Inside the Largest Virtual Psychology Lab in the World


Inside the Largest Virtual Psychology Lab in the World

Riot Games wants you to behave yourself when you play League of Legends, so it’s turned the game into a virtual lab

"Uninstall and go hang yourself." A teammate addressed those words to me as our five-person band of cartoonish champions faced defeat in the online game League of Legends. You might expect such invective in the brutal world of a first-person shooter game, but it’s also not uncommon in the folksy nature scenes of League of Legends, where you might find a crocodile warrior, a nine-tailed fox spirit or some tiny woodland critters wishing you various forms of death.

Though it looks whimsical, League of Legends is deeply competitive, leading some emotional players to spew insults that cover the spectrum of racist and sexist slurs. Similar behavior often goes unpunished on Internet forums and on social media. But Riot Games, the Santa Monica-based company behind this wildly successful game, wants to raise the standards of online communities. So it is experimenting with ways to encourage positive behavior and tamp down negative interactions. I had the choice to manually file a report against the player who told me to kill myself, but Riot is doing one better: it has been testing machine learning techniques to automatically classify behaviors and swiftly punish or reward players accordingly.

League of Legends is often called the world’s most popular video game—it draws enough online spectators during championship events to rival the millions who watch the World Series and NBA Finals. But it’s also a virtual lab capable of running experiments with thousands or even millions of human players, collecting data around the clock from time zones scattered across North America, Asia and Europe. Such a "big data" approach to studying human behavior could lead to new psychological insights that would be impossible to achieve in the confines of a university lab.

Riot takes great pains to point out how its experiments benefit the entire League of Legends community. The game company is likely reaping the rewards of this publicity campaign; experimentation in a similar vein by Facebook in 2014 showed that public opinion can quickly turn sour when people feel emotionally manipulated for corporate interests. Facebook’s failure to explain its motives up front allowed users to draw their own conclusions and imagine the worst.

Riot Games and Facebook are not alone in toying with user behavior. Many companies routinely do A/B testing to see how people respond to slightly different presentations of material on a Web site, tweaking text or images, for example, to get visitors to stick around longer or spend more money. Riot’s experiments are also in its self-interest—to keep players from quitting and to attract new customers who might otherwise be scared away by the toxic reputation of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, says Jamie Madigan, a psychologist who studies video games. "In terms of using big data, I doubt Riot is the only game company using player tracking and so forth," Madigansays. "But I think they are unique in how they’re taking an experimental approach that is more scientific."

Riot’s relative transparency about its aims puts it ahead of the pack, as most companies don’t publicize how they tinker with the online experiences of millions of customers. As a result, Riot’s experiments also offer a rare glimpse into the ways that companies nudge our behavior online, every minute of every day.

The League of Legends experiments are the brainchild of Jeffrey "Lyte" Lin, a game designer with a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Washington in Seattle. He began studying human behavior the way most academic researchers did, arranging lab experiments with small groups of 50 to 60 college students as his test subjects. Today, he heads Riot’s player behavior team of more than 30 researchers working in game design, statistics and data science as they devise social psychology experiments on competitive League of Legends gamers. Riot’s stake in reducing toxic player behavior goes well beyond the simple virtue of sportsmanship—the company’s "free-to-play" business model of selling non-essential game items depends on keeping players happy and invested in the game.

Lin and the Riot team wondered what would happen if they took known psychology findings and applied them on a massive scale to improve player behavior. "When we first started, applying classic psychology theories was the most logical approach," Lin says. "But as we settled in and better understood how to look at human behaviors online, we started digging in more and more into bleeding edge stuff." They soon realized that they could do more than just replicate classic experiments; they could do scientific research on human behavior that had never been possible before in an academic lab.

Riot began with a concept called priming. Past psychology studies have shown that exposing people to certain stimuli, such as particular words, images or colors, can subconsciously influence their later behavior. Lin and his Riot colleagues wanted to see if they could use color to influence League of Legends gamers to act more cooperatively within their five-person teams and display less rude or toxic behavior toward other players.

In one study, called the "Optimus Experiment," they tested five categories of messages displayed to players in red and blue, with white serving as a baseline for comparison. Among Western gamers, they found that a red message warning about the counterproductive results of negative behavior — such as, "Teammates perform worse if you harass them after a mistake" — led to a bigger drop in players having a bad attitude toward their teammates or insulting other players than the same message displayed in white. A blue message highlighting the benefits of positive behavior also helped reduce toxic behavior.

The experiment turned up some surprising results, too. Lin got some laughs from an audience at the 2013 Game Developers Conference when he revealed data showing how a positive message highlighted in red — "Who will be the most sportsmanlike?" — actually led to an increase in negative behavior.

In another set of experiments, Lin and the Riot team wanted to better understand the spread of both good and bad behavior within the League of Legends community. An early investigation turned up surprising results that flew in the face of expectations based on the "negative bias" concept in psychology; the idea that negative stimuli or incidents linger in people’s memories more strongly than positive ones.

"When we investigated the spread of behaviors in online communities, we did notice toxicity spreads and spreads quickly, so it stands out in player memories," Lin says. "What was surprising to us is we found a little evidence that positivity might spread faster than negativity. We’ll be devoting a few resources to studying that this year."

