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Thursday, March 18, 2010

New password-stealing virus targets Facebook

BOSTON, March 18 — Hackers have flooded the Internet with virus-tainted spam that targets Facebook’s estimated 400 million users in an effort to steal banking passwords and gather other sensitive information.

The emails tell recipients that the passwords on their Facebook accounts have been reset, urging them to click on an attachment to obtain new login credentials, according to anti-virus software maker McAfee Inc.

If the attachment is opened, it downloads several types of malicious software, including a program that steals passwords, McAfee said yesterday.

Hackers have long targeted Facebook users, sending them tainted messages via the social networking company’s own internal email system. With this new attack, they are using regular Internet email to spread their malicious software.

A Facebook spokesman said the company could not comment on the specific case, but pointed to a status update the company posted on its web site earlier yesterday warning users about the spoofed email and advising users to delete the email and to warn their friends.

McAfee estimates that hackers sent out tens of millions of spam across Europe, the United States and Asia since the campaign began on Tuesday.

Dave Marcus, McAfee’s director of malware research and communications, said that he expects the hackers will succeed in infecting millions of computers.

“With Facebook as your lure, you potentially have 400 million people that can click on the attachment. If you get 10 per cent success, that’s 40 million,” he said.

The email’s subject line says “Facebook password reset confirmation customer support,” according to Marcus. — Reuters

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pemungut hutang dilarang berkasar dengan pemiutang [edited by TWKL : penghutang]

Pemungut hutang yang dilantik oleh institusi perbankan tertentu tidak boleh menggunakan kekerasan dan sering mengganggu pemiutang [edited by TWKL : penghutang] ketika menjalankan tugas, kata timbalan menteri kewangan.

Datuk Chor Chee Heung berkata perkara itu terkandung dalam garis panduan dan amalan pengutipan hutang yang adil dan ia perlu dipatuhi oleh setiap pemungut hutang yang dilantik.

"Institusi perbankan boleh menggunakan khidmat pemungut hutang, walaubagaimanapun, institusi itu perlu memastikan agar pemungut hutang yang dilantik mematuhi segala peraturan seperti yang ditetapkan dalam garis panduan yang diluluskan oleh Bank Negara Malaysia," katanya menjawab soalan Senator Dr M Malasingam pada persidangan Dewan Negara hari ini.

Chor berkata selain tidak dibenar menggunakan kekerasan dan mengganggu pemiutang [edited by TWKL : penghutang] pemungut hutang perlu sentiasa mengamalkan tingkah laku yang beretika serta tidak dibenar membuat panggilan lebih tiga kali seminggu kepada pemiutang[edited by TWKL : penghutang]

"Ini selaras dengan usaha Bank Negara Malaysia untuk memperkukuhkan lagi struktur pelindungan serta tahap profesionalisme proses pengutipan hutang," katanya.

Beliau berkata pemiutang [edited by TWKL : penghutang] boleh membuat aduan kepada institusi perbankan berkenaan sekiranya terdapat aduan terhadap tingkah laku pengutip hutang yang dilantik.

"Jika tidak berpuas hati dengan cara pengendalian institusi perbankan terbabit, maka aduan selanjutnya boleh dibuat kepada Bank Negara Malaysia," katanya. BERNAMA

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ROS did not reinstate Chua?

THE twists and turns in MCA continue with sacked chairman of the party’s legal bureau Datuk Leong Tang Chong claiming the Registrar of Societies (ROS) never did reinstate Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek as party deputy president.

According to Leong, the ROS’s letter to MCA merely stated that "we are of the view the post of deputy president was never vacant," and it was based on information given by Chua.

The ROS’ letter was in response to Chua’s request for clarification on his status after he was reinstated as MCA member at the party’s EGM last month.

"As such, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai is still the deputy president and the central committee members have been misled by the party preisident on the status of Dr Chua," said Leong, now serving as legal advisor to Liow.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Standardise bumi status for Sarawakians: Teacher’s union

KUCHING: The definition of bumiputra status in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak should be standardised, said Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina.

