Archive for November 30, 2018

Indian Police Take Down Call Centers Tied To Fake Tech Support Scams

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2018 by itnerd

The fake tech support scams that seems to be centered in India is something that I’ve been tracking for a while now. And I am overjoyed that Indian Police at the prompting of Microsoft have finally done something about the scumbags related to this scam:

New Delhi police have arrested 63 suspects in the last two months working and operating 26 call centers that were engaging in tech support scams, posing as tech support staff at Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other major tech companies. The raids on Delhi-based call centers have taken place over the last two months, Microsoft said. Police first raided 10 call centers and arrested 24 people in October, and then raided 16 other call centers and made 39 more arrests this week.

Microsoft said its staff received over 7,000 victim reports associated with the 16 call centers raided this week, from over 15 countries. Users reported paying between $100 and $500 for unnecessary tech support services and products. The raids resulted in the seizure of substantial evidence including call scripts, live chats, voice call recordings and customer records from tech support fraud operations, Microsoft said. The Delhi police’s crackdown on tech support call centers came after Microsoft filed legal complaints earlier this year. Microsoft has been collecting customer complaints about tech support scams since 2014, via its “Report a technical support scam” portal.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as if I were the Indian government, I would be embarrassed that scams like these were operating within the country.

Now if the Indian authorities will do something about the Canada Revenue Agency scams where the scumbags are completely unrepentant.

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#PSA: If You Want To Replace Your iPhone’s Battery Because Of #BatteryGate Cheaply, You Have Until The End Of The Year

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2018 by itnerd

For those of you who wanted to get the battery replaced on your iPhone 6 or newer because it was affected by #BatteryGate related issues, you should hurry. The program that allows you to replace the battery for $35 CDN runs out at the end of the year. After that, you will have to pay between $99 to $105 CAD to replace their smartphone’s battery at an Apple Store. By doing so you’ll not only be able to stretch out the life of your phone, but you may see a speed increase as batteries that are in really bad shape will cause the phone’s processor to throttle itself.

To take advantage of this program, you should either take your phone to a Genius Bar appointment in an Apple Store or send it in to Apple for repair. And here’s a top tip, based on the experience that my wife had when she did this, you may have to be persistent about getting the battery replace as the Apple Genius Bar employees may try to talk you out of doing so.

Review: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T Ultimate AWD – Part 5

Posted in Products with tags on November 30, 2018 by itnerd

So I’ve come to the end of my week long review of the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe and I think Hyundai has a serious competitor in this space that stands out in more ways than just looks. It drives well, has a very good interior and a fair amount of tech in it.

It’s main competitors are going to be the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, maybe the Kia Sorrento as that comes in five and seven passenger versions, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the upcoming Honda Passport. But I think that the Santa Fe which is already one of the leaders in this segment is going to keep the status quo, if not increase their share of this segment.

My final fuel economy was 11.7 L/100KM’s which is pretty good considering that I drove in a mix of city roads and highways in rush hour. The majority of that driving was city driving in rush hour or stop and go traffic. Given those conditions, I’m fine with this number.

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe starts at $28,999 CDN before freight, taxes, etc. The 2.0T Ultimate AWD trim level that I drove this week goes for $44,999 CDN with a number of trim levels in between. Hyundai really has a vehicle in this mid size SUV space where if you look around you will see a lot of Santa Fe’s on the road. I expect that continue based on my week with this 2019 model.

BREAKING: Marriott Pwned…. 500 Million Guests Affected

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2018 by itnerd

The news is breaking that hotel chain Marriott has been pwned by hackers. Specifically what has been pwned is the Starwood reservation database which they got when the bought a bunch of hotels in India and Germany a couple of years ago. Now this is a hack that affects me personally as I’ve stayed in Marriott properties over the last two years which makes me one of the 500 million people who have been affected. What’s really scary about this is that hackers have had access since 2014 but the hotel chain only figured that out last week.

All together now: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Here are more specifics:

For 327 million people, Marriott says the guests’ exposed information includes their names, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, date of birth and arrival and departure information. For millions others, their credit card numbers and card expiration dates were potentially compromised.

Marriott warns that it can’t confirm if the hackers were able to decrypt the credit card numbers.

A website has been set up and affected guests will be contacted. But this is really bad and those affected by this like yours truly should take action ASAP to protect themselves.

UPDATE: One of those affected by this hack was well known hacker Kevin Mitnick who said this:

He’s right. Companies need to seriously step up their game in order to stop stuff like this from happening. Marriott needs to slapped silly by the relevant authorities in order to send a message that this isn’t acceptable.