Tag Archives: email

Do emails show Ralph Baric created COVID-19 spike protein?!

Did emails released under FOIA show that Ralph Baric created the COVID-19 spike protein in 2018?! Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Emails Show Ralph Baric Created COVID-19 Spike Protein!

Conspiracists and anti-vaccine activists are excitedly sharing FOIA-released emails, which purportedly shows that Ralph Baric created the COVID-19 spike protein in 2018!

Kim Dotcom : American scientist Ralph Baric developed the spike protein that was inserted into Covid-19 and he worked with the Wuhan lab where the virus was created. Covid-19 was made in America and funded by the US Govt. Where’s the media? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the criminal tribunal?

Recommended : Did CDC redact all 148 pages of its mRNA myocarditis study?!

 

Truth : Emails Do Not Show Ralph Baric Created COVID-19 Spike Protein!

This appears to be yet another example of fake news circulating on X (formerly Twitter), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Emails Were Referring To SARS Virus

Let me start by pointing out that the March 2018 emails released under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) were only referring to the SARS virus (now known as SARS-CoV-1).

The SARS-CoV-1 was the virus that caused the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak, and is different from SARS-CoV-2, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic more than 15 years later!

They are related but different coronaviruses, just like how a Tesla Model S and a BMW Z4 are both cars, but they are different cars, with different designs, engines and performance.

Fact #2 : All Coronaviruses Have Spike Proteins

I should point out that the spike protein isn’t a special feature of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Such spike proteins are actually a feature of all coronaviruses!

In fact, the name “coronavirus” is derived from the Latin word, corona, which means “crown” or “wreath” – a reference to its “crown” of spike proteins. To be clear – all coronaviruses have spike proteins on their cell surfaces.

So scientists doing research on coronaviruses would inevitably be working with spike proteins. It doesn’t mean that they were working to create the SARS-CoV-2.

Recommended : Does FDA Document Prove COVID Vaccine Shedding Is Real?!

Fact #3 : SARS Spike Protein Different From COVID-19 Spike Protein

I should also point out that the SARS spike protein is different from the COVID-19 spike protein. Not only are they physically different, they utilise different mechanisms to bind with the human ACE2 receptor.

This was extensively elucidated in a Chinese research paper by Yixin Xie et. al., that was published in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Bioscience on 9 December 2020.

The results demonstrate that SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 S proteins are both attractive to ACE2 by electrostatic forces even at different distances. However, the residues contributing to the electrostatic features are quite different due to the mutations between SARS-CoV S protein and SARS-CoV-2 S protein.

Such differences are analyzed comprehensively. Compared to SARS-CoV, the SARS-CoV-2 binds with ACE2 using a more robust strategy:

  • The electric field line related residues are distributed quite differently, which results in a more robust binding strategy of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Also, SARS-CoV-2 has a higher electric field line density than that of SARS-CoV, which indicates stronger interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2, compared to that of SARS-CoV.
  • Key residues involved in salt bridges and hydrogen bonds are identified in this study, which may help the future drug design against COVID-19.

In short – the COVID-19 coronavirus does not use the same spike protein as the SARS coronavirus that Ralph Baric was working on.

Recommended : Does COVID Vaccinated Blood Clot In Just 3 Minutes?!

Structural differences in salt bridge residues of spike proteins Left (A) : SARS coronavirus Right (B) : COVID-19 coronavirus

Fact #3 : There Is Nothing Nefarious In March 2018 Emails

If you go through the emails, you will notice that there is nothing nefarious. Certainly, they do not show Ralph Baric saying or suggesting that he created the COVID-19 spike protein.

To make it easier for you to understand, I rearranged the emails in the right order, and highlighted the key parts in bold. The emails involve four people – Ralph Baric, Toni Baric, Peter Daszak, and Tonie Rocke, and you can read the originals here (PDF):

Peter Daszak : Toni – this is info from Ralph Baric on the nanoparticle work he’s been involved in…

Tonie Rocke : Hi Ralph: I have a couple of questions about the SARS-CoV spike glycoproteins you are developing with respect to the DARPA grant we are collaborating on.

Do you have time for a call sometime tomorrow? I have unfortunately contracted the flu so I am working from home for a few days. I’d be happy to call you if you can provide me a time and number.