He said under the Federal Constitution, a child born in the peninsula would be accorded the status as long as one of the parents was a bumiputra.

Sabah, a child is considered a bumiputra if his or her father is one.

However, in Sarawak, the Federal Constitution states that for a child to be a bumiputra, both parents must be bumiputra.

How can we have three different definition of bumiputra status if we want to promote the 1Malaysia concept?”

We want this to be rectified, and to get Sabah and Sarawak to follow the same definition used in the peninsula,” Ghani said Sunday.

the Federal Government to standardise the definition, he said the basis should be race and not religion.

was asked to comment on the plight of several Sarawakian students who had been denied places in university matriculation programmes because they were of mixed parentage and, therefore, did not enjoy bumiputra status.

said the STU had received similar complaints and that he also knew of students of mixed parentage who were granted bumiputra privileges and scholarships to do their tertiary studies.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Federal Constitution should be streamlined with the Sarawak Constitution, which considers a child a bumiputra if his or her father was one.

Junaidi, whose wife is a Chinese, was concerned that if the matter was not rectified, his children, like many children of mixed parentage, would no longer enjoy bumiputra privileges.

Development Minister Datuk James Masing said the Education Ministry’s criteria in enrolling students into public universities should be based on merits and not race.

PKR chairman and senior lawyer Baru Bian said he was ready to assist one of the affected students, Marina Undau’s family seek legal redress against the Education Ministry’s decision in rejecting her application to enter a matriculation programme.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu has also pledged to help Undau. (THE STAR)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The diminutive Dr Death

Vanguard: Thailand’s Central Institute of Forensic Science director Dr Porntip Rojanasunan investigating the fire that broke out at Santika Pub in Bangkok after midnight on New Year’s Day 2009, killing 59 clubbers. – Photographs courtesy of The Nation


Despised by the police but hailed by the masses, Dr Porntip Rojanasunan is relentless in her pursuit of truth.

IT IS 5pm in Bangkok and Dr Porntip Rojanasunan is wrapping up another hectic day in Parliament fighting for funds for Thailand’s Central Institute of Forensic Science, of which she is director.

Dr Death, as she is nicknamed, is surprisingly diminutive. We expected an opinionated, fiery character. Instead she is wraith-like and soft-spoken with firm, kind eyes. It belies her trademark punk look of spiky hair and lips painted the colour of dried blood. Her jeans are tucked into Dr Martens boots laced with large green ribbons.

Dr Porntip is far from an ordinary physician and not just because of her image in a conservative society. Thailand’s most famous forensic pathologist is on the forefront of social change by challenging, often as a lone voice, corrupt police covering up crime for powerful politicians and deaths in custody. She has claimed that 60% of police findings are wrong.

Dr Porntip’s badgering for an independent and professional approach to forensic science paid off in 2002 when the Thai Government founded the Institute and appointed her deputy director. She introduced DNA testing to Thailand and expanded the field of forensic science where previously only the police conducted autopsies.

The police despise her. Dr Porntip has been threatened, insulted, bullied, ridiculed, sued and hauled to court countless times. Her countrymen revere her. In 2003 she was given the honorific title Khunying, which is equivalent to the British Dame.

“Dr Porntip? She No.1!” says one taxi driver, waving his thumb at us in the rear-view mirror.

Her work is so well-known that she has even been invited to testify at the Teoh Beng Hock inquest this Thursday in Kuala Lumpur.

Crime and punishment

Justice for the dead is part of human rights, says Dr Porntip. “We need fair justice. Perpetrators of crime must be punished. But in Thailand, the poor, illiterate and defenceless are jailed. The privileged escape the rule of law.

“This is not right. Why is there selective punishment for different people? Anyone abusing their power, who kill and harm others must be equally punished.”

