Phishing the Government

OK, so this is something I haven't seen before:

The criminals have now started phishing using the government as the lure (the IRS is the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. tax department). Of course, the refund would have been far more compelling had it happened around the time when people file their tax returns in the U.S.

The site it goes to appears to be in Korea, but it also appears to be down. Most likely it was just some compromised computer somewhere.

One more odd thing struck me about this. As you see in the picture, Outlook 2007 detected this as a possible phishing message; but only on one computer. On my other computer it was just plain junk mail. That's a bit disconcerting. Apparently the phishing detection logic in Outlook is not consistent, even within versions.

What They Teach Kids These Days

Sweden has always been a little "cutting edge," if you know what I mean. Little did I know, however, just how cutting edge. This picture was snapped in a toy store in Stockholm last week:

I probably stood there stunned for a good two minutes. Brio is known for high-quality wooden toys, particularly railroads. Apparently they are branching out. Using the same basic track and the same gauge, you can now get "modern" toys in the Network line.

That's right, the kids can now play network operators. The main kit is the Email Central Set, which is the e-mail sorting facility (also known as SMTP daemon). You can add EMO, the E-Mail Officer, Bernie's Flashing Diode, DEX's (that's gotta be a trademark violation) Search Pod, and Lazie's CD Burner.

So far, it's just kind of sick though. What really caught my eye was the video playing on the TV in the picture. For that extra bit of realism, you can add on the "Attacker & Viruses" kit. That's right. For $24.99 you get three different network viruses: Viro, Para, and Pop-up. The job of the Networkers then becomes to defend the network against the attackers!

In the movie the network viruses traded in their evil ways for a taste of some of EMO's birthday cake.

I know what you're thinking. Yes, it's all rated 3+ years, and yes, I am changing my job descriptions to make defending the Network against Viro required experience!