changing the digital world one bit at a time...

Blants (noun) the rants of a blogger

  1. Funny Spam Emails

    January 15, 2019 by The Man

    Sometimes they are just so funny and I copy/paste so anybody can Google the Bitcoin address if they aren’t sure, yes it’s a scam and a poor one at that.

    Dear Diane Regnier

    Yоu mаy not knоw mе and yоu аre prоbablу wоndеring why yоu are gеtting this е mаil, right?
    I’m a hacker who сrасkеd yоur dеvices а few mоnths ago.
    I sent you аn еmаil frоm YOUR hаcked accоunt.
    I setup а malwаre оn thе аdult vids (pоrno) web-sitе аnd guess whаt, уou visited this sitе tо havе fun (уou know what I meаn).
    While уou wеrе wаtching vidеos, your internet browsеr stаrtеd out functioning as а RDP (Rеmotе Cоntrol) hаving a keуloggеr whiсh gаvе mе acсеssibility to уоur sсrеen аnd web cam.
    aftеr that, my sоftwаrе program obtаined аll of yоur сontacts аnd files.

    Yоu enterеd а pаsswords оn the websites yоu visited, аnd I intercеpted it.

    Of coursе yоu can will сhаngе it, or аlrеady changed it.
    But it doesn’t matter, mу malwarе updated it evеry time.

    Whаt did I do? 
    I crеаtеd a doublе-sсrееn videо. 1st pаrt shоws thе video you were watсhing (уоu’ve gоt a goоd tаste hahа . . .), аnd 2nd pаrt shows the reсording оf уоur web cam.
    Dо nоt trу tо find аnd dеstroy my virus! (All your datа is аlrеadу uploаded to a rеmote server)
    – Dо nоt try tо contаct with me
    – Vаrious sеcurity sеrviсes will not help уоu; fоrmаtting а disk оr destrоying a dеviсе will not hеlp еither, sincе уоur datа is alrеаdу оn а remоtе server.

    I guаrantee yоu thаt I will nоt disturb уou аgain аftеr paуmеnt, аs you are nоt my singlе viсtim. This is а hасker соde of hоnоr.

    Dоn’t be mаd at mе, еverуonе hаs their own wоrk. 
    еxactlу what should уou do?

    Well, in mу оpinion, $795 (USD) is a fair priсе for оur littlе seсret. Yоu’ll makе the paуment bу Bitсoin (if уou dо not know this, searсh “hоw to buy bitcоin” in Goоgle).

    Mу Bitcоin wallеt Address:

    (It is сAsE sеnsitive, so соpy and pаstе it)

    You hаvе 48 hоur in order tо make thе pауment. (I’ve a facеbооk piхel in this mаil, аnd at this momеnt I know thаt you have reаd thrоugh this еmаil mеssage).
    To track thе reаding of а messаgе аnd thе actiоns in it, I usе the fасeboоk piхel.
    Thаnks tо them. (Everything that is usеd for thе authоritiеs сan hеlp us.)
    If I do not get the BitCoins, I will cеrtаinlу send out your vidео reсоrding to аll of yоur cоntасts inсluding rеlatives, соworkers, аnd sо оn. Hаving said thаt, if I receive thе paymеnt, I’ll dеstrоy the videо immidiatеly.
    If yоu nеed evidenсe, rеply with “Yes!” аnd I will сеrtainlу send out your vidеo rеcording tо your 6 cоntaсts. It is a non-nеgоtiаble оffеr, that being said don’t waste my personаl time and уours by respоnding to this messаge.

  2. Joint Waste Solutions – Piss Poor Security & Why Amey Nor Surrey Heath Borough Council Care

    June 14, 2018 by The Man

    I come across a few web sites with errors or issues and normally I’ll eventually find somebody to report those errors to and some are great, will fix and thank you, others will just fix and some never bother and their sites still have issues but the vast majority are not so piss poor secure I just move on. I don’t need to be thanked just for them to fix their sites.

    So over a month ago (may 2018) I came to so I could sign up for green waste collection, all pretty mundane until I tried to register on the redirect at and it threw an error. Of course anybody who has ever worked with Windows, IIS and ASP.NET the first thing you should do is make sure custom errors are turned on, indeed they are now by default so somebody has gone out of their way to make the site less secure.

    The main reason for turning on custom errors is that without your site exposes information. In this case we can see that the site is running ASP.NET v4.6.1 which is currently 4 version out of date. It also shows that the server is using Windows 2012 which is “End of Life” in October 2018. So outdated software on a server running a nearly EoL operating system. A quick scan of the server shows it may not have been rebooted for over 400 days – so no Windows Updates !!!

