Archive for the ‘computer’ Category

Site was Hacked and Suspended

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Dear readers, What a mess! A few days ago I visited my site. Then I clicked the link to bring me to my blog. AVG, the virus checker I have on my computer, popped open a window that told me I could not access my “A Christian Viewpoint” page. It informed me that there was a piece of malware (JS/HiddenLink.b) on my main blog page. All of my WordPress was knocked out. You would not have known that if you visited my site in the past month, unless you also are running a virus check program. I contacted my host company and they confirmed that my site had been hacked and the malware is present in WordPress. Netfirms, my website provider shut down my entire site for two days.

It is now up and running. The malware has been removed. Even better, I did not lose any of my WordPress content. I would like to thank Sitelock for going into my site and correcting the problem. I could not have done it myself and save the content. It came at a price but it was worth it. Now I have Sitelock checking my site everyday to make sure my site stays clean.

Whew, that was a close one.

Ps: I had some choice thoughts over the guy or gal that did the hacking. Why this evil I don’t know. It is a bit hard to pray for the attacker. I can only hope that the one who pierced my site will be saved by the one who was pierced for us all.

Call from Windows Tech Support

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

I’ve gotten calls from people in the past saying they are from windows tech support. I just got a call today from someone saying that again. Please, Microsoft does not make calls to their customer base. You call them, not the other way around.

Who is calling then? Sounded to me that the person was calling from India. When I challenged him as to who he was he became very offended. Microsoft would fire an employee who treats customers disrespectfully. The gentlemen (?) went on a rant to defend his honour and at the end of his tirade swore at me and hung up.

That was a pretty blatant attack. Perhaps the man was duped into making these calls. Perhaps he himself is a victim. Perhaps.

The point of writing this is to warn you that the scammers are out and trying to get you to open a remote desktop session. Once that occurs you have just given the person, at the other end of the phone, total control over your computer. Don’t do it. They may try other scams on you. Be wary of any cold calls supposedly coming from Microsoft, Windows, etc… It’s not them.

PayPal? hidden virus

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Just a short note to my readers. I received an email this morning supposedly from PayPal saying that my account has received an unusual amount of charges. It gives this reference number: 558-106-219. They ask you to open an enclosed file to verify you are the account holder. Of course… the attachment has a virus embedded. Don’t know what it will do, don’t care, just deleting the email.

The email has in its title:

“Account Review Team.”

If you get a similar email it would be wise just to delete the email.

Most of you would be smart enough to know not to open such an email. This blog entry is aimed at those who are newbies to the net. Hmmm… are there any newbies left out there?

AVG 11’s Search_Shield -> bug for authors

Friday, August 5th, 2011

AVG 11’s Search_Shield -> bug for authors

I recently wrote to my webhost provider about a problem I found concerning AVG’s Search_Shield application. I decided to post it here as well. Some people who have Search_Sheild activated in their web-browsers have been reporting that their computer has slowed down, from a little bit to a lot. That is a related issue. The bug I found concerns those who are creating web page content and uploading it to the net. It may also affect a broad number of web host providers. Below is what I found.

To Netfirms Support:

I thought you may like to be informed about a bug I discovered about what happens when a customer that has AVG search-shield installed and enabled on their browser.

I have loaded several pages up to my site, both through ws_ftp and your upload file program, and discovered that when I did so an additional script was uploaded everytime on the page. It is a part of avg 11’s search-shield.

When I go to any site with search-shield activitated on my browser it automatically inserts this script and does a search of avg’s database to see if the site is safe before the browser takes me there. Unfortunately this may increase the bandwidth load a bit. It is enhanced web security with a minor slowdown of broswer connection. I don’t believe that this would impact your company’s bandwidth capabilities.