Though Riot’s experiments lack the pristine conditions of a traditional academic psychology experiment, the sheer volume of behavioral data channeling through Riot’s game servers every day — chat messages and in-game actions from an estimated 27 million daily players — allows the Riot team to collect vast amounts of data very quickly. "It’s not about precision in any data point; it’s all about quantity," Lin explains. They can test many different experimental conditions simultaneously. For instance, the Optimus Experiment tested 217 unique conditions across more than 10 million games worth of data, with 10 percent of all games acting as controls.

Some of Riot’s experiments are causing the game to evolve. For example, one product is a restricted chat mode that limits the number of messages abusive players can type per match. It’s a temporary punishment that has led to a noticeable improvement in player behavior afterward —on average, individuals who went through a period of restricted chat saw 20 percent fewer abuse reports filed by other players. The restricted chat approach also proved 4 percent more effective at improving player behavior than the usual punishment method of temporarily banning toxic players. Even the smallest improvements in player behavior can make a huge difference in an online game that attracts 67 million players every month.

Lin and the Riot team cite plenty of statistics to back the idea that their experiments and disciplinary measures are working. But it’s often tough for individual players—such as myself—to tell whether we are encountering fewer toxic players on the whole. Still, I continue to witness players frequently reporting toxic behavior and encouraging other players to do the same, which suggests they believe in the system.

Riot is not alone in collecting data about human behavior on such a massive scale. Tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook also commonly test thousands or millions of customers’ reactions to changes in the popular online services each company provides.

"If those processes could at least be opened to academic researchers — or at least to observation — research in human behavior would advance very rapidly and change the character of how research could be done," says Brian Nosek, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia. "You could imagine with this sort of iterative process that science would just come out, boom, boom, boom."

Nosek helped pioneer the big data approach to social psychology. As a graduate student at Yale University in 1998, he helped set up a virtual laboratory through a website called Project Implicit during the early days of the modern Internet. The Project Implicit website hosted a series of fun online tests and questions that helped Nosek and his colleagues survey people’s biases about race, gender or sex. "In the first three days, I collected more data than what I could collect in an ordinary lab throughout my entire career," Nosek says. "Since then, 16 million study sessions have been completed on the site. That has totally changed my area of research, because I could get so much data about particular psychological effects."

The Project Implicit website currently gets about 20,000 participants per week, yet that number likely pales in comparison to the number of people using Amazon or Facebook services every second. He and other academic researchers remain frustrated by their lack of access to such private data troves. "I don’t have the impression that many are particularly open," Nosek says.

Riot could be an exception. Last year, the company launched six research collaborations with universities, including a project with the University of York in the UK that looked at how the names of League of Legends gamers reflected real-life characteristics. A collaboration with MIT aims to measure teamwork among five strangers on the same League of Legends team and develop a "collective intelligence" test that can predict performance on certain tasks.

"They’re the only game company being so public about their research," says Madigan, the games psychology expert. "They almost use it as a marketing tool to say, ‘Hey, we’re trying to make our community better and your experience with the community better.’"

For example, the experiments may have helped Riot avoid controversy that could have been sparked by the idea of running experiments on unwitting gamers. "Most of their research is about how do we get people to not be assholes," Madigan says. "Who’s going to object to that aside from hardcore trolls?"

By comparison, Facebook was not so lucky when it collaborated with Cornell University researchers on an "emotional contagion" study that was published in the journal PNAS in 2014. Many Facebook users were outraged that the experiment had tweaked Facebook news feeds to reduce the visibility of either positive or negative emotional content posted by friends; changes that led to cries that the network was manipulating the emotions of its unwitting users. People questioned the lack of informed consent and whether such an experiment should have cleared review by an institutional review board (IRB) that acts as the independent ethics committee for university research.

In fact, Cornell University’s IRB had taken a look, but concluded that the study did not require full review. Why? Because it was Facebook’s team alone that carried out the experimental manipulation of news feeds and collected the results before handing them over to Cornell’s main researcher. The ethical regulations for academic research don’t apply to "human subjects research" conducted by companies alone, writes Michelle Meyer, director of bioethics policy in the Union Graduate College-Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Bioethics Program.

Lin says the Riot team always ensures that the appropriate university IRBs review any "League of Legends" studies done in collaboration with academic researchers. That approach may help joint research efforts between companies and universities better pass the ethics sniff test going forward. Future collaborations with academic researchers might even help ensure higher standards of ethical oversight and public disclosure among companies.

Riot’s experiments and Facebook’s study provide a small glimpse of what’s going on behind the curtains in this era of online behavioral manipulation. Long before the Internet came along businesses were manipulating our moods and actions through tailored shelf displays in stores, glossy magazine advertisements, commercials and product placement in movies and TV shows. But big data tools allow companies to study and manipulate online customer behavior with unprecedented scale and speed; the smallest changes can influence the online experience of thousands of people within the blink of an eye.

Such power to manipulate emotions and actions may allow for some unnerving possibilities. What if a shopping service were to find it profitable to encourage feelings of mild anxiety so that online users engage in more impulse buying? Whether for good or for ill, many of these experiments are likely to go unnoticed — if the Facebook emotional manipulation study hadn’t been published in a top-ranked journal, it’s very likely that no one would have been the wiser.

For now, though, Riot’s open goal of shaping a positive player community suggests a more benign possibility for the future. The company recently took a cue from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which rewarded good behavior among teens with coupons for free movies or food. Riot’s equivalent was to give well-behaving League of Legends players a free gift — a virtual costume for a player’s character. "When you do surprises throughout the course of a year, it encourages players to be on their best behavior," Lin says. "Because they’re never sure when a gift will come."