    Well then let’s just hope it was set up securely….

    Nothing has been done to even remotely secure the server which leaves it open to all sorts of compromises e.g. cross site scripting. As you can see this cloud based server fails miserably.

    But at least it’s using SSL I hear you cry…. yes but much like the proverbial chocolate fireguard it’s so poorly configured as to make it almost pointless. It still uses SSL v3, is vulnerable to DROWN and POODLE, supports piss weak encryption. Now I never got as far as being able to put in credit card details or even bank details but this is clearly not PCI-DSS compliant.

    You’d think that a company would be happy for somebody to quietly point out their errors but so far other a month I’ve been told by Amey’s social media team that they would pass on the information, and when nothing happened they just ignored me. Surrey Heath Borough Council originally told me as this was reported before 25th May 2018 it was not covered by the GDPR !!! So I emailed both data protection officers with the information and Amey have yet to reply and SHBC have sent two holding emails.

    I’m still trying to get to the ICO but they seem very busy – let’s hope somebody else doesn’t or hasn’t found this childishly comically configured server. Personally I’d treat the server as compromised but then I’m averagely good at my job.

  3. Clever Scam & Why LinkedIn Is The Last Place To Look For Employees

    June 5, 2018 by The Man

    Received this email yesterday and it got me thinking why !?!?!

    Now it’s either a scam or hopefully a very clever person who was sacked from their last job. Let me explain.

    Imagine you were working at X company for a few years and one day they caught you stealing the one ply toilet rolls from the third floor loos. How are you going to get a job now ? Simple you just Google a list of companies that have closed in the last year as Digital Wired has. Add that to your C.V. and who’s going to query when you tell them the company went bust or lost a big contract etc. because who are they going to check with. Perfect and unless your HR department checked with the old directors who’s to ever know.

    I hope Daniel gets a job soon, if nothing but for his ingenuity 😊

  4. Plus Addressing (RFC 2822) and why it’s important

    January 15, 2018 by The Man

    The interweb is a scary place for even the most tech savvy users and handing out your personal information to all and sundry with their laissez faire attitude to data security is crazy. There are sites where you have to provide legitimate data, i.e. where you are purchasing something, so knowing which sites have poor data security can help you (and others) avoid them in the future. This is why I always use plus addressing.

    Plus addressing,, is supported by many of the major mail vendors like Gmail and so plus addressing is available to most users. The genesis of plus addressing are from RFC 2822 and specifically s. 3.4.1 and s. 3.2.4 which basically define the part before the @ sign as the “local part” and should only be interpreted by the receiving domain. This allows for characters such as ! # $ % & ‘ * + – \ = ? ^ _ ` { | } ~

    Ok but why is this important, aren’t you just being anal ?

    Well the first time I knew it worked was when a company I’d booked a running event with sent me an email about buying email databases (the irony) now clearly there were two possible explanations. First they had sold my data or second that they had been hacked. Thankfully the credit card I’d used had expired. The second time was with Feiyu Tech who I suspect were hacked as they were sending me mail about buying womens bathroom products.

    Today I tried to make a donation on and got the following error.

    So a company as large as Virgin cannot get email validation right – what does that tell you. Well first that their developers probably just copied an email validation routine off the web without understanding what it does and their testers also signed it off. Secondly would you trust a company that cannot get the basics right with the storage of your data and credit card information ? I don’t.




  5. Clear out the Postfix queue

    December 7, 2015 by The Man

    If you find that your Postfix mail server is full of spam messages waiting to go out you can check the mail queue with


    n.b. Postfix needs to be running for this to work but not if you need to purge the queue simple use

    postsuper -d ALL

  6. and XP – a bodge fix for chrome

    December 4, 2015 by The Man

    Ok as luck would have it the second site I set up‘s new certificates on the client was using Windows XP and Chrome and got this nasty error message when I redirected the http to https.

    Now I’m a firm believer of https everywhere – yes I know it doesn’t solve every problem but it helps. So the options were bleak according to a github issue but if you are using Apache it’s possible to bodge a solution so XP Chrome clients can still see your site.

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !(Windows\ NT\ 5.1|Windows\ NT\ 5.2) [NC]
    RewriteRule ^ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}

    So what are we doing here.

    First we check to see if https is off – not sure this is really needed as we are putting this in our :80 .conf file.

    Then we check its NOT XP with the !

    And finally we redirect to the https address.

    Now we could get really clever and just check for Chrome on XP and I may work on that as I plan to use wherever I can 🙂