A sad part of my life is currently being spent comparing e-commerce platforms that have fair fees for processing digital downloads. It’s becoming apparent that, despite being a problem needing solving for more than a decade, solutions remain mediocre on average 😦


Bitcoin Malware Emerges

So, in line with my previous writing on why I’m skeptical of digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ars Technica has a piece of the newest malware hitting digital currencies:

In another example of the security mantra of “be careful what you click,” at least one Bitcoin trader has been robbed in a forum “phishing” attack designed specifically to ride the hype around the digital currency. The attack attempts to use Java exploits or fake Adobe updates to install malware, and it’s one of the first targeted attacks aimed at the burgeoning business of Bitcoin exchanges.


This type of attack is de rigeur in the financial world, according to George Waller, the executive vice president of Strikeforce Technologies, a security software firm specializing in two-factor authentication and anti-keylogging software for the financial industry. “Driving people to a site to download malware is one of the most common attacks today,” he told Ars. “You go to a site from a forum and get prompted for Java or Adobe updates—and in the majority of those updates they drop in a keylogger. Since they’re written to get around antivirus scans, AV software is useless against this sort of pervasive malware today.”

To be clear: such attacks are common against a host of perceived high-value targets. They also, however, underscore the real value in linking names, activity-types, purchase behaviour, and other distinctive characteristics to persons’ online economic activity to defray fraud made possible by malware.


Canada Post Sees Today, In The Future

National mail carriers are important for loads of reasons, including legal protections around letters carried by them versus those carried by couriers. These mail carriers are far less agile than their private competitors and have been incredibly slow to recognize the need to change existing processes and practices. They desperately need to find new growth avenues to remedy declining gross and net revenues.

As a demonstration of how little Canada Post ‘gets’ the market and business it’s in today, we can turn to this comment:

Canada Post chief executive officer Deepak Chopra foresees a future in which consumers receive and pay their bills, get their paycheques, renew drivers’ licences, pay parking tickets, buy magazines and receive personalized ad pitches – all online, through ePost.

This isn’t a future: it’s the present. The only ‘future’ part of what he is outlining is that all these (already daily) functions would be routed through ePost. Unless Canada Post has an incredible value proposition – security, government mandates, or somehow implementing these functions better than existing services are mechanisms that immediately come to mine – I can’t see how the organization will exist in any semblance of what it is today, tomorrow.