Follow Backchannel: Twitter | Facebook


Wham Bam Thank You Scam

Today I came across a fantastic video on youtube "Wham Bam Thank You Scam". I haven't even finished with viewing the video's but its a cracking story. Once Ive finished viewing and getting my head around the scam. I'm going to put a little effort into some OSINT research to see what additional (or validating) information. I just might be lucky enough to snag some overlaps.



Bizoffice.co.nz - Domain and Hosting | Myip.ms


bizoffice.co.nz

Popularity: < 200 visitors per day IP Address: 103.14.40.190 IP Location: Australia, Victoria, Rosedale IP Reverse DNS (Host): dwl-alb-cpanel07.digiweb.net.nz Top Level Host Usage: 52 sites use XXX.digiweb.net.nz as IP Reverse DNS Hosting Company / IP Owner: Umbrellar Limited Owner IP Range: 103.14.40.0 - 103.14.43.255 (1,024 ip) Owner Address: 3/78 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632 Owner Country: Australia Owner Phone: +64-21-887316 Owner Website: iddy.3rings.co.nz Owner CIDR: 103.14.40.0/22 Whois Record Updated: 29 Sep 2015 IP Address Change History:
Bizoffice.co.nz has used the same IP address (103.14.40.190) during 2015-2016 years
Website Nameservers:
bizoffice.co.nz using 2 DNS:

Reverse IP Lookup / Information on IP (103.14.40.190) -

IP Blacklist Check:Not Listed in Blacklist Websites on this IP Now:
3 are live websites using this IP (103.14.40.190) NOW -
neutron.co.nz (#2,867,408) kerrick.com.au (#6,630,304) bizoffice.co.nz (#7,135,981) see also: All websites in this IP Range » Websites on this IP Before:
3 live websites used this IP (103.14.40.190) Before -
Not Working Websites on IP: No websites Nameservers on this IP: No nameservers Web Browser/s on this IP:Unknown OS on this IP:Unknown

Whois Original Data on bizoffice.co.nz (103.14.40.190) - [hide/show]

Information from whois://whois.apnic.net:43

% Information related to '103.14.40.0 - 103.14.43.255'
inetnum: 103.14.40.0 - 103.14.43.255
netname: UMBRELLAR-NZ
descr: Umbrellar Limited
descr: 3/78 Apollo Drive
descr: Rosedale
descr: Auckland 0632
country: AU
admin-c: PS428-AP
tech-c: PS428-AP
mnt-by: APNIC-HM
mnt-lower: MAINT-UMBRELLAR-NZ
mnt-routes: MAINT-UMBRELLAR-NZ
mnt-irt: IRT-UMBRELLAR-NZ
status: ALLOCATED PORTABLE
remarks: To report network abuse, please contact mnt-irt
remarks: For troubleshooting, please contact tech-c and admin-c
remarks: Report invalid contact via www.apnic.net/invalidcontact
changed: hm-changed@apnic.net 20120613
changed: hm-changed@apnic.net 20140717
changed: hm-changed@apnic.net 20150929
source: APNIC
irt: IRT-UMBRELLAR-NZ
address: 3/78 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632
e-mail: abuse@umbrellar.com
abuse-mailbox: abuse@umbrellar.com
admin-c: ULA4-AP
tech-c: ULA4-AP
auth: # Filtered
mnt-by: MAINT-UMBRELLAR-NZ
changed: hm-changed@apnic.net 20150910
source: APNIC
person: Phil Snowdon
address: 35 Sir William Pickering Drive, Christchurch
country: NZ
phone: +64-21-887316
phone: +64-3-9619557
e-mail: phil.snowdon@digiweb.co.nz
nic-hdl: PS428-AP
mnt-by: MAINT-NEW
changed: philips@actrix.co.nz 20071214
source: APNIC
Thursday 29 December 2016, 03:10:13

Certificate of Incorporation - EFIL Euro Forex Investment Limited

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/document-api-images-prod/docs/9MCDScYXqokwpuuN8NZFq21HTctg4kSmMS552xBP064/application-pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=ASIAIMRNN533XGJ3DGDA&Expires=1482937402&Signature=XG3Lk6VkcvaO8BQLGMmVgh7BeOk%3D&x-amz-security-token=FQoDYXdzEC8aDMriVF9rPf75J1sEwiKcAzHfx5EaSmMtwjJJ6rqyJCTfxciHO3uFY0fHxVyNUeSQO23EHpVqkC9%2BDDeMHeJaEI6eehfOJOndtjxEMCQerHnxia9FX3tw2jkl%2F0R1EX7f%2BRZV2Rcdp%2FqS%2BhopKSP4OWXyjUOAzd1Bek7NwDkzhWVkFzt1imcLbhGj4XfJnujzlXpbRpRnwhOf3dzAQCUcn%2BUeM7Ned9GxCPGky10FelLCjSixIwEvfo3q5z1qTPIyPMaI1XP2eNjP5o2W7c3JBzeBJYiYt3hOTJqMkZaZE6nP1ZNJ4jFQdCFEHw1lIZqlq02ZyTDqMySSDgjEiqwXPE%2Bu9d8vrfCv0P8M5oStjI%2FQtJ8ZRMq2SH%2F7MduABm1G3TkU1uprHKVh6Gjomr1iFpayqrghegsN2Vh9UZrCeaqb1nfCV7wsNuQ1kOjr%2BFAcVQdBapI1WjOMbC5PqK4PYEin2cd6fL9QDXtFNCfLUpoqfoJShPfKU%2BXd7aLRfvFkQ3%2FnMQlymrhHaU8751R4x85vhvv7Jhy%2BD7dSEQqUEoLpvAkexMib%2F0fykKIoqf2OwwU%3D

