Tag-Archive for » mobile «

Thursday, March 05th, 2009 | Author:

Why is it that we’re so gullible?

I even considered for a whole second that my colleague had cross-checked the following SPAM before posting it on our IRL noticeboard. Please note that the following text originally had really bad-for-your-eyes fonts and colours. 😉

Urgent Warning from
Cell C, Vodacom & MTN!

[business card of aLegal Representativeof the Special Investigating Unit]

Dear All,
If you receive a phone call on your mobile from any person, saying that, he or she is
a company engineer, or saying that they’re checking your mobile line, and you have
to press # 90 or #09 or any other number.
End this call immediately without pressing any numbers.
There is a fraud company using a device that once you press #90 or #09 they can
access your ‘SIMcard and make calls at your expense.
Forward this message to as many friends as you can, to stop it.
All mobile users pay attention if you receive a phone call and your mobile phone
displays (XALAN) on the screen don’t answer the call, END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY,
if you answer the call, your phone will be infected by a virus..
This virus will erase all IMEI and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM
card, which will make your phone unable to connect with the telephone network. You
will have to buy a new phone. This information has been confirmed by both Motorola
and Nokia.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS PIECE OF INFORMATION TO
ALL YOUR FRIENDS HAVING A MOBILE.

The first things that got me thinking was the text denoting authority at the top of the page. Now, bear in mind this is on a noticeboardnot my inbox where my anti-spam senses are at their peak.

Who could possibly have the authority to say they’re sending out a notification on behalf of each of South Africa’s tri-opoly of GSM providers? Okay, so its someSpecialLegal team that sounds government-type. They’re legitit turns outbut they probably don’t have enough time to take my call asking if this is all true. Absolutely everything on the Internet must be true, especially anything I say. 😛

So anyway, now that we’re over the silliness, let’s break this hoax down:

Official Documentation

Bar a business card, which is hardly standard in any industry, there is no official contact information. I’d expect at least a letterhead or a misguided trailing disclaimer.

Presentation and Language

There are actually 2 notices here regarding separate threats however it isn’t obvious without reading the text in full. This is because the paragraphing and grammar are very poor. Government institutions don’t normally issue poorly-worded or paragraphed documentation. takođe, why not issue a separate notification regarding each threat separately?

And Lime Green??? bleh

There are no links to further resources

Any warning of this sort would undoubtedly offer further information or advertise the online presence of the institution. takođe, perhaps they’d like for you to give feedback on the situation or maybe they’d like us to report on further suspicious activity. But no. Nothing. Just a specific representative’s business card. What if the guy dies, finds a better job, or leaves the country?

There is a fraud company … “

This means that they haven’t any clue who it is. This is a broad and passive statement. Question whenever someone saystheyorpeople who”. Who is thisfraud company”? Where isthere”? And why doesn’t this crack government legal team (who have to use chain mail to spread warnings) let us know through their uber-powerful chain mail network?

Forward this message to as many friends as you can

My, oh my. This line has probably been in every chain letter / social engineering virus (my special definition) since sliced bread.

This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia.

They’re trying to prevent you from thinking for yourself and try to verify their claims independently. They’re sayingYou’re stupid to check. We already checked for you. :-D”. Naravno, in reality, they’re just trying to take advantage of our gullible nature.

“#90 or #09” i “XALAN

There isn’t any way for you to verify this. Again, question everything. Google’s first page of results is riddled with the wordsCell phone warning hoax”. duh.

If you get a message like the above from your friends, reply and tell them to stop sending spamand maybe give them a link to this page so they know why. 🙂

udio
Friday, November 21st, 2008 | Author:

So I gots me s’more spam to mah mobile. o.O

Thankfully, it turns out that there is some proper recourse. Thanks to Stefano for pointing me in the right direction. (original post here)

WASPA (or Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association) is theIndustry Bodyfor Wireless Service Providers in SA. They have a complaints page where you get to submit all the juicy details about how a WASPA (or WASP) has breached the WASPA Code of Conduct.

Perhaps the provider in question gets featured on the complaint reports pagewhere everyone will see how much they’ve been fined along with a full report of the complaint. This includes WASPA’s investigation and a summary of the communications with the Service Provider concerning the matter. Importantly, its all publicly accessible.

I just wish people actually KNEW about this thing though. I certainly didn’t know that a WASP isn’t just the name of a (usually) flying insect? Yeahturns out some wasps don’t have wings and are mistaken for antsgo figure.

Back to the topic at hand: Spread the word! And lodge your complaints!

udio
Category: mobile, privacy, rights  | Tags: , , , , ,  | 4 Comments
Thursday, November 13th, 2008 | Author:

I don’t receive much spam to my mobile phone. I have received random sms’s on occasion aboutspecialoffers and so forth. Someone also once sms’don my behalfto one of those late-night e-tv specials adverts. Every month I receive an enticing message informing me about what I’m missing out on. I wonder though, is there a no-send list I can add myself to at MTN, Vodacom, or Cell-C?

Can any cellular provider list all the companies that have sent you sms’s through bulk sms systems in the last month, for example? And can I tell my cellular provider to CAN that SPAM without having to send an sms costing me R7.50 with the wordSTOP”? [editturns out this SMS is supposed to be charged at the lowest possible rate. Thanks, Tumbleweed]

Lastly, I’ve heard of these services where you pay to receive content perpetually. Perpetually in that its a service where they assume you want them to charge you R5 every day to send you something. My sister had an issue where she never had airtime. It was because her R20 weekly allowance would be swallowed whole the next day by one of theseserviceswhich sent her a silly picture and deducted R10. She could have downloaded the same or similar picture using her computer for about 5c using Google'S image search and I’d have sized and cropped it to fit her phone’s screen perfectly with no visible distortion or aliasing. At the same time, they claim copyright on the content which is LAME. I’ll bet they’re stealing the pictures from the Internet themselves anyway.

In the end it was easier for her to get a new prepaid number. I just hope that they’re not still going to send more content to whoever gets her old number after its recycled. 😮

udio