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Thursday links

  • Equifax keeps digging itself a deeper and deeper hole. Turns out they’ve been directing people to a phishing site instead of their actual “find out if you’ve been affected” site. (Fortunately the phishing site is an honest one. It was set up by a security researcher to show how vulnerable Equifax’s actual hack-info site is.)
  • But don’t worry! When we’re all making purchases via finger-vein readers, all will be well forever after. Absolutely infallible security. (H/T ML)
  • Yeah, and this discreet wearable + phone app will make you feelz safe, too. As long as you’re not in any immediate, actual danger.
  • We’ve heard about cops’ war on deaf people. Let us not forget their equally violent war on autistic kids.
  • The mystery of the Bellingham smokestack skeleton. Found in the strangest place 30 years ago this month; identity and how he got there still unknown.
  • That pair of strong earthquakes in Mexico is a puzzler for scientists, too.
  • Teenager returns a wallet with $1,500 in cash.
  • Is your cat devious, backstabbing, psychopathic, sadistic, murderous, determined to rule over you — and in other ways a normal feline? Then your kitty deserves a Game of Thrones cat bed. (NFI on my part)


  1. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson September 21, 2017 4:31 am

    The story about the young man who found and returned the wallet filled with $1500 cash was a feel-good/sad story. The feel-good is obvious….may we all have that kind of integrity. The sad part is the reality of living in a place where you don’t open the door when a stranger knocks. What a loss.

    Glad I don’t live there.

  2. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran September 21, 2017 7:16 am

    Game of Thrones cat bed, ha! 🙂 My cats would love it! I have 3 cats (or is it they have me?) and I have a bed for each of them and they sometimes use them and switch off who sleeps in which one, but most of the time, they lay on the couches, but usually in the chair I just got up from. Rascals!

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 21, 2017 8:58 am

    Smokestacks do sound like a good body stashing place IMHO.

    BTW my feelz safe app is called Glock!

  4. Borepatch
    Borepatch September 21, 2017 9:44 am

    The way Equifax has handled this is sort of a maximized Charlie Foxtrot

  5. Claire
    Claire September 21, 2017 11:40 am

    Amen, Borepatch. My guess is that someone will write a book about this and its theme will be how NOT to manage a crisis.

    Equifax was already known as an inept outfit. But man, at the moment they should have stood up and faced up, it’s as if they sat down and decided to do every, single, bloody thing all wrong.

  6. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 21, 2017 11:45 am

    So let’s see if I have this straight:
    Somebody jumps me on the way home.
    Luckily(?) I’m already feeling flaky, so my keys are in my hand instead of my pocket.
    I manage to push the Revolar button three times.
    The device instantly sends messages to five friends, saying, “I feel unsafe and need help. Please call emergency services.”
    One friend is busy, and relies on one of the others to make the call.
    One friend is still at the club and doesn’t notice her phone ringing.
    One friend is already home and in bed, and isn’t monitoring email.
    One friend is in a meeting and has his phone silenced.
    One friend gets the call.
    She doesn’t want to sound a false alarm, so she texts me back instead.
    She waits for me to answer.
    When I don’t answer she tries to call me.
    When there’s no response she calls 911. (In the U.S.) She tells them I have sent out a red alert.
    This is the 78th red alert 911 has been called about this evening. They ask where I am.
    The friend tries to describe where Google, on her phone, is showing where my phone is located. Which may not be correct. And which is irrelevant since I’m being kidnapped and am no longer there.

    I think I want a fourth button-push that sends a message directly to 911 saying, “I have been attacked. Please sent LEO and EMS. The guy I shot is bleeding out.”

  7. Paul Joat
    Paul Joat September 21, 2017 3:07 pm

    Revolar looks like a more expensive less functional copy of Cell 411.

  8. T
    T September 22, 2017 3:12 am

    Equifax HQ probably looks like this meme with the dog and fire is all around him saying “This is fine”

  9. MJR
    MJR September 22, 2017 11:51 am

    It’s not a big surprise at how things are turning out at Equifax. These breaches and assorted after action screw ups happen more often than you would think. It would be smart to call the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and request a credit report to see what they have on you. Once you have this info you can request a security freeze on your credit report.

  10. Claire
    Claire September 22, 2017 12:29 pm

    MJR — I agree there are probably a lot more of these breaches than we know about. Even so, I believe Equifax is establishing a new low for both data insecurity and crisis management.

    For people in the U.S. it’s better to get copies of creditreports from, which you can do for free once a year by law. (Hint; don’t go there using a VPN, proxy, or other IP-disguiser; it’ll cause rejections and all kinds of other hassle.)

    If you’ve already gotten your once-a-year report, you can take a trial subscription at some outfit like Credit Check Total to get reports from all three big bureaus.

    But you can get weekly updates on your TransUnion and Equifax reports for free at Credit Karma — that is, if Equifax is updating since the crisis. For some people they are, for others not.

    And one or two other free sites I’m less familiar with deliver Experian report summaries.

    Going directly to the bureaus isn’t either necessary or the best way to get a copy of your credit report.

  11. Claire
    Claire September 22, 2017 12:48 pm

    Forgot to say: freezing reports is a great idea.

    Unfortunately with the scope of Equifax’s failure, that’s only the beginning of what we’ll all need to do. There’s a discussion going on about that over at the Cabal.

  12. Deb in SD
    Deb in SD September 26, 2017 11:07 am

    I worked for the Fed Gov for 30+ years. They lost my data at least three times (that they admitted too). The most recent loss included all my personal info, including my fingerprints, family names and addresses, etc. They offered me one year of free credit monitoring as compensation. If they couldn’t be trusted to protect my info why would I trust them to monitor my credit. The same holds true for whatever “fix” Equifax cooks up. Why would anyone trust them? But on a much more important issue – I have two autistic grandkids, and I very much fear for them if they have an encounter with the police. They are Native American, and being brown will certainly count against them in any such situation.

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