Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 30 August 2013

An addendum to my article yesterday about 'malware'

In the update to my article yesterday, I mentioned that the source of the 'malware' which had infected this blog (and which has now been eliminated), was a link to a blog from Zimbabwe which had been inactive for some time and which I had not removed. In fact, I think the reason the 'malware' got into my blog was not the link to that blog per se, but its inclusion in a separate part of my blog-lists designed to highlight blogs which had recently been updated, which obviously required each blog included there to be visited ('looked-up') to check whether it had indeed been updated recently; as part of my 'cleansing' process I have therefore eliminated this utility completely and will not be reinstating it. As I had the same 'blogs recently updated' utility installed in my other Spanish blog as well, it has been eliminated there too, even though the offending Zimbabwean blog was not included there, as it seems to me that particular utility is a potential risk.

In addition, apart from probably needlessly replacing my customised blog template with a standard blogger templated (as part of my initial frantic efforts to identify where the 'malware' had hidden itself), one other action I have taken is to remove all my blog entries relating to Zimbabwe, because many of my earlier such articles relied upon articles which had been written in the now inactive offending blog. Over the 11+ years my blog has been in existence there were about 64 such articles - this is a pity, but I felt I had to take this action to eliminate so far as possible any future risk to the operational integrity of the coding of this blog.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

My blog has apparently been infected with 'malware' - care!

UPDATE: - (Thursday 29AUG2013 - 22.20 BST) I have now successfully eliminated the 'malware' from this blog, at the cost of losing my customised template, a probably unnecessary 'over-kill' measure, but so be it. Most of the functionality of the blog remains, if differently organised. I will probably over the course of coming days/weeks reinstate a similar customised template. For information, the source of the 'malware' was a link here to a blog from Zimbabwe which had been inactive for some time, but which I had neglected to remove.

I am leaving the rest of this blog entry text in place, but italicised, for the record:
I have just substituted my pre-existing blog template for a standard blogger template as part of my efforts to expunge some 'malware' which has apparently affected my blog; I have just become aware of this infection today, but suspect it may have been in place for the past few days. If I am unable to trace and remove the 'malware' over the next few days, I may feel obliged to take the very hard decision to delete this blog completely, a hard decision because it has been in place for over 11 years - but if this is what I have to do, then so be it.

I am aware of the apparent source of the 'malware' infection, but will not say any more about that just now. Fortunately my other blog and my other websites are unaffected.

If you see a 'malware' warning when you visit this blog, please navigate away from it without delay. Thank you.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Blatant cold caller denies her call is a "cold call", says is from Scotia Energy

A short time ago the telephone rings and I see that the number display shows the number of the caller; I kind of recognise 01382 as being a Dundee number, so as I have family there I pick up the telephone.

The [female] caller says: Can I speak to Mr or Mrs Cameron?
(Ed: There is of course no "Mrs Cameron", so it was immediately clear this was not a personal call, although because I have [elderly] family in the Dundee area I thought it might just possibly be a hospital or other genuine caller.)

I respond: Who is calling?

She says: I'm just calling to give you some information about Scotia Energy ..

I interrupt her saying: This is a cold call and I am signed up to the TPS. Why are you cold calling me?

She responds: No, it's not a cold call, it's to give you information ..

I interrupt again: I never contacted your company and asked you to call. It is a cold call. Please do not try and call again. (I then replaced the receiver.)

Note: The caller number was 01382 250143 and a 'Google' search reveals this is a well-known originator of cold calls, with a number of the persons reporting cold calls mentioning that the call was made for on behalf of Scotia Energy. A 'Google' search for Scotia Energy reveals it is based in Glenrothes in Fife (website: http://www.scotia-aircon.co.uk/).

Of course I have no idea if the lady cold caller who called me is an employee or if she is merely a cold call operative contracted directly or indirectly to pester people on behalf of this company. In any case she won't be bothering me again as I have blocked the number using the "choose to refuse" service I subscribe to.