Many thanks! – Tonie

As you can see, the emails basically show Tonie Rocke asking to speak to Ralph Baric about his work on the SARS virus spike protein.

At no point did it show them discussing how to insert the SARS spike protein into the COVID-19 coronavirus, or anything along those lines.

Recommended : The Spikeopathy Vaccine Spike Protein Scare Explained!

Fact #4 : Ralph Baric Did Not Test Spike Protein On Bats

The March 2018 emails show Tonie Rocke asking about how those proteins can be “delivered to bats”, and what has been attempted so far.

There is no indication from those emails that Ralph Baric actually successfully “delivered” those spike proteins to bats. In fact, a March 15, 2018 email show Ralph Baric stating that he has no bat colony, and no way to actually conduct the experiment.

Hi Tonie, I was definitely planning on testing whatever I could in mice, nanoparticles no problem but my understanding was that RCN doesn’t work well in mice. I have no bat colony, no way for me to do the experiment – which I definitely think needs to be done or we have no credibility. My understanding [is that] another bat colony exists in China, but not sure who is doing what.

As you can see, the emails clearly show that Ralph Baric was not testing the SARS (not COVID-19) spike protein on bats, he hadn’t even started testing it on mice!

Fact #5 : Ralph Baric Called For COVID-19 Origins Investigation

It is somewhat ironic to claim that Ralph Baric might be responsible for creating the SARS-CoV-2 virus, because he joined other scientists in signing a 2021 open letter demanding a thorough investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

While he remains sure whether SARS-CoV-2 was created by a spillover event, or a lab leak, he found fault with a joint investigation by the WHO and the Chinese government, which dismissed the chance of a lab leak as “extremely unlikely”.

Ralph Baric felt that such a conclusion was premature, given the lack of conclusive data and China’s more relaxed laboratory standards.

He pointed out to TIME in a July 2023 article that while the US restricts gain-of-function (GoF) work with dangerous pathogens to labs that are rated at a minimum of BSL-3 (like his lab), “the regulations in China are such that you can work with SARS-like bat coronaviruses in BSL-2 [Biosafety level 2] labs,” which require fewer safety features.

So Ralph Baric himself believes that a laboratory leak could still be a possibility. Would someone who purportedly created SARS-CoV-2 be so eager to call for greater scrutiny of that possibility???

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Is Google Shutting Down Gmail For Good?!

Is Google shutting down Gmail for good by August 2024?! Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Google Is Shutting Down Gmail For Good!

A post has gone viral on X (formerly Twitter), allegedly posted by the SVP of Product at Google, who claimed that he accidentally fired the entire Gmail team, and ordered it shut down after misreading a message from CEO Sundar Pichai!

Chris Bakke : I’m the SVP of Product at Google ($28.8M TC).

Last night, Sundar asked me to “fire the entire Gemini team.”

I misread his message (insanely bad service at my 7br 11bath cabin in Park City) and I accidentally fired the entire Gmail team.

Gmail…Gemini.

Look at that quickly without your glasses when you’re 7 margaritas deep at the fire pit on a Wednesday and you’d make the same error.

I mean you get how that’s confusing right?

Anyway, I’m rolling with the decision.

Gmail’s gone.

A screenshot of a Google notice about sunsetting Gmail was attached to the post, and it suggested that Gmail accounts would become inaccessible after 1 August 2024.

Google is sunsetting Gmail

Dear Gmail User,

We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail. After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close. As of August 1, 2024, Gmail will officially be sunsetted, marking the end of its service. This means that as of this date, Gmail will no longer support sending, receiving, or storing emails.

Why Gmail is Sunsetting

The decision to sunset Gmail has been made with careful consideration of the evolving digital landscape and our commitment to providing high-quality, innovative solutions that meet the needs of our users. In the spirit of progress and adaptation, we are focusing our resources on developing new technologies and platforms that will continue to revolutionize the way we communicate and interact online.

What This Means for You

Email Access: Up until August 1, 2024, you will be able to access and download all your emails. After this date, Gmail accounts will become inaccessible.

Recommended : Is WhatsApp Going To Charge Backup Storage Fee?!

 

Claim : Google Is Not Shutting Down Gmail At All!