ABFX Finance Limited

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/document-api-images-prod/docs/Jcn_rbWKzgzSZie5kPF4SDV8d6he1R6eGeGGkx4PEVI/application-pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=ASIAJ7USM7JMF6M2GHUA&Expires=1482931536&Signature=QqBJOHm5%2Fy%2FXsQT1%2FzKggDOZLqQ%3D&x-amz-security-token=FQoDYXdzECkaDA%2BwUo4nhFH4eI0J%2FiKcAwOqNvtE6nhmv11NvRDzsHe%2FIRI%2FKt0Jv7u20v432nGYyTPdpNl4mfGo3oKQWm7DfDXp4X%2FKnuNWElSg%2FVMCksidotg0IQBPckGZ%2F%2BJMdckyp74MuLH3dYoEaJnwNpA4hyjw0hFpP0ohJi%2FinXLrwe8qPahTE0p2NoNcGwwWBjuHBlhRx2ZUTixdgRE6Hww%2FoxX9OISGdiT6S6%2BDcXVzDLPb%2FEgmkx0P%2BInk%2FQ3bHpqgCVVy243csgTwNu51RB4XTbeACK4oOm7vy2YInjMvtqoDgv%2FfeAfpvYMM4p19xAdmn0vqE8KkgSxK7LDnjFa7H7K3BKJlcYQUnPbaR0m7PIePsuQ0PGLhyMcTxxyWvPuek6Rgf3LfyQ4jPzWmLnRcShURbhcya6dQwqnCbwrQJ1vO9Yt9Yso1TNlZ5S2ufzDlAnJGYYEXdByLF%2FYGtCgXRcH%2F%2Bbx%2F%2B7sOoG7Alf7GdX%2FRp5j8Tm%2Fief4KL8NEC1e27hMUBMBWggMZ4scynvIjD%2Bvuvw0uycQwLH1sFPnOSe1x0QJNOqxFekb5wzkonOiNwwU%3D

EURO FOREX INVESTMENT LIMITED - Officers (free information from Companies House)


EURO FOREX INVESTMENT LIMITED

Company number 03827349

Filter officers

Filter officers Current officers

15 officers / 15 resignations

BLOOMSBURY SECRETARIES LIMITED

Correspondence address
Kingsway House, 103 Kingsway, Holborn, London, WC2B 6AW
Role Resigned
Nominee Secretary
Appointed on
18 August 1999
Resigned on
18 August 1999

WISNIOWSKI, Robert

Correspondence address
12 Florence Road, Chiswick, London, W4 5DP
Role Resigned
Secretary
Appointed on
18 August 1999
Resigned on
8 April 2004

ABFX FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED

Correspondence address
The Meridian 4, Copthall House, Station Square, Coventry, United Kingdom, CV1 2FL
Role Resigned
Secretary
Appointed on
17 July 2012
Resigned on
21 November 2012

Registered in a European Economic Area What's this?

Placed registered
ENGLAND & WALES
Registration number
8097098

DENAURA ADVICE LTD

Correspondence address
95 Wilton Road, Suite 717, London, United Kingdom, SW1V 1BZ
Role Resigned
Secretary
Appointed on
21 November 2012
Resigned on
30 September 2013

Registered in a European Economic Area What's this?

Placed registered
UNITED KINGDOM
Registration number
6878249

SC OVERSEAS MANAGEMENT LIMITED

Correspondence address
Suite 717, 95 Wilton Road Victoria, London, SW1V 1BZ
Role Resigned
Secretary
Appointed on
29 April 2009
Resigned on
17 July 2012

SMALL FIRMS SECRETARY SERVICES LIMITED

Correspondence address
1 Riverside House, Heron Way, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2XN
Role Resigned
Secretary
Appointed on
8 April 2004
Resigned on
29 April 2009

BLOOMSBURY DIRECTORS LIMITED

Correspondence address
Kingsway House, 103 Kingsway, Holborn, London, WC2B 6AW
Role Resigned
Nominee Director
Appointed on
18 August 1999
Resigned on
18 August 1999

BYRNE, David Andrew

Correspondence address
2 Mountview Court, 310 Friern Barnet Lane, Whetstone, London, N20 0YZ
Role Resigned
Director
Date of birth
May 1964
Appointed on
21 November 2012
Resigned on
31 October 2013
Nationality
British
Country of residence
United Kingdom
Occupation
Business Consultant

GRIGORIAN, Sergo, Dr

Correspondence address
11 Parklands, Cholmeley Park, London, N6 5FE
Role Resigned
Director
Date of birth
January 1961
Appointed on
18 August 1999
Resigned on
8 April 2004
Nationality
British
Country of residence
Russia
Occupation
Director

