

Study finds few Internet predators…

The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.

A task force created by 49 U.S. state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem. The findings run counter to popular perceptions of online dangers as reinforced by depictions in the media.

Full story: http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/14/america/net.1-407132.php

Security Warning From Facebook…

We have detected suspicious activity on your Facebook account and have reset your password as a security precaution. It is possible that malicious software was downloaded to your computer or that your password was stolen by a phishing website designed to look like Facebook. Please carefully follow the steps provided:

1) Run Anti-Virus Software: If your computer has been infected with a virus or with malware, you will need to run anti-virus software to remove these harmful programs and keep your information secure. For Microsoft:

http://www.microsoft.com/protect/viruses/xp/av.mspx
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/computer/viruses/default.mspx

For Apple:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2550

2) Reset Password: Be sure that you use a complex string of numbers, letters, and punctuation marks that is at least six characters in length.

3) Never Click Suspicious Links: It is possible that your friends could unwillingly send spam, viruses, or malware through Facebook if their accounts are infected. Do not click this material and do not run any .exe files on your computer without knowing what they are. Also, be sure to use the most current version of your browser as they contain important security warnings and protection features.

4) Log in at Facebook.com: Make sure that when you access the site, you always log in from a legitimate Facebook page with the facebook.com domain. If something looks or feels suspicious, go directly to www.facebook.com to log in.

5) Report Suspicious Activity: Please visit the following pages for further information about Facebook security and information on reporting material: http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=420 and http://www.facebook.com/security

Once you have performed all these steps, your account should once again be secure. Please be sure to visit the Facebook Help Center for further information regarding these security issues and let us know if you need assistance.

Thanks,
Facebook Security Team