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Hacked and Spammed

Once again, there has been another inglorious hack of government servers and services, here in Canada. This recent event happened last week, when hackers managed to use verified clients credentials to login and, present themselves as real people for the purpose of claiming the new unemployment benefit.

How long they had been doing this, and just how many people were actually hacked, we won’t know for a few weeks at least. Though the government shut down the entire system this weekend in an effort to stop anyone logging in and perpetrating the fraud further.

How did all this happen?

Well, let me tell you. Laziness. It starts with people using the same login in password and username for everything they do online and, then, when creating a profile and account login for an important government service, what do they do? They still use the same password and username. All this despite the fact they tell you when creating an account NOT to do this.

Back to, people are lazy.

So then, hackers raid somewhere like google mail, or facebook, or another easy target to get account data. Specifically, usernames and passwords. They then send out bots searching the internet to see if these same login details will access other websites and important service, like your PayPal account and, yes, government websites.

They can then legitimately login to your account without suspicion, and change your username and password and or divert money. Or, as in with the CERB payments, making fraudulent claims under Your name, using YOUR details, but having changed your address or payment method to something else. And suddenly You find you’re on the hook for thousands of dollars.

So please, please, PLEASE! Do not use the same username and password for everything, especially for your bank, online services, or anything involving money and payment. It’s a lot more complicated for a hacker to get your unique password and login information if it’s in a little black book, locked in your computer desk drawer, than it is from Google or Facebook.

This PSA is brought to you by the letters A and W, and on behalf of those of us who anally create complicated usernames and passwords.

Your friendly neighbourhood nag.

When It’s Funny, But Not Funny!

The one thing both me and mine always look to after we sit down together, after dinner, is the news. We especially love swapping the way news is covered by both the French and English speaking media, and comparing coverage/differences. And, let me tell you, there are a lot.

What one thinks as important is not necessarily what the other prioritises. The disparity can be a chasm. But it’s not just news coverage, it’s also how each of the very individual provinces and territories here, in Canada, deal with, react too, and administer to their own populations, in a way that almost tries to separate themselves from one another to the point of painful hilarity.

As an outsider, it’s eye watering. As in, I’m left wondering why? Why this need to be so different, are they not all Canadian?

Well, that’s the question and the answer is both yes, and eh, no. And, if you understand the dichotomy, dangerous territory in and of itself.

Which brings me back to the media, and specifically, the funnies section of the online media we both read. Here’s an example of the different approaches to how the provinces are handling COVID tracing. The Federal government sponsors an app to use on people’s smart phone to aid in said tracing, but only a few provinces begin to use it in any useful way. Meanwhile, Québec, who always insists on doing everything ‘their‘ way, refuses to use it. And, three months in, is still dithering with their own response.

Hence this cartoon, published yesterday:

Snip, Snip, Snip …

No, no don’t go there … get your mind out of the gutter. We’re not talking about that snip. Eww! Far from it. The snip, snip, snip, in this case was us, this weekend. As we hit 150 something days of self imposed isolation from the outside world at large, we decided, you know, like you do, that we would cut one another’s hair.

It seems so obvious we could do it and, therefore, should do it … except we forgot the cardinal rule. Do not try to do the job of a professional just because it looks easy.

I mean, would either of us attempt to set a broken bone? No! How about write a will? No! Or maybe we think we can pull our own teeth? Now, wouldn’t that be fun? No!

Most. Definitely. NO!

But, like a couple of village idiots we took turns sitting on the side of the bath tub, and with a pair of school scissors, began lopping of bits of wet hair like we were Vidal Sassoon and this was the 80s … and pudding bowl haircuts were very much in vogue and chic.

Yeah … no. Not a good idea, let me tell you. 30 minutes of cautious hacking later, and a tub full of multi-colour tufts of hair, and we looked like a pair of extras from the stage musical, Oliver! Except, we’re weren’t singing for more, I can assure you.

After a lot of nervous giggling. That baseball cap I’d been wearing for the last month is now future fixture sat atop my head till, well, hell freezes over, or the pandemic ends and I feel safe enough to visit a professional hairdresser!

Photographic evidence? You are kidding, right? Neither of us is ever going to admit to anyone outside of this blog, what we did. Some secrets we will take to the grave.

Word of advice? Do not assume to think cutting hair is easy, it isn’t.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make a strong cup of tea and affix my baseball cap at a jaunty angel.

The sun will come out, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow …”

Broken Themes: Update

Just to let you know, after I installed this new theme for the Wry Writer, it still did not work as hoped. As in, suddenly the comments were no longer visible to anyone. So please, do not worry, they are there and this problem will be rectified by the end of today (EST).

The theme creator has issued an update to their theme, UKU, after WordPress decided to break the internet yesterday with their latest update, 5.5. Anyone who uploaded this new update suddenly found their themes having a variety of problems, from errant menus to lost comments, and no images or posts loading.

Thankfully, Elmastudios are a top notch company and got onto this problem, fast. And issued a linked update for all their themes. Praise be the German companies.

Anyway, normal service will, as they say, resume shortly!