MAGRO DE ALMEIDA, Joaquim

Correspondence address
10 Brutton Street, Level 6, London, England, W1J 6PX
Role Resigned
Director
Date of birth
January 1949
Appointed on
17 July 2012
Resigned on
21 November 2012
Nationality
Portuguese
Country of residence
Portugal
Occupation
Investment Adviser

REPOVS, Denis

Correspondence address
Josipa Makuca, 005, Solkan, Slovenia, SLOVENIA
Role Resigned
Director
Date of birth
October 1976
Appointed on
29 April 2009
Resigned on
17 July 2012
Nationality
Slovenian
Occupation
Director

SHILDS, Marc

Correspondence address
Roska, Cesta 9, Ljubljana, Slovenia, SLOVENIA
Role Resigned
Director
Date of birth
February 1951
Appointed on
29 April 2009
Resigned on
17 July 2012
Nationality
Slovenian
Occupation
Director

STAMATOVSKI, Zoran

Correspondence address
Prisojna Ulica, 001, Litija, Slovenia, SLOVENIA
Role Resigned
Director
Date of birth
June 1958
Appointed on
29 April 2009
Resigned on
17 July 2012
Nationality
Slovenian
Occupation
Director

VALENCIC, Vladimir

Correspondence address
Maroltova 13, 1000 Ljubljana, Solvenia
Role Resigned
Director
Date of birth
July 1950
Appointed on
29 April 2009
Resigned on
20 July 2012
Nationality
Slovenian
Country of residence
Slovenia
Occupation
Director

SMALL FIRMS DIRECT SERVICES LIMITED

Correspondence address
1 Riverside House, Heron Way, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2XN
Role Resigned
Director
Appointed on
8 April 2004
Resigned on
29 April 2009

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/

Forced buy-ins

Sometimes in a short sale, it will be necessary to purchase the stock back and close the position for regulatory purposes. This is called a forced buy-in, and is a risk you take when initiating a short position.

A forced buy-in typically occurs as a result of one of two circumstances;

  1. Firms have an obligation under SEC Rule 204 to make delivery to satisfy settlement requirements with the buyers. If your short sale contributes to the inability to make a delivery, you could be forced out of your position. Sometimes, the lender of the shares will recall their shares, and occasionally it is necessary for you to buy back the shares so they may be returned to the original lender.
  2. The other event that could result in a forced buy-in is if your margin lender is no longer able to borrow shares for your short position, in this case you would receive a notification informing you that you may need to close out your position by the following business day, if you are unable to then your margin lender would be left in a position where they would have to buy the position for you - resulting in a forced buy-in



Want to eyeball retained data in the UK? You need a decent reason



The legality of the UK's Investigatory Powers Act has been called into question by a landmark EU legal ruling on the 21 Dec 2016, which has restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime.
The landmark judgment was handed down by the European Union's Court of Justice, setting a new precedent for EU member states' data retention regimes, stating that access to such data must be restricted to the purpose of preventing and detecting serious crime.
The ruling results partly from a legal challenge against DRIPA filed by two MPs, David Davis and Tom Watson, though Davis subsequently exited the complaint against the government following his appointment as the government's minister for exiting the EU.

The above was auto-summarised from the following article "Landmark EU Ruling: Legality of UK’s Investigatory Powers Act Challenged"

CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (Merry Christmas to me.....)



CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Zaria Street, Off Samuel Akintola
Street,Garki 11, Garki-Abuja.
Our Ref: FGN/CBN/NIG/01/2016.
Your Ref...............................
From The Desk Of Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
SUBJECT: Dear Valued Customer.
Dear Friend,
I wish to use this medium to inform you that your CONTRACT/INHERITANCE Payment of USD$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred United States Dollars) from CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA have been RELEASED and APPROVED for onward transfer to you via an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw all the USD$10,500,000.00 in any ATM SERVICE MACHINE in any part of the world.
We have mandated United Bank For Africa, to send you the ATM CARD and PIN NUMBER which you will use to withdraw all your US$10.5Million Dollars in any ATM SERVICE MACHINE in any part of the world, but the maximum you can withdraw in a day is US$10,000.00 Only.
You are therefore advice to contact the Head of ATM CARD Department of United Bank Africa (UBA);
Contact Person: Mr. Goodluck Egobia,
Tell Mr. Goodluck Egobia, that you received a message from the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA. Instructing him to send you the ATM CARD and PIN NUMBER which you will use to withdraw your USD$10.5 Million Dollars in any ATM SERVICE MACHINE in any part of the world, also send him your direct phone number and contact address where you want him to send the ATM CARD and PIN NUMBER to you.
We are very sorry for the plight you have gone through in the past years.
Thanks for adhering to this instruction and once again accept our congratulations.
Best Regards.
Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Executive Governor,
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

a AQ as2q wdfghjkljhgfdsaAKLJHGHJKO978EWU890-098765432W390-]

