Thursday, October 19, 2006

Email Security Breach

The company where I am contracting experienced a security breach today. This morning when I got into work, there was a posting on the company news dashboard about a Virus Alert. When I opened my email, there were a handful of files with .zip attachments and the icky feel of spam. For example, "cyber thomas" sent me a picture, and "serv" informed me of "Security risk found in message 'Mail server report.'" with the following text:

Mail server report.

Our firewall determined the e-mails containing worm copies are being sent from your computer.

Nowadays it happens from many computers, because this is a new virus type (Network Worms).

Using the new bug in the Windows, these viruses infect the computer unnoticeably.
After the penetrating into the computer the virus harvests all the e-mail addresses and sends the copies of itself to these e-mail

Please install updates for worm elimination and your computer restoring.

Best regards,
Customers support service

Not very likely that I was going to install the updates for my computer restoring.

But I was curious as to how the breach occured and asked around a bit to try and understand how this happened. The company uses Lotus Notes and requires remote users to connect to the network via VPN to access the Domino server. Idle thoughts include someone on the sales force on a public wireless network somehow had their address book copied. Another possibility is a disgruntled employee or contractor. Of course, a classic worm could be the culprit. Something that was opened internally and walked through the address book.

So, I googled around to see what I can find. One of the more shocking discoveries was at, which has a list of data breaches from the last 20 months that have been disclosed by various companies and news organizations.

What is shocking about this is the number of records that have been breached, recalling this cannot be a full list since there are doubtlessly companies that do not report some breaches. The number -- are you ready? -- is nearly 94 million records containing sensitive personal information. Holy Servers, Batman!

It's no surprise then that millions of folks have their identity ursuped each year, now is it?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Samsung ML-1430 Won't Feed Paper

My printer had stopped feeding paper reliably a while ago. This had reduced me to manually pushing each sheet of paper into the machine until the roller caught it. Which, in turn, often resulted in many expletives directed towards said printer.

All in all I like the Samsung ML-1430, which has been discontinued. It was pretty inexpensive, the toner cartridges aren't too bad considering I really have gotten thousands of pages (at Staples, which has a wicked good customer loyalty program, IMHO).

However, after only two years, there is this feed problem. I found the answer in an Amazon posting (thank you brs for posting this). Here is the solution from there:

  1. You need to rotate the rubber band on the feeder roll to a fresh surface. Start by turning off the printer, disconnecting it from power & data feed.
  2. Remove the two screws from the back panel and press the small tabs to pull the back panel off.
  3. Open the front of the machine and remove the two screws that hold the top panel in place. Take note of how the sheet feeder sits in this assembly. The sheet feeder is not screwed in, but rather held in by the other pieces.
  4. Remove the toner cartridge and set aside.
  5. There are four screws that go through the metal plate now visible at the top. Leave the wires connected and remove these screws. Take note that there is a grounding cable that needs to be reconnected.
  6. You need to remove that top assembly, so take note of how the roller fits into the black tie rod that actually turns the roller. I found that lifting the unit up and sliding it to the right (as viewed from the back) disconnected the roller from the tie rod.
  7. Remove one screw from the roller pickup assembly and disassemble the roller.
  8. Note that one side of the rubber band is shinier than the other. This is the problem. Carefully work the rubber band off, rotate it 180 degrees and slide it back on to the roller.
  9. Reassemble and test
This repair took less than 20 minutes and I expect that it will last another two years of rather heavy usage.

BTW, brs on Amazon also provided a repair part number: JC72-00109A. However, searching on Samsung for this part yielded nothing. I suspect this is due to the machine being discontinued.

Have fun!

Name Change and Why

I've changed the name of this blog from something silly to something (hopefully) better. I thought initially that I would use this for entries about science, politics, and other serious topics. However, I really like fixing things and get a real kick out of that, so I decided to re-name the blog after a cartoon that I have drawn on and off over the years, "Monday by Portnoy"

Voila! Out with the old bits and in with the new!

Yes, I suppose I will have to get some of those old cartoons up on the blog.