This is yet another example of fake news circulating on X (formerly Twitter), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Google Is Not Shutting Down Gmail

Let me start by pointing out that Google is not shutting down Gmail. For one thing – no one received the “Google is sunsetting Gmail” email. There is also no announcement on the Google blog.

There is also an absence of legitimate news and tech media reporting on such a shocking announcement. In fact, all you will find are fact check articles like this, telling you that this is just another example of fake news on X.

There is also the fact that the official Gmail account on X (formerly Twitter) posted a terse response:

Gmail is here to stay

To be clear – Google is not shutting down Gmail. This is just satire / shitposting on X.

Google is itself highly-reliant on Gmail services, and would be in deep shit if Gmail goes down for even an hour, never mind shut down forever.

Recommended : WhatsApp : No More Free Unlimited Backup On Android!

Fact #2 : Chris Bakke Isn’t Google Product SVP

I should also point out that Chris Bakke is not the Senior Vice President of Product at Google in charge of Gmail. In fact, he’s currently working at X, not Google!

Chris Bakke was the founder and CEO of Laskie, a tech recruitment company that X (formerly Twitter) purchased in May 2023. He is currently the Product Lead for X, and is known to be a notorious “shitposter” or “trash poster” on the social media platform.

When Austen Allred, another tech founder, tweeted about the acquisition when it was revealed, Elon Musk said he thought it was a good sign:

Austen Allred : Only fitting that Twitter’s first acquisition in the Elon era is a company run by a notorious shitposter.

Elon Musk : I regard that as a good sign 🙂

Elon is probably going to give Chris a bonus for the millions of views and engagement his new “shitpost” has generated on X. Throw some our way, Chris, will ya!

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Warning – PDRM Parking Fine Scam Alert!

Scammers are targeting motorists with the PDRM parking fine scam! Make sure you warn your family and friends!

Here is what you need to know about the PDRM parking fine scam!

 

PDRM Parking Fine Scam Email

People are getting emails warning them that they just committed a parking violation, while offering them a cheap fine if they pay quickly.

Fines Inquiry and Payment

Dear recipient,

We are writing to draw your attention to a recent traffic violation in Malaysian jurisdiction.

Our traffic enforcement staff have observed your vehicle parked in a no-parking zone. This contravenes section (no. 2016-691] of the Road Traffic Act.

The fine is set at MYR 50. Payment of the fine is required within 7 days of the date of notification, to avoid further legal consequences.

If the fine is not paid within the time limit, you may be subject to legal action, resulting in an increase in the original fine.

Payment deadline: [08/26/2023]

Methods of payment accepted:

Cordially,

Malaysian Police Department

Recommended : Bantuan Tunai Rakyat Malaysia 2023 Scam Alert!

 

PDRM Parking Fine Email Is A Scam!

These PDRM parking fine emails are scam emails. This was confirmed by PDRM itself.

On 7 August 2023, the Cyber Crime division of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) posted an alert warning motorists not to fall for the MyBayar scam.

These emails are designed to scare its victims into action. Hence, it offers a very cheap way to quickly “settle the problem”. However, if you take a breath, and analyse the email CAREFULLY, you will see many problems with it.

  • Letter is from PDRM : The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will never write to you by email.
  • Letter is in English : The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will never write to you in English.
  • Typo in the name : The fake email used My Bayar PDRM, instead of MyBayar PDRM.
  • Lack of name and personal details : The fake email refers generically to “Dear recipient“, without listing your full name and MyKad number.
  • Lack of vehicle details : The fake email doesn’t mention the vehicle make and plate number.
  • Lack of location details : The fake email does not mention where the offence occurred, or even when it occurred.
  • Fine is much too low : PDRM traffic fines are never as low as RM50. The cheapest fine is RM150 for Category 4 offences, but you can pay as low as RM70 within 15 days.
  • No such law : The fake email refers to the Road Traffic Act. There is no such act in Malaysia. The proper name is the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333).
  • No such section : If you look at the Malaysia Road Transport Act 1987 (PDF download), you will see that there is no such thing as Section 2016-691.

The email appears to be from My Bayar PDRM (typo in the name), but if you inspect the email address, you will see that it was sent by “in-to-no-reply@silverbackgames.xxx” or “hello@sooqr.com” or some other email address.