United World Markets Limited



https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/document-api-images-prod/docs/ROW8mqwNeTAV7b9pc81YOB6Fig1XR387En1ItU6SCo8/application-pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=ASIAJYJDEBBVUFP5GCOA&Expires=1482830963&Signature=DrVcEz1OyR58BHRt%2FWfQV5WcX2g%3D&x-amz-security-token=FQoDYXdzEP7%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FwEaDKd%2FwVIFdTy1l8aI1iKcA6sx%2BJnPWv4TIbkCST%2FUawcX2oVxw%2BiIocMAOzJRmvPNDi7xDr%2BMw%2B26TAPna%2FnbFkncIO9GQQLWzN21wqXjsU84rDAD1gTyzvUdMX7fuMATnNqzmxl82eoPoClbjGuyZe1UQvuMTciXL6mnLXv9G1GVz0Jq4Qbt74vb6VEhb%2BJOBk2gzUAqWQf0S9B8SVZ%2FcfOIRzV0RtAFSQCqjCC6JNJSxWWg7s68h6U7J8It66%2Bn2hwvANsU418dVA35VxwErevwgRqm1K5jFwdsMQFBl5d8QmDq9XF5USer0Fo6%2BiDLnjukN0C%2B8KPfLaHfElF66vzDvVknakpe%2BISRTQ9YwI%2FHC42Fqp3aKS53XjySZwGbdzsFdvOlMKCyyT1OyfgMaRpXbOzTCQhmrpiCWYOQkTQ%2FAO%2FvWRXJKqyMpr8jow0Qxd7L0Q7GROJAZFcosW%2FHTkrAIjVMU%2Fjy9chMOjOvtDBwEJawFefIVX3QeTrdBqPVkzk8VHlpu08ozJEChkGQXe8d354FRTHvLEcTmUYBdADaOjqTOTRp9kGYwFYo1%2BmHwwU%3D

ATM skimming & PIN Capturing

Overview

ATM Skimming and Personal Identification Number ("PIN") Capturing is a world-wide problem

Skimming is a method used by criminals to capture data from the magnetic strip on the back of an ATM card.

The devices used are smaller than a deck of cards and are fastened in close proximity to, or over the top of, the ATM’s factory-installed card reader.

Pin Capturing refers to a method of strategically attaching cameras and various other imaging devices to ATMs in order to fraudulently capture the ATM user’s PIN.

Once captured, the electronic data is encoded onto fraudulent cards and the captured PINs are used to withdraw money from customers’ account

Key Facts

Skimming devices are normally installed to ATM during periods of low traffic (early or late in the day).

Skimming devices are installed for less than 24hours

For the skim to be successful both a card skimmer and camera needs to be fitted to the ATM as PIN numbers are NOT recorded on the cards themselves.

Scammers are likely to stay in close proximity so they can observe progress

Where to spot Card Skimming or PIN Capturing devices on an ATM.

Spot the difference

Top Photo shows ATM pre-scam. The flashing LED entry indicator is easily seen.

Your first clue that the ATM may be tampered with is that most skimming devices will obscure the flashing entry indicator.

In the second image you can see that a skimming devices has been placed over the card reader slot.

Example of skimming device

An example of a skimming device being piggy-backed onto the card reader.

Example of PIN Capturing Device

Example of what an ATM keyboard skimmer plate can look like

PIN Capturing device installed on inner sider of fascia plate

Awareness Guide

ATM Card Skimming and PIN Capturing Customer Awareness Guide
"
http://www.theage.com.au/ed_docs/skimmer.pdf
"

Ta.com.my, Malaysia - Whois


ta.com.my

Popularity: < 200 visitors per day IP Address: 203.121.118.171 IP Location: Malaysia, Selangor, Shah Alam IP Reverse DNS (Host): 203.121.118.171 Hosting Company / IP Owner: Tt Dotcom Sdn Bhd Owner IP Range: 203.121.64.0 - 203.121.127.255 (16,384 ip) Owner Address: Lot 14, Jalan U1/26, Seksyen U1, Hicom Glenmarie Industrial Park, Shah Alam Selangor 40150 Owner Country: Malaysia Owner Phone: +60-3-5032-6000 Owner Website: www.time.com.my Owner CIDR: 203.121.64.0/18 Whois Record Updated: 26 Feb 2016 IP Address Change History:
Ta.com.my Website used IP Addresses -
  • 219.93.44.157 (www.ta.com.my) used on 03 November 2013
  • 203.121.118.171 - site using this IP address now
Website Nameservers:
ta.com.my using 1 DNS:

Reverse IP Lookup / Information on IP (203.121.118.171) -

IP Blacklist Check:Not Listed in Blacklist Websites on this IP Now:
2 are live websites using this IP (203.121.118.171) NOW -
ta.com.my (#4,032,906) tasecurities.com.my (#7,121,751) see also: All websites in this IP Range » Websites on this IP Before:
1 live website used this IP (203.121.118.171) Before -
Not Working Websites on IP:
1 not working website. This IP 203.121.118.171 is the last known IP address for site below -
Nameservers on this IP: No nameservers Web Browser/s on this IP:Unknown OS on this IP:Unknown

Whois Original Data on ta.com.my (203.121.118.171) - [hide/show]

