Author: admin

723 Serious Cyber Attacks Stopped

The job of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is to protect the UK against cyber threats, whether that’s from hostile nations and groups or simply criminals.

Since it became operational in 2016, GCHQ’s cyber crime defence centre has defended the UK against 1,167 serious such threats.

The majority of the attacks were carried out by hackers “directed, sponsored or tolerated” by foreign governments, according to NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin.

“These groups constitute the most acute and direct cyber threat to our national security,” he said.

In these days of coronavirus, NSCSC has also had to help protect scientists working on a vaccine, NHS hospitals, essential infrastructure and more.

The Wannacry ransomware in 2017 did huge damage to the NHS hospitals caught out.

NCSC also work to stamp out phishing and similar scams and what they call ‘high commodity attacks’ including the removal of 138,398 phishing sites between September 2017 and August 2018.

Cyber attacks are increasing in volume, scale and range of targets every year so business and all organisations need to take this seriously and protect themselves accordingly.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Are Christmas Hampers Worth It?

Emails are turning up offering Christmas Hampers and of course TV adverts and you see them in the supermarkets and department stores.

There has been a lot of publicity in recent years about how the contents of a typical store hamper can be bought much cheaper separately so it’s more difficult than previously for the big supermarkets in particular to get away with exorbitant prices.

Money Supermarket looked at a Waitrose Cracker Hamper and found

– Italia Collezione Prosecco Brut 750ml (Waitrose.com £11.99)
– Buiteman Parmigiano Reggiano Biscuits 75g (Amazon.co.uk £11.51)
– Linden Lady Handmade Luxury Chocolates x 15 (Waitrose.com £6.99)
– Linden Lady Handmade Toasted Coconut Marshmallows 125g (Yourhamper.com £3.49)
– Maxwell & Franks Christmas Pudding with Cider 454g (Yourhamper.com £3.74)
– The Original Cake Company Round Top Iced Fruit Cake

– 6 Waitrose All Butter Mince Pies (Waitrose.com £2.50)

Total cost bought separately £59.09 or £100 as a Waitrose hamper. That was in 2013 and things have improved since then.

Bargain supermarket Aldi got into hampers a few years ago and theirs sell from £29.99 to £99.99.

Bargain supermarket Lidl don’t ye do Christmas hampers.

The makers of hampers point out that you also get the hamper and the benefit of someone having chosen the items and packed them for you. However, the actual hamper baskets are quite cheap on Amazon so you can make your own.

The days of huge sales of hampers at Christmas seems to have gone, especially since the largest of the monthly savings hamper clubs Farepak went bust 4 years ago.

Are Hampers worth the money?

If you’re buying as a gift for someone then maybe it makes sense to pay significantly more than the value of the contents. But if you’re buying for your family – then It depends on

how much you like the actual hamper box it comes in and how much you like someone picking the items on your behalf.

Basically it’s usually much cheaper to buy the items separately and if you want a hamper basket to put them in then buy one on Amazon or eBay and fill it yourself.

Don’t be taken in by the emails – check the cost of the contents for yourself.

Aldi £30 hamper contains £27 worth of goods plus the gift box.

Aldi £100 hamper contains £83 worth of contents plus the hamper basket

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment

Fightback Ninja Signature

The Extent of Spam Messages

Around 45% of all emails are spam i.e. they are messages you do not want, have not signed up to receive and would stop if you could. But spammers send out billions of such unwanted messages every day in the hope of getting your attention and probably also wanting to make money out of you.

Spam is very wasteful – it clogs up your inbox, takes up your time and is almost entirely pointless.

Messages you don’t want to receive very little attention and nobody wants to buy from a business that has annoyed them.

Spam messages are most commonly some form of advertising (36%), finance (26%), social media notifications, reminders you don’t need, hoaxes, fake warnings, people trying to get attention and so on.

This does not include scams which is where the sender is intent on defrauding the recipients in some way.

There are millions of people and businesses sending out spam messages but around 80% of world-wide spam comes from about 100 scam groups that treat the sending of such messages on behalf of their clients as a viable business.

The cost of such time-wasting to business is estimated to be somewhere between ten and twenty billion dollars world-wide per year. This includes the cost of anti-spam services, employee time identifying spam messages and technical staff.

More spam emails originate in China than anywhere else, but vast amounts also originate in America and Europe.

Most spam is harmless but increasingly it is used to carry malware and that can be dangerous as thieves seek to copy your identity or infect your computer.

Q. Why is spam called spam?

Spam is a cheap tinned meat product that has been around since the 1930s. Some claim that the name Spam meaning unwanted emails comes from a 1970 Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch in which a group of customers in a Spam-themed restaurant sing about Spam and everything on the menu is full of spam.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

Fightback Ninja Signature

 

Stupidest Spam of the Week Fountain of Youth

I think this scammer must have been watching an old movie such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or maybe an old book.

The email title is “The Truth About the Fat Burning Fountain of Youth”.

They do like to be dramatic in their claims to attract attention, although you would expect that to turn off anyone with more than 2 brain cells.

So, the email goes on to claim that a simple 2 minute ritual at bedtime will shrink fat away and reverse aging.

Hhmm – see what I mean about that movie.

Then it gives examples such as John who melted away 54 pounds of belly fat in no time.

No supplement or diet can possibly target fat in one place on the body – it just doesn’t work like that. You gain fat overall and you lose fat overall.

The fountain of youth is a nice fable and so is the idea of losing fat with no effort – but they only exist in stories. Real life is much harder.

To enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.

Fightback Ninja Signature