Obviously, this email did not originate from an official PDRM email address! This should immediately tell you that this is a fake or scam email!

Recommended : How A University Student Lost RM22K In Online Job Scam!

If you click on the Pay My Fine link in the scam email, you will be taken to a fake My Bayar PDRM website (with the same typo in the name).

You may notice that you now have 7 days to pay the RM 50 fine, instead of just 5 days in the email. Odd, isn’t it?

Also odd is the fact that the page does not mention your name, your MyKad number, your vehicle type and model, or even its plate number! The page also doesn’t mention where the offence took place, or the time you were caught committing said offence.

Do NOT proceed after this point… This is a scam website!

But if you have itchy fingers, and click on the Pay The Fine button, you will be asked to pay for the RM50 fine using your debit or credit card.

Needless to say, PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR DEBIT / CREDIT CARD DETAILS!!!

If you provide these scammers with your debit / credit card details and TAC / OTP numbers, they will be able to charge ANY AMOUNT they want to your credit card, or withdraw ANY AMOUNT they want from your bank account!

Recommended : Wedding Invitation Scam : Don’t Install APK File!

It’s even worse if you are asked to log into your bank account to pay the fine. DO NOT DO THAT!

If you provide them with your bank login and password, as well as OTP/TAC number, these scammers will be able to transfer money out of your bank account!

Please note – this is a scam! This is a phishing attack to gain access to your credit card and/or bank account.

Regardless of how you get any notification from PDRM about any traffic offence you may have committed, you should always check the status through these official MyBayar PDRM options:

Please SHARE this warning with your family and friends!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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PDRM Warning : Watch Out For MyBayar Scam!

PDRM is warning motorists not to fall for the MyBayar scam! Here is what you need to know about the MyBayar PDRM scam!

 

PDRM Warning : Watch Out For MyBayar Scam

On 7 August 2023, the Cyber Crime division of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) posted an alert warning motorists not to fall for the MyBayar scam.

The MyBayar PDRM scam starts with an official-looking email that warns motorists that they have been caught contravening the law, and offers a cheap RM50 fine if paid within 5 days:

Last notice of contravention before prosecution

Dear recipient,

We are writing to draw your attention to a recent traffic violation in Malaysian jurisdiction.

Our traffic enforcement staff have observed your vehicle parked in a no-parking zone. This contravenes section (no. 2016-691] of the Road Traffic Act.

As a result of this infringement, a fine of MYR 50 has been imposed. This fine must be paid within 5 days of the date of this notification to avoid further legal consequences.

Failure to pay the fine within the allotted time may result in legal proceedings being taken against you, which could lead to increased fines, penalties and the possible suspension of your driving license.

Recommended : Bantuan Tunai Rakyat Malaysia 2023 Scam Alert!

 

MyBayar PDRM Scam : How Does It Work?!

Many people who received the MyBayar PDRM email might be shocked to find out that they were caught committing a traffic violation, and then relieved that it was only RM50 if they paid quickly.

That’s how the scammers trap their victims – by offering a cheap RM50 fine, when we all know that fines for traffic offences are at least RM150, and can go all the way up to RM1,000!

Those who received this fake MyBayar PDRM email would be tempted to quickly pay the cheap RM50 fine, before it becomes a lot more expensive!

But if you take a closer look at the email, you will spot some problems with it:

  • Weird English : The email title of “Last notice of contravention before prosecution” is nonsensical.
  • Typo in the name : The fake email used My Bayar PDRM, instead of MyBayar PDRM.
  • Lack of name and personal details : The fake email refers generically to “Dear recipient“, without listing your full name and MyKad number.
  • Lack of vehicle details : The fake email doesn’t mention the vehicle make and plate number.
  • Lack of location details : The fake email does not mention where the offence occurred, or even when it occurred.
  • Fine is much too low : PDRM traffic fines are never as low as RM50. The cheapest fine is RM150 for Category 4 offences, but you can pay as low as RM70 within 15 days.
  • No such law : The fake email refers to the Road Traffic Act. There is no such act in Malaysia. The proper name is the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333).
  • No such section : If you look at the Malaysia Road Transport Act 1987 (PDF download), you will see that there is no such thing as Section 2016-691.