Information from whois://whois.apnic.net:43

% Information related to '203.121.64.0 - 203.121.127.255'
inetnum: 203.121.64.0 - 203.121.127.255
netname: TTDOTCOM-MY
descr: TT DOTCOM SDN BHD
descr: LOT 14, JALAN U1/26
descr: SEKSYEN U1
descr: HICOM GLENMARIE INDUSTRIAL PARK
descr: SHAH ALAM, SELANGOR 40150
country: MY
admin-c: TDSB3-AP
tech-c: TDSB3-AP
mnt-by: APNIC-HM
mnt-lower: MAINT-TTDOTCOM-MY
mnt-irt: IRT-TTDOTCOM-MY
changed: hm-changed@apnic.net 20160226
status: ALLOCATED PORTABLE
source: APNIC
irt: IRT-TTDOTCOM-MY
address: LOT 14, JALAN U1/26, SEKSYEN U1, HICOM GLENMARIE INDUSTRIAL PARK, SHAH ALAM SELANGOR 40150
e-mail: abuse@time.com.my
abuse-mailbox: abuse@time.com.my
admin-c: TDSB3-AP
tech-c: TDSB3-AP
auth: # Filtered
mnt-by: MAINT-TTDOTCOM-MY
changed: hm-changed@apnic.net 20160125
source: APNIC
role: TT DOTCOM SDN BHD administrator
address: LOT 14, JALAN U1/26, SEKSYEN U1, HICOM GLENMARIE INDUSTRIAL PARK, SHAH ALAM SELANGOR 40150
country: MY
phone: +60-3-5032-6000
fax-no: +60-3-5032-6000
e-mail: abuse@time.com.my
admin-c: TDSB3-AP
tech-c: TDSB3-AP
nic-hdl: TDSB3-AP
mnt-by: MAINT-TTDOTCOM-MY
changed: hm-changed@apnic.net 20160125
source: APNIC
Saturday 24 December 2016, 19:53:06

DNS: Understanding The SOA Record | Peer Wisdom


DNS: Understanding The SOA Record

In the hosting industry, the Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the most critical pieces, right behind websites themselves. Without DNS, that website you've worked so hard on would be completely invisible. (Although it's possible to access some sites using only the IP address of their web server, this is not the case for virtual websites, which require that their hostname be included in the HTTP request header. Without a working DNS record, virtual websites are completely inaccessible.) But I've found that DNS is something that is not well understood by many website operators. The basics of creating A records (which translate a hostname to an IP address) are simple enough, but when it comes to understanding how changes are propagated in DNS, this is often something of a mystery.

There is a widely held belief that any change made the DNS zone file of a domain is instantly seen throughout the Internet. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. When advising that changes be made to a zone file to fix a problem, I routinely add the following caveat:

Please allow up to 24 hours for any change to completely propagate throughout the world-wide DNS system.

Changes to a zone file are almost never instantaneous regardless of how despreate you are that they be instantaneous. Any change requires time before it will be seen everywhere on the Internet. But what many don't understand is that how fast or slow these updates are propagated is actually under their direct control through the SOA record.

Let me be completely clear on this one point. Although you have control over the speed that updates are propagated throughtout the Internet, they will never, ever, be instantenous! There will always be a delay. Your only control is over how short or long this delay will be.

SOA: Start Of Authority

The SOA record is perhaps the least understood record in the entire zone file. But it controls the speed that any update is propagated thourghout the Internet. The purpose of the SOA record is:

  • Identify the DNS server that is authoritative for all information within the domain.
  • List the email address of the person in charge of the domain.
  • Control how often secondary servers check for changes to the zone file.
  • Control how long secondary servers keep the zone file active when the primary server cannot be contacted.
  • Control how long a negative response is cached by a DNS resolver (but for some DNS servers, this is also how long a DNS resolver should cache any response).

Now if you control all of the authorative DNS servers for a domain (that is, the DNS servers that actually host the zone files and can answers queries for the domain as opposed to having to ask another DNS server), then with the exception of how long negative responses should be cached, these settings may not seem as important since you can force the secondary servers to update whenever needed. By if you are using third-party name servers which you do not control as your secondary name servers (such as Peer 1's SuperDNS servers), then these settings are vitally important to how fast any changes are propagated. So let's go over each of these settings.

I will be using the official names for each of these fields as listed in RFC 1035: Domain Names — Implementation and Specification.

MNAME: Primary Name Server

Fully-qualified domain name of the primary or master name server for the zone file. Within the structure of DNS, there can only be one server that holds the master, editable zone file. (Yes, there are exceptions, but I won't cover them here.) All secondary name servers create their zone files by transferring the contents from the primary name server. Changes to the domain's resource records are made to the primary name server's zone file and are then propagated to the secondary name servers when they check for updates.

The domain name of the primary name server must end with a period.

RNAME: Responsible Person

Email address of the person responsible for the domain's zone file. Often it will be an alias or group address rather than a particular idividual. It uses a special format where the "@" character is replaced with a "." (period) character and the email address ends with a period. So the email address hostmaster@example.com would become hostmaster.example.com. (note that the endding period is part of the email address).

Never use an email address which uses a period before the "@" character (such as host.master@example.com) since DNS will automatically interpret the first period as the "@" character (where host.master.example.com. would become host@master.example.com).

SERIAL

Serial number of the zone file that is incremented each time a change is made. The secondary name servers compare the serial number returned by the primary name server with the serial number in their copy of the zone file to determine if they should update their zone file. If the serial number from the primary name server is greater than their serial number, they will do a zone update transfer. Otherwise, no action is taken.

If you make a change to the zone file on the primary name server and forget to increment the serial number, the change will not be propagated to the secondary name servers even if you attempt to force a zone update transfer. The primary and secondary name servers will remain out of sync until the serial number is incremented on the primary name server. Unless you are manually editing the zone files (something that is not uncommon when using BIND), most DNS servers or frontend DNS applications will increment the serial number for you. But if you find that updates are not being propagated to the secondary name servers, the serial number is the first thing you should check.