When I upload a page it contains this script in or near the header. Someone else comming to my site will automaticaaly download this script and may cause a delay in the download. This could slow down their viewing pleasure. It may also cause some bandwidth slowdown on your end. It has on occassion giving me warnings when I view my site. All users of your company who have avg 11 running on their browsers may have this problem. They won’t know they have this problem unless they view their code only through an editor with avg search_shield turned off.

The only way I had to fix this problem of uploading the script was to turn off search-shield before I use any form of ftp. The page will then upload without the script, leaving my html clean. This ftp problem is only for your customers who will have avg 11 with search-shield activated.

This is the script that will upload everytime with search_shield activated:

src=”/A2EB891D63C8/avg_ls_dom.js” type=”text/javascript”

I left the brackets <> off so that you could see the script

You may want to make this bug known to your users so that they don’t inadvertently change their html when uploading a page or when editing a page through file manager.

I wish you had something in your knowledge base about this. It could have saved me a lot of time trying to solve the problem. But the problem is new.

Check it out. Hope it helps.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 service pack one

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 service pack one

My blood pressure is dropping slowly. The sweat on my brow is evaporating. My hands once again are getting steady. The fight or flight response is winding down. Why was I in such a fix? Isn’t it the same as always, a computer program upgrade. In the past 16 hours I have taken an excursion into the dark side. Less of course the 12 hours I spent with my wife and the time I was sleeping. That leaves four hours overall. Shall I tell you about my digital adventure? “Oh please do…” says the little voice in the back of my mind.

I was happily using Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 since I loaded it up on my new computer. I’ve been having very few problems with it. In fact I was starting to use it quite a bit. Then yesterday, when I started up the program, I got a little window open up on my screen. The message was that there was a new service pack to upgrade my NaturallySpeaking version to 11.5. “Ah,” I said to myself. Everyone likes a free upgrade. So I clicked on the link and another helpful window opened up. Clicked on that link and started a half gig/18 min. download. After the download a 5 min. install. Everything went well or so it seemed.

The moment of truth, double-click the icon on the desktop, see the splash window, and a unasked for systems window pops up and tells me the program can’t run. It advises me to restart my computer. I shut down the system and then started it up again. Double-click the icon and got the same pop-up. The pop-up window gave me a second option. I can simply reinstall the program that I downloaded. So I went looking for this mythical program and could find no trace of it on my computer. I searched high, I searched low and opened a myriad of folders. Still no trace of its existence. Guess I will have to go to Nuance and get some help.

I step through the digital portal and entered their site. Sigh, I searched high, I searched low and traveled down every link. There was only one document that was supposed to be helpful. I read the document. I read it again. It told me of the advantages of upgrading my Dragon program. It said if I had problems that I should restart my computer. Well I knew that didn’t work. The other piece of advice? Just start up the Dragon program again and download the upgrade. Hmm… But I can’t restart the Dragon program. Perhaps I can download the update from their site. No such luck. The only way to get the update is to start Dragon, and Dragon won’t start because the update corrupted the program. After two hours I went to bed angry.

Next morning I tried again to start the Dragon program. No such luck. I went to the Nuance website once again. Still could not find any documentation that could help. Perhaps if I sent them an e-mail? Searched high and low and no go. No e-mail link was available. Went to support. Jumped through some hoops. Explained the problem, in detail. Pressed the submit button and I get a little window that tells me they are going to charge me. Let me get this right, I bought the program in April. Couldn’t work on my old computer because it did not have enough memory. Got a new computer in June (?) and eventually got everything running, including the Dragon program. Everything is going fine and then I get this update. The update crashes the program so that it will not run. And now they want me to spend $9.95 for them to fix the problem. A little bit of grinding of teeth (with all the grinding of teeth lately it is amazing that I have any teeth left). I give up in disgust.

The only thing left is to uninstall Dragon. I go to Control Panel and highlight the program and click uninstall. Fortunately I was able to save my own speech files. Now I have a blank. I grabbed the disk and reloaded Dragon once again. Jumped through the hoops and it is working. I get the same window pop-up telling me I need to upgrade to 11.5. With fingers crossed I clicked the link and begin the download. It installs. It works!