The email appears to be from My Bayar PDRM (typo in the name), but if you inspect the email address, you will see that it was sent by “in-to-no-reply@silverbackgames.xxx” or “hello@sooqr.com” or some other email address.

Obviously, this email did not originate from an official PDRM email address! This should immediately tell you that this is a fake or scam email!

Recommended : How A University Student Lost RM22K In Online Job Scam!

If you click on the Pay My Fine link in the scam email, you will be taken to a fake My Bayar PDRM website (with the same typo in the name).

You may notice that you now have 7 days to pay the RM 50 fine, instead of just 5 days in the email. Odd, isn’t it?

Also odd is the fact that the page does not mention your name, your MyKad number, your vehicle type and model, or even its plate number! The page also doesn’t mention where the offence took place, or the time you were caught committing said offence.

Do NOT proceed after this point… This is a scam website!

But if you have itchy fingers, and click on the Pay The Fine button, you will be asked to pay for the RM50 fine using your debit or credit card.

Needless to say, PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR DEBIT / CREDIT CARD DETAILS!!!

If you provide these scammers with your debit / credit card details and TAC / OTP numbers, they will be able to charge ANY AMOUNT they want to your credit card, or withdraw ANY AMOUNT they want from your bank account!

Recommended : Wedding Invitation Scam : Don’t Install APK File!

It’s even worse if you are asked to log into your bank account to pay the fine. DO NOT DO THAT!

If you provide them with your bank login and password, as well as OTP/TAC number, these scammers will be able to transfer money out of your bank account!

Please note – this is a scam! This is a phishing attack to gain access to your credit card and/or bank account.

Regardless of how you get any notification from PDRM about any traffic offence you may have committed, you should always check the status through these official MyBayar PDRM options:

Please SHARE this warning with your family and friends!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Watch Out For SVCReady Malware In MS Word Documents!

Please watch out for a new malware called SVCReady that is being embedded in Microsoft Word attachments!

Here is what you need to know about the new SVCReady malware!

 

Watch Out For SVCReady Malware In MS Word Documents!

The HP Threat Research just uncovered a new malware called SVCReady, which they first picked up on 22 April 2022 through HP Wolf Security telemetry.

SVCReady is being distributed in phishing emails with Microsoft Word attachments. On opening the infected Word document, an embedded Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) AutoOpen macro is used to run shellcode stored in the properties of the document.

Splitting the macro from the shellcode is a way to evade security software that would normally detect the malicious code.

Document properties containing shellcode, namely a series of nop instructions as represented by 0x90 values. Credit : HP

The SVCReady malware begins by downloading and loading its payload from the web, and connecting to its Command and Control (C2) server.

It then starts gathering and sending information to the C2 server like :

  • username
  • computer name
  • time zone
  • whether the computer is joined to a domain
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE|DESCRIPTION\System registry key
  • running processes
  • installed software

The SVCReady malware also connects to its C2 server every 5 minutes to report its status, send information, receive new instructions, or validate the domain.

Currently, the malware appears to only gather and send information. However, that will change as the malware persists in the system, and is capable of receiving both updates and instructions from the C2 server.

In fact, the HP team observed the SVCReady retrieve and load a Readline stealer payload on an infected computer. It’s a sign of things to come.

The HP team believes that the SVCReady malware is still in early development, with an influx of updates adding features like encrypted C2 communications, and detection evasion.

They also found evidence linking SVCReady to past malware documents by the TA551 (Shatak) group from 2019 and 2020.

SVCReady will eventually be used for more nefarious purposes once it is good and ready. Until then, the malware will stay hidden, lurking and waiting for its master’s commands.

 

How To Avoid SVCReady Malware In MS Word Documents?

The HP team discovered that the malware creates a new registry key, which could serve as a signature for security software to detect it : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{E6D34FFC-AD32-4d6a-934C-D387FA873A19}

But until security software are updated to detect SVCReady, the best way to avoid this malware is simple – do NOT open Word document attached to emails!

If you regularly receive Word documents in your emails, please VERIFY with the sender before opening them.

These phishing emails are designed to look legitimate. So be very careful about what you open!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > CybersecurityTech ARP

 

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Google : You Can Use Gmail For FREE With Custom Domain!

Google just changed its mind and will allow you to continue using Gmail for FREE with your own domain!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Earlier : You Must Migrate Free Gmail To Google Workspace Subscription!