Forensic science in Thailand remains an unattractive field to venture into. There are less than 10 forensic pathologists working alongside Dr Porntip.

“Our forensic science lags far behind international standards; we do not even have forensic anthropologists,” she says. “We’ve doubled our budget today but we badly need equipment, facilities and training to improve our officers’ expertise.

“But we’ve had some improvements. The Institute now conducts autopsies and DNA testing under the Ministry of Justice. Our work must be independent to preserve its integrity.”

Dr Porntip became known in 1999 when she countered police claims that thugs had killed one of her medical students. It was actually the girl’s boyfriend who had dismembered her body into 168 parts and flushed the pieces down the toilet.

More families of victims brought their cases to her. In September 1999 came the high profile case of powerful Thai MP Hangthong Thammawattana who was administrator of his family’s vast fortunes. He was found shot in his brother’s bedroom clutching a gun in his hand.

Police closed the case as suicide. Dr Porntip countered that Hangthong had been hit on the head and shot. His younger brother Noppadol was eventually charged with his murder in 2003 but acquitted in September 2007.

In April 2003, the Surat Thani police sued Dr Porntip for claiming that they had beaten a suspected rapist to death. Suthisak Rimdusit, 21, was accused of raping a child and taken in for questioning. He died after one hour. The police said it was from asphyxia.

His family brought his body to Dr Porntip for an independent autopsy. It revealed signs of torture, melted plastic on his groin and bruises on his chest, indicating police brutality. The police later refused to release his semen for independent tests.

Dr Porntip went on to reveal extrajudicial killings during the brutal 2003 crackdown on drug dealers in which 1,500 people died. But it was her work in leading an international team of forensic scientists to identify, tag and bag over 8,000 tsunami victims in 2004 in Phuket that won her public praise.

In October 2004, she exposed that the 78 protestors rounded up in Tak Bai had suffocated to death after they were crammed into trucks transporting them to Pattani. And in May 2005, she defied police findings that fugitive Sunthorn Wangdao couldn’t have committed suicide with four bullets in his lung and one to his head.

Most recently she upset actor David Carradine’s family when she reported that he’d died of auto-erotic asphyxiation, in an attempt to heighten sexual satisfaction.

“In Thailand, we have much abuse of power and corruption,” says Dr Porntip. “We need someone to stand with the victims. I believe forensic science will always reveal the truth, if we allow it to.

“There have been too many unexplained disappearances and deaths. My goal to create a national Missing Persons Institute is not yet realised.”

A life less than ordinary

Born in Bangkok in 1955, Dr Porntip was educated in medical science at the Ramathibodi Hospital at Mahidol University, where she later lectured.

At 26, while serving at the Phra Buddhachinaraj Hospital in Pitsanulok, she decided that the life of an ordinary doctor was not for her. She took up forensic anthropology and pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington DC. Upon her return home, she passionately embraced her new job, often working alone on corpses at the Ramathibodi Hospital from as early as 5am, in an era when there were only six forensic pathologists in Thailand. Much of what she knows is self-taught from books.

“I love being a doctor, but I enjoy solving puzzles instead of diagnosing diseases,” she says. She stresses she never sought to be different. Her dressing compensates for her gruesome work in slicing and cutting up cadavers.

“I had wanted to become an interior designer,” Dr Porntip, who studied in a missionary school, explains in halting English. “As a doctor, I can’t wear whatever I want. I suppose I express my creative side through my dressing. And the dead do not complain about the way I look.”

Dr Porntip has been criticised of playing up to the media but reporters have said she actually shied away from the press. During the 2004 tsunami aftermath, ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s wife Potjaman had showed up offering to help, and was turned away.

Dr Porntip lives in Bangkok with her husband, bank manager Viroj, and their daughter Yaravee, 17, an aspiring artist.

“My husband actually looks more like a doctor than I do,” she says laughing. “He’s afraid of my work though, of dead bodies and bone saws. When he married me he thought I worked with microscopes in a lab.”

