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~Friday~  I wanted to catch a Wolfline bus this morning, as I was going to be running home after lunch from a meeting that was being held near one of the major Wolfline hub stops.

Most of the kids on the bus this morning had some kind of light jacket on, as it was a fairly chilly morning. At one stop, a kid boarded with shorts and flip-flops on. My first reaction was, "Oh my god. It's way too cold for flip-flops." But almost immediately, remembering I was in shorts, a t-shirt, and no jacket, thought the slightly less judgmental,"I hate for my feet to get cold, so it's way too cold for flip-flops for me this morning."

An Asian girl sitting across and to the right from me was fiddling with a calculator the size of which I haven't seen since the 70s, I think. She had the back open and she removed, then replaced, the batteries. Once she put the cover back on, she flipped it over and pounded the hell out of the keys with one finger as if to say, "You'd better come on, you fucker."

At lunch time, I attended a very, very informative seminar—being held as part of Cyber Security Awareness Month—called, "Cyber Security for Real People."

I learned three very interesting and useful things in this seminar: clickjacking, tabnapping, and a laptop tracking application, which can help you get your laptop back of it's stolen.


A sniglet between click and hijacking. Clickjacking is when a hacker changes the functionality of something you're going to click on, such as a link or a button. The "bad guys" have overlaid a web page that you can't see over the one you're looking at, so that although it looks like you're clicking on an "Ok" button you're actually clicking on something like a "Share" button that sends a message to all of your friends (on Facebook, for example) or a "Buy" button on some commerce web site. One of the symptoms of having been "clickjacked" is when an icon or graphic follows your mouse around as you move it around the screen.


A sniglet between tab and kidnapping. This is so sneaky and scary! Say you have several tabs (the tabs are circled in white in the screen capture below) open in your browser to different web pages, such as:

What happens is that the hacker "kidnaps" one of the tabs that's not the "current window," which means you're probably not looking at that page or tab, and they change the page in that tab to a fake page made to look like one you're probably familiar with, such as Gmail:

Then, if you're as ADD, ADHD, or you're multitasking like a lot of people, when you go back to that tab, you're liable to think, "Oh, I must have logged out of my Gmail account," because it looks like this now:

However, when you log "back in," you're actually not at Gmail at all, but at a page where the hacker is collecting your userid and password when you enter it.

Free Laptop Tracking Software

There is software available that you install on your laptop, so that if it gets stolen, it starts sending an e-mail to an e-mail address that you store in it at regular intervals, say every 20 minutes or so. And it sends you the GPS coordinates of where it is, as well as the IP address to which it is connected on the web, which allows the police to help locate it.

I can't remember which free laptop tracking software Tim (the presenter) recommended, but I'm going to get access to his presentation slides on Monday, and I'll update this page with his recommendation.

Update 11/01/10: The free application he recommended was Prey. It can be used to track both your laptop and your phone if either gets lost or stolen.

From that seminar, I took the Wolfline #9 Greek Village bus back to my car, and then drove to our Frightful Fall event, which was held at the JC Raulston Arboretum on Beryl Road.

These events are usually on the awkward side, and this one was no different. I left after about an hour, and stopped back by my office, where I ran into my boss doing the same thing.

After a while, I met Jen over at the Brickhouse Sports Bar, where later we were joined by David, Laura, Andy, Mark, Danny, Ron and Ron J, and where the conversation deteriorated at a rate directly correlated with the amount of alcohol consumed.

I stayed in tonight, and one of the highlights of the evening was viewing this video that my colleague, and friend, Nick alerted me to via Twitter. I shared it with salon, too, as it clearly would be "right up their hole":


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
Picture this: you're in the suburbs of Chicago, and you're parking your car at a grocery store. It's the middle of January, and there's at least a few inches of snow on the ground. Outdoor temps are less than 10 degrees fahrenheit - well below the freezing point of water.

You see kids walking around the parking lot wearing shorts, t-shirts, soccer socks and flip flops.

Can you imagine? Just for one second? Exactly how cold those kids must be? But this is "the fashion" for kids today. It's totally freezing outside, but because these kids have to look cool, they are risking frostbite on their extremities.

Go figure.
Nov. 1st, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
Bless their hearts. :-)
Nov. 1st, 2010 12:19 am (UTC)
I've never heard of clickjacking and tabnapping before! That's really upsetting! How can I protect myself from this?
Nov. 1st, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)

Well, the clickjacking you can be aware of if your cursor starts acting weird. If you use the Firefox browser, there is a setting you can turn on to help alert you to the situation. It's talked about here.

With tabnapping, one thing the presenter pointed out was that even though the page looks like your Gmail login (or whatever page they're trying to fake you out with) the URL in the address bar will not be the one it's supposed to be. For instance, the URL of that page showing the fake Gmail login screen will not start with www.google.com or gmail.google.com. Other than that, you just have to pay attention when you have tabs open to what URL you were at in each one.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Vanessa!

Edited at 2010-11-01 02:24 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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