In the early days of DNS, the serial number was just that — a number that was incremented by 1 each time the zone file was changed. So that one could have a better idea of when the zone file was actually changed, it's recommended (but not required) that you use the format YYYYMMDDnn, where YYYY is the year, MM is the month, DD is the day, and nn is the revision number (in case the zone file is changed more than once in a single day).

Never use a decimal in the serial number, such as 20130511.01, even if it is allowed by your DNS server. The serial number is an unsigned 32-bit number, so using a decimal in the serial number will cause it be converted to something unexpected.

REFRESH: Refresh Interval

Time in seconds that a secondary name server should wait between zone file update checks. The value should not be so short that the primary name server is overwhelmed by update checks and not so long that propagation of changes to the secondary name servers are unduely delayed. If you control the secondary name servers and the zone file doesn't change that often, then you might want to set this to as long as day (86400 seconds), especially if you can force an update on the secondary name servers if needed. But if your secondary name servers are not under your control, then you'll probably want to set this to somewhere between 30 minutes (1800 seconds) and 2 hours (7200 seconds) to ensure any changes you make are propagated in a timely fashion.

Even if you configure your primary name server to send NOTIFY messages (which I will cover in a future article) to the secondary name servers whenever a change is made, you should never completely depend on this to ensure timely propagation of the changes, especially when using third-party secondary name servers. The decision to honor a NOTIFY message is entirely up to the secondary name server and some DNS servers do not support NOTIFY.

RETRY: Retry Interval

Time in seconds that a secondary name server should wait before trying to contact the primary name server again after a failed attempt to check for a zone file update. There are all kinds of reasons why a zone file update check could fail, and not all of them mean that there is something wrong with the primary name server. Perhaps it was too busy handling other requests just then. The Retry Interval simply tells the secondary name server to wait for a period of time before trying again. A good retry value would be between 10 minutes (600 seconds) and 1 hour (3600 seconds), depending on the length of the Refresh Interval.

The retry interval should always be shorter than the refresh interval. But don't make this value too short. When in doubt, use a 15 minute (900 second) retry interval.

EXPIRE: Expiry Interval

Time in seconds that a secondary name server will treat its zone file as valid when the primary name server cannot be contacted. If your primary name server goes offline for some reason, you want the secondary name names to keep answering DNS queries for your domain until you can get the primary back online. Make this value too short and your domain will disapear from the Internet before you can bring the primary back online. A good value would be something between 2 weeks (1209600 seconds) and 4 weeks (2419200 seconds).

If you stop using a domain and delete it from the configuration of the primary name server, remember to remove it from the secondary name servers as well. This is especially important if you use third-party secondary name servers since they will continue to answer queries for the deleted domain — answers which could now be completely incorrect — until the expiry interval is reached.

MINIMUM: Negative Caching Time To Live

This field requires special attention since how it's interpreted depends on the DNS server you are using. There have been three possible meanings for the MINIMUM field:

  • Defines the minimum time in seconds that a resource record should be cached by any name server. Though this was the original meaning of this field (and it still retains the name from this meaning), it was never actually used this way by most name servers. This meaning is now officially deprecated.
  • Defines the default Time To Live (TTL) for all resource records that do not have an explicit TTL. This only applies to the zone file on the primary name server since a zone transfer to the secondary server adds the explicit TTL to the resource record if it is missing. Versions of BIND prior to 8.2 use the MINIMUM field as the default TTL for all resource records, as do all versions of Windows DNS Server.
  • Defines the time in seconds that any name server or resolver should cache a negative response. This is now the official meaning of this field as set by RFC 2308.

Unlike all the other SOA fields, MINIMUM effects every name server or resolver that queries your domain. If your DNS server is compliant with RFC 2308, then this field only applies to how long a negative response (that is, for a query where no resource record is found) is cached. But if your DNS server uses this as the default TTL for resource records without an explicit TTL, then it controls how long any response could be cached by a name server.

If you make this too long, then name servers and resolvers will keep using their cached result even after all the secondary name servers have updated their zone files. And there is no method available for you to force these name servers and resolvers to flush their cache. Again, if your DNS server is compliant with RFC 2308, it only applies to negative responses. But if not, then all resource records without an explicit TTL will use this value as the default TTL. If you were to set this to 1 week (604800 seconds), then it could take up to a week for any change to finally be seen everywhere on the Internet.

$TTL: Default Time To Live

This was added in RFC 2308 to define the default TTL to should be used for any resource record that does not have an explicit TTL. But as pointed out earlier, not all DNS servers support it. BIND 8.2 and higher use $TTL to define the default TTL in their zone files, but Windows DNS Server does not, relying on the SOA MINIMUM field instead, So check you DNS server manual to find out how it sets the default TTL.

Final Thoughts

There is no hard and fast rule for setting the refresh, retry, and TTL values. For domains where changes are rarely done, longer values are usually preferred. But if are planning to make changes, then reducing these values before hand, especially the default TTL, can go a long way to ensuring your changes get propagated in a timely fashion. But you must change these values at least as far in advance as the default TTL. If, for example, the current default TTL is set to one week, you'll need to change the default TTL at least a week before the zone file is changed to ensure that every DNS server and resolver is using the new TTL. Otherwise you could find that scattered sections of the Internet don't see the change until the older, cached record finally expires.