Weekends are spent at home. Dr Porntip is an ardent fan of TV series CSI. She also loves dancing to Latin music. To support her meagre government salary, she writes best-selling books on her cases.

After having examined over 10,000 bodies, Dr Porntip believes that the spirits of the dead are her guardian angels.

“I never see myself as a hero. My father taught me to believe in Buddhism – to be brave, to love my country and king, and to always do what is right and good,” she recalls. “He’d instruct me to pick up broken glass from the pavements to prevent others from injuring themselves.

“Studying in a missionary school instilled discipline in me. I learnt systematic thinking from my parents as they were both scientists. I loved going to the movies, and I had to write a conclusion after each one. Exercises like that helped me develop clear thinking from young.”

In 1999 just as Dr Porntip was becoming famous, she discovered cancer in her thyroid and colon as her mother had. Early detection prevented the cancer from spreading. It gave her a new perspective on life and death.

“The first body I autopsied was a former patient during my internship in Pitsanulok,” she recalls. “I didn’t realise she wasn’t going to live through her illness.

“I learnt then that there’ll always be a time when our lives end, so I’d better make the best of it. All the good I can do, I want to do when I’m alive. If you have one life and you’re not making something good with it, then what’s the point?”

Still there were times when surrounded by so much death and violence got to her.

“As Buddhists, we believe we will be reincarnated. But I don’t want to be born again,” she says.

“I only want to be remembered as a person who intended to do what’s good and right, and as someone who overcomes obstructions.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kartika case whips up an international media frenzy

PETALING JAYA: The case of model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, who is to be caned for drinking beer, has caught international attention.

From Australia to Indonesia, Thailand, China, Germany, the United States and Britain, news of her impending sentence has thrust Kartika into the international limelight and into most blog chats.

CNN (Cable News Network), BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and other leading television stations have also highlighted her case as one of the top stories of the day.

They carried a story of her predicament yesterday, especially when her sentence was temporarily aborted because of the fasting month.

It was also among the top stories for CNN and BBC with both websites listing it as the fifth most popularly read story.

A Google search for her full name resulted in 63,900 hits while there were over 1,700 news stories on Kartika.

There was also a Facebook account listed as “HELP Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno”. (THE STAR)

Friday, August 14, 2009


(Malaysian Mirror) - Two years ago, Malaysians were somewhat entertained to the Lingam tape affair which produced the popular catch-phrase ‘correct, correct, correct’.

Although the video tape, showing prominent lawyer VK Lingam on the phone with a sitting Chief Justice then, became a serious controversy, it nevertheless was value for entertainment too. ‘Correct, correct, correct’, one of Lingam’s habitual expressions, even became a popular mobile ring tone.

The controversy even catapulted the unknown maker of the video, Loh Gwo-Burne, into an overnight sensation when he won the Kelana Jaya parliamentary seat in the March 2008 general election.

Now, ‘Mr Correct, Correct, Correct’ is back in the news. The only difference is that there will be nothing comedic this time.

The Bar Council wants to haul him up for disciplinary charges.

Disciplinary action from the Bar

Malaysiakini quoted Bar Council secretary George Varughese as saying that the hearing will be before the Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board.

"The hearing is still at the planning stages and will be convened soon," he said.

The Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board has binding powers to regulate the conduct of legal professionals. According to Section 93 of the Act, it can "strike off the roll and suspend" those found guilty of misconduct.

The disciplinary hearing is the initial action against Lingam when he was caught in a video recording discussing the appointment of judges over the phone.

According to the report, Varughese also confirmed that some of the witnesses who testified during last year's Royal Commission of Inquiry inquiry have been contacted to testify in the disciplinary hearing, including the three who claimed they had received threats via SMS.

The trio who claimed they were threatened not to testify in the disciplinary hearing were Loh, Lingam's sister Jayanti Govindarajulu Naidu and Lingam's brother Thirunama Karasu.

They filed a police report on the threats yesterday.



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