The President's Message

August 2007

Paul Westefer

My luck recently has been too good to be true. I have won several lotteries I never entered. I have been offered millions of dollars by various Nigerian government officials. I have been promised fabulous prizes just for participating in surveys and including all of my personal data.

The perils of these and other Internet scams were excellently presented at the July CIPCUG meeting by Ryan Sherstobitoff of Panda Internet Security. Panda has a suite of products including Panda Antivirus, AntiSpyware, Identiy Protect, Antispam and Parental Control

With new perils arising every day, no product or person can keep with up with every one. Toby Scott and our members help a great deal by relating their experiences in our meetings and TOE.

There is one aspect I have not seen mentioned by the media. Some of these deals require the participants to perform acts which are obviously illegal. This can create a Catch-22. If the participants lose money, they risk being charged with a crime if they go to the authorities.

It was pointed out in our meeting and in a Ventura County Star July 30 article, "Brain is often best security tool of all." Do you respond to requests for personal data from familiar sources? Scammers are adept at creating Web sites which appears to be legitimate. As my old pappy told me, "If someone offers to bet you he can draw the ace of spades out of a deck of cards and make it spit prune juice in your eye, don't take the bet or you will wind up with an eye full of prune juice."

Returning to the July meeting, John Weigle reported that the first edition from the new source went well. Some members even got TOE earlier than usual. Congratulations to Dave Minkin and his new audio equipment. We got through the entire meeting without a feedback screech.