: Phishing attempt

Just a quick warning to people who might see the following email in their inbox titled “Recalculation fiscal activity for 2011” supposedly from

The email appears to be sent from, but this is just spoofed (email spoofing is just too easy). The text of the email says

Dear Applicant:

Please note that you can apply for tax refund, today we have sent your tax file number (TFN): 2 7 9 0 2 1 6 8 1 5
(See the tax privacy note in the Taxpayer’s declaration on page 8 of your tax refund) and is valid only 24 hours for security reasons.
Please take a few minutes of your time to complete the form, for your safety please do not reveal your TFN number to others.
In order to complete, please follow this link:

The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential and as applicable, copyright in these is reserved to Irish Tax and Customs.
Unless expressly authorised by us, any further dissemination or distribution of this email or its attachments is prohibited.

Irish Tax and Customs

and it has a link to
and not the official website. If you have received such an email, according to their security advice, you should forward the email to them.

The idea of such an email is to trick companies to fill out their personal details, such as credit card details, which will probably be used against them. The phishing site is very, very poorly done.

If you have filled this out, you should call your credit card company and cancel your card, and contact the revenue commissioners.

gimme a muggie {please}

Michele from Blacknight is having a little competition to win one of his nice mugs. These mugs are simply great, massive enough to hold about fifty espressos, dishwasher proof (I still haven’t treated mine to that abuse) and each one is truly unique.

Why I should get one

So here is my reason : I would love to have a buddy for my BlackDog mug and nothing would fit so good with it as another mug from the Magical Mug Maker Owen and a free one at that.

Plus you owe me one for pointing out that *bug* late last year, ahem !

Register 365 – fail

Today I got a email from Register365, saying that for security reason they are disabling the online web folder manager. The sneakily make it sound like they are just disabling it until it’s fixed. But in reading this it also sounds strange that they don’t disable it straight away if it is such a threat. Here is the email I just got :

Dear paul savage,

Thank you for choosing Register365 as your hosting provider of choice.


At Register365 we take the security of our customers’ hosting services
very seriously and as such we would like to inform you that our
engineers have discovered a potential security flaw in the WebShell file
manager. In order to preempt any risk of a security breach that may
affect our customers’ websites the WebShell feature will be turned off
as of Midday on Tuesday 9th February 2010 .

Please note this is a precautionary measure and FTP will continue to
work as normal and your websites should not be affected in any way by
this action.

If you need any support on how to use FTP clients to upload files to
your site please refer to our knowledge base articles located at

At Register365 we strive to provide the best quality of service and
infrastructure to all our customers and as you may already know, we have
been working hard to deploy a new shared hosting cluster based on state
of the art technology and delivering the most stable and secure hosting
environment on the Irish market. If you would like to find out more
about the new hosting cluster available with Register365 and how you
could migrate to the new platform for FREE, please contact

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our
support teams through the usual channels.

Kind regards

Namesco Ireland Limited (trading as Register365)

To that I submitted a support case as the service email came from “” .

You are disabling it indefinitely ? or just until you can patch the service ?
This is unclear in the email I got from you.

and to that I got the updated report that they are not fixing it, with some extra padding about saying it’s too difficult.

Good afternoon Paul,

Thank you for your email.

It’s being disabled indefinitely I’m afraid as it would be too prohibitive to have a patch developed, tested and deployed at this late stage in our H-Sphere platform’s life cycle.

We haven’t taken this decision lightly but the issue that has been identified could potentially be quite serious so urgent pre-emptive action was needed. Disabling the webshell feature for the foreseeable future seemed the most expeditious and safest solution.

We apologise again for any inconvenience caused.
Kind Regards,

Nathan P.
Support Team
Namesco Ireland Limited

An unconvinced customer

Somehow I am not convinced here, if it’s a security issue why not disable straight away, and why no provide an alternative ? It really doesn’t sound like any level of customer support or attention to security. If it’s a security hole, disable straight away. You are now suddenly not providing a method for people to edit their files outside FTP’ing them, this for many people is not an option because of company firewalls. All in all it seems like Namesco Ireland Limited / Register365 couldn’t give a toss about their customers.

The world outside my window

Just back from 2½ weeks in Ireland, and while the weather was quite bad at times, i.e. lots of ice / cold / snow, it was still great to be back. I’m not going to comment on how the County Councils could run of of salt and grit, or fail to have adequate material dispersed on the roads, because, well it doesn’t happen every year.

Generally I am a fan of the “bad weather“, snow really makes the city streets quieter (it absorbs the sound), like the brightness in the mornings, and the feeling of a few flakes landing on your tongue as you walk down the street. I’m a big fan of the mountains and skiing and I’m really looking forward the season ahead. I’ve missed a bit of the season already, so I’m eager to hit the slopes.

I didn’t mean to ramble on, what I wanted to do was share the view from the office today :

now it’s time to get that snowboard waxed …

Today’s Complaint letter…. sixt

Here is the latest complaint letter, this time to Sixt Holiday Car rentals, who with an hour and a half before pick up decided to call me and say that I could only have one of the cars I ordered !

On Tuesday this week I booked two 7 seater cars from your office over the phone. The order number is 6xxxxxx. When I called I was told that it was possible to have these two big cars on Friday, and that they were available.Today approximately 90 minutes before I was due to pick up the cars, I received a telephone call from your offices in Munich, on Einsteinstrasse. They were calling to tell me that you no longer had a second car for me. And they couldn’t offer another one anywhere else in Munich today. So with 90 minutes to go I get this news that I would possibly have to cancel my weekend trip. And all your customer service agents could say is that “If someone doesn’t return their car to us, we cannot give it out to you“.

Putting it so simply was nice, but not offering me any alternative or a discount for being put like this really disappointed me. I have used your services over the last few years, and my company has uses you very often indeed. But still Sixt wasn’t able to offer me anything that could have helped me today. I was left in the situation of trying to call other car rentals companies frantically looking for a similar car within the next hour. And on a Friday evening, this was certainly something I would have wanted to avoid.

When I book a car, I would expect that my order would be granted and that you would do everything that you could to provide me with a car that I could use. But the best I could get out of your service agents was that they couldn’t do anything about it, and that it happens sometimes.

I feel very disappointed with the way I have been treated. And I am looking forward to hearing from you to clarify my points.

Paul Savage

EDIT: Today (wednesday 23rd May) I got a reply from them today and they offered me a 30% reduction on the cost of one one of the cars. They always wanted to know if I had to get a replacement car and what was the costs, but seeing as we used two other cars instead I don’t think I will get any other money back. So all in all it pays to complain when you are not happy with the service. At least now the money will help towards a broken light on the rental car (don’t ask !)

What are you doing ?

This is the Greek way of asking “how are you ?”. Nice isn’t it. I’ve been learning a bit of Greek for my summer cruise with EasyCruise around the Greek Islands with L. So I’ve been using The Pimseleur’s Method, which is an audio guide which is pretty good. The only problem I would have with it is that the lessons are a bit too long, at 30 minutes I find that my attention for new stuff is starting to diminish. But the great thing about the audio lessons is that I don’t have to start learning their alphabet (Ελληνικό αλφάβητο or the Hellenic alphabet). What are you doing ? 😉

It’s not every day someone threatens you with lawyers …

Yesterday I got an nasty email from a company (lets call them F), based here in Germany. I had purchase a product from F some time at the end of 2006, and I think they have an opt in email list on purchasing a product, which is checked automatically.

Granted there were problem with the order and I complained but didn’t even receive an apology. So in January I started to get emails from about their service times etc. I sent an email asking them to be removed from the mailings but sadly they continued, they don’t have an opt out link or details in their emails, so I guess sending a reply stating that they shouldn’t email me again would be fine.

Yesterday I had a bit of time on my hands, and when I got yet another email from F, I decided to forward it to spamcop ( I considered it SPAM under the Article 13(1) (Paragraph 2) of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive [here]. So I replied to the email address stating what I did, and the at around 8pm last night I get a call, thankfully I didn’t answer it. But it was the owner or a worker of F who said “I know who you are, you an an ex-customer of ours, I want to know why you did what you did, you will be hearing from our lawyers if any damage is done, etc…”. Fine I can see why someone is annoyed, but they clearly missed the whole point of why I had reported them. They even sent me an email, stating the thing about the lawyers once again. So I explained why I had considered it SPAM and told them to contact my family lawyers (back in Cork) in all further correspondence.

The funny thing in all this is how someone thinks that they can threaten to sue me for damages after then sent SPAM. Also when someone starts to mention lawyers, I am no longer playing around. I would have take the time to explain it properly to them and maybe what they should do in future. But now that they say the L word, I am no longer interested in helping them, I did point them to the reference I quoted above. Hopefully that will keep them busy for awhile and maybe they will even update their policy for sending mailings.

See it’s not always good to feel wanted 😉