Time will only tell if I will have anymore problems with the Dragon program. I hope it is fixed once and for all. Why? Because I find that Nuance, the creators of many programs, to be very hard to deal with as time goes on. I find their site hard to navigate. And I learned for the first time that they are now going to start charging for support. That they do not have an e-mail so that I can write them with a complaint. Sometimes I think that Murphy’s Law applies whenever I and a computer come together. Perhaps other people who have done business with Nuance are happy with the products, the sales and the support that they get. Sadly, I simply get more disenchanted with Nuance the longer I deal with them. Is it time for me to make a vow? Never to do business with them again? So close, oh so close…

Pushy Sales – The Bane of Manners

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Pushy Sales – The Bane of Manners

Nobody likes a salesman who keeps pushing their products long after the potential customer has decided to leave. Don’t get me wrong, the salesman is trained on how to close the deal. In some senses it is even an art form. Those who are really good at it can manipulate the socks off of a dead man’s feet. My gosh, the very best can do that even to the living. Fortunately most salesman are not that good. Most of us can keep our money in our own pockets.

Then we come to the Internet, a sales pitch in a can, which has absolutely no entertainment value. Oh I’m not talking about the content of the page. That can be very slick. It can be entertaining. It might even be educational. What I don’t like, is when you decide to leave the page, you get the unending pop-up windows. Today I received a visit to my Webpress blog page. I was left a comment by someone named Angelina about how she considered my blog site was ranking too low on the Google search engine. She then offered me a link that would help me with my site, to raise it to the stars of heaven, so that all may see my blog and come and visit me. What the heck, I clicked the link and went for a visit.

I entered gates of the site called SEOPresser. So that you understand SEO is short for search engine optimization. It is either a program or a person who can look at your website or blog page and make suggestions on how to change the content of your site so that search engines will read it, give better emphasis to your words, and place you higher in the search results. Something like that can be useful if you’re trying to sell something over the Internet. However it gets in the way when you’re content is educational. If you want to share your heart and/or what’s on your mind SEO’s get in the way of good form. On the other hand, if you want to sell your heart and/or what’s on your mind, SEO’s are a potential way to go. If ranking and not content is what you’re after you can learn how to change your site and get better results.

All this is a given. Whether you want to share what’s on your heart and/or mind, or whether you want to sell something, I have no problem with that. But the SEOPresser page on the Internet does not want you to leave their site unless you purchase their product. When you decide to leave and click on the link to go elsewhere the Presser site will use a pop-up window to stop you from leaving. If you reject that pop-up window it will pop up another one. Still want to leave? It will pop up another. This is extremely annoying. It is a breach of good manners on the Internet. It is the main reason for creation of pop-up blockers. Now pop-ups can be fine. They can have their uses. But when it is used to get in your face and keep you from leaving it is like being imprisoned. No one likes to be jailed.

In the pursuit of money good manners are too often left at the curb, to be picked up by a garbage truck, and hauled off to the dump for burial. It is done by pushy salespeople who don’t have the grace to quit. They are the bane of good manners and their weapon of choice are pop-up windows. I thought content creators finally stopped using the stupid process. It seems however that some people will not let a bad idea die.

Well, so much for the rant of the day. Enjoy what’s left of it.

DHL Email – virus!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

For those of you that do not have a virus checker on your computer I thought I would give you a heads up. I received an email from DHL (the delivery service) that stated that the package in route to me has been delayed. The email contains an attachment with additional information. That information contains the virus. Do not open the email of course.

Header reads

from: DHL notification system
subject: DHL notification

AVG, my virus checker, caught this virus this morning.

Did I expect a package? No, but then I am not the only one who orders something on this computer. Once or twice a year my AVG catches a virus. Thankfully that saves a lot of potential grief. Somedays we click without thinking. For those moments I am glad I have a checker.