Google officially got rid of G Suite, rebranding it as Google Workspace and introducing a cloud-based solution that is more integrated and offers real-time collaboration.

At that time, they still allowed people with free Gmail accounts to continue using them, with custom domains. Like adrian@mywebsite.com, for example.

That changed in January 2022, when Google announced that it “will now transition all remaining users to an upgraded Google Workspace paid subscription based on your usage“.

In other words – you must pay Google if you want to continue using Gmail with a custom domain.

Google gave everyone until May to migrate their emails out of Gmail, or pay to continue using it. Then they delayed it to 1 June to give people more time to decide.

But they met with a lot of anger, and resistance. It was not just a matter of migrating emails from Gmail to a cheaper or even free email service like Zoho.

Many people also use the same Gmail account with a custom domain, to sign in for various services including Google services and Android smartphones. They would have LOST the ability to retrieve or change their password, or even login in certain instances.

 

Now : You Can Use Gmail For FREE With Custom Domain!

Fortunately, Google appeared to have realised that trying to blackmail loyal Gmail users (albeit free users) into boosting their profit margins was not only bad press, it was counterproductive.

For example, how will Google manage purchases people made in the Google Play Store? Will losing data from so many people be worth it?

In the end, Google folded and quietly allowed people to continue using Gmail for free, and with their custom domain to boot!

From now until 27 June 2022, you will have the option of signing up to continue using Gmail for free, with your custom domain.

Just head to your account’s Google Admin Console, and you should see this option pop-up. Just click Confirm for personal use, and you are done!

Not only will you get to continue using Gmail for free, and retain your custom domain, you will also :

  • retain access to free Google Workspace services like Google Drive, Google Meet, Google Search, Google Maps and YouTube
  • keep your purchases in Google Play, and data stored on Google Workspace

However, Google “may” remove business functionality, and will not provide support.

If you had earlier agreed to pay for Google Workspace after getting the migration prompt, but wish to switch to this “non-commercial personal use” option, you need to contact Google Support.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Software | BusinessTech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Was CGTN Caught Faking The Peng Shuai Email?

Was CGTN caught faking the Peng Shuai email that allegedly refuted her claims of sexual assault by former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli?

Take a look at the email, and see if you can spot what they did wrong!

 

What Peng Shuai Email? A Quick Update!

On 2 November 2021, Chinese tennis star, Peng Shuai accused retired Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of pressuring her into having sex on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter).

On 14 November 2021, Steve Simon – the WTA Chairman and CEO released a public statement calling for her allegations to be “investigated fully, fairly, transparently and without censorship“.

On 18 November 2021, CGTN posted on Twitter what they claimed was an email to Steve Simon, the WTA Chairman and CEO.

In that email, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai allegedly refuted her earlier claims of sexual assault by former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli.

Hello everyone this is Peng Shuai.

Regarding the recent news released on the official website of the WTA, the content has not been confirmed or verified by myself and it was released without my consent. The news in that release, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true. I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine. Thank you again for caring about me.

If the WTA publishes any more news about me, please verify it with me, and release it with my consent. As a professional tennis player, I thank you all for your companionship and consideration. I hope to promote Chinese tennis with you all if I have the chance in the future. I hope Chinese tennis will become better and better.

Once again, thank you for your consideration.

 

Was CGTN Caught Faking The Peng Shuai Email?

At first glance, the email that CGTN posted looked like your typical “written under duress” note, with awkward language. But who can refute it since Peng Shuai has not been seen since making her allegations?

Unfortunately, CGTN screwed up, by accidentally making TWO mistakes :

  • addressing the email to “everyone“, instead of Steve Simon, and
  • posting the screenshot with a visible cursor!

Hello Everyone???

This email was supposedly written by Peng Shuai as a private message to Steve Simon, in response to his public statement.

Yet, the writer addressed it to “everyone”, instead of Steve Simon, the WTA Chairman and CEO.

If this was meant to be a public statement, Peng Shuai would have emailed it to media outlets worldwide, not just Steve Simon.

CGTN also framed it as a private email from Peng Shuai to Steve Simon, the contents of which they “learned” after it was sent.

Yet, not only was it addressed to “everyone”, the entire email sounds like it was written for a mass audