Ongoing IFrame Attack From Russia

There’s been a nasty bug prowling the ‘Net of late, and it works by using a site’s own Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices against it. Ars takes a look at the iFRAME injection campaign and the organization behind it. As Ars Technica points out:

The launchpad for these various malware campaigns is our old friend, the Russian Business Network. According to Danchev, earlier reports of the network’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Faced with dwindling functionality thanks to security policies that prevented traffic from reaching IP addresses associated with the RBN, the company divided itself, sought new service providers, and is back in business. Many of the codec downloads and false website fronts active in the above attacks trace directly back to RBN addresses.

Interesting view on this twist from a Ars’ forum discussion:

I was 18 when the Berlin wall fell. States colonized by the former USSR were freed and democracy was put in place. I hoped for a better future for Russia. Since then, they have turned authoritarian, abused nations around them, threatened the world with missiles that can penetrate defense systems, poisioned and shot dissidents, and allowed a large organized crime sector to operate.I know my response isn’t technical, nor even helpful, but I couldn’t help but express my sadness over all this. When you see a great threat removed, especially as a teenager, you hope for the best, but I guess we aren’t going to see much good news from Russia for a long time.

It is, indeed, sad that instead of business partnership some Russian companies are trying to establish themselves as a highway robbery corporations.


Conference Center Wireless Trickery

Wireless connectivity at hotels - Small business, marketing and web design blogThis Saturday is hard. Not only I had to get up at 7am – pretty early for me on any given day, let alone Saturday. I had to drive all the way to Long Island. As I am blogging this, I am sitting in the lobby on Long Island Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. This is March 2008 and it’s almost 30 miles from New York City. The cell phone even shows 3G network. Which I am comfortably using.

Guess what? The wireless internet connection that is redundant and free less then 30 miles from here costs $2.95 for 25 minutes, with $.25 each additional minute. Or you can pay $19.95 per 24 hours of wireless internet. It’s a same scam that other hotels running.

Imagine a hotel charging you additional money for using a water fountain. Or a restroom. Or timing you sitting in those supposedly comfortable chairs in the lobby. Two dollars per 30 minutes of sitting, after your time expires some hotel worker comes to your chair and throws you out unless you pay more money. Personally, I don’t see any reason why hotels wouldn’t do that.

One might argue that the infrastructure costs money. Sure it does, but I’d be delighted if someone would provide any real-world numbers as to how much hotels make off of the paid internet connectivity. And how much they loose. Being a small business owner myself, I am very conscious when it comes to additional and hidden charges. So if I would come up with the idea of having a seminar here or there, the fact that anyone coming to my conference (say it’ll last for 4 hours) would have to cough up anywhere between 12 and 20 bucks just to check their e-mail, take their notes online or blog about the event would be embarrassing.

Of course, it’s capitalism out there and people wouldn’t stop having meetings and conferences and seminars at hotels just because of outrageous prices for internet connectivity. Bus someone must bring hotel management up to speed with the outside world. Next time some doctor decides to have a meeting at a hotel’s conference center this Marriott may just be out of luck. Just because people use internet more then for 25 minutes at a time.


Administering web store databases – the inside out look (continued)

Web site database administration - www.istudioweb.comTo read the first part of the article – click here.

Since the client is in some sort of the rush before his niche shopping season starts he needs a solution ASAP. The newly acquired web site generates orders that he unable to fulfill given the outdated inventory and pricing.

We’ve offered to create an offline database (MS Access would be a good choice for this case) that will keep the current inventory and extract in into three different importable packages for each web site.

Why Access? Because it exists on almost every computer, and if not – it’s very easy to create a distributable package for Access database. One more serious advantage is that Access doesn’t require any additional licenses to sell end products based on Access. Built-in tools allow very easy importing and exporting data, creating reports and developing forms thus decreasing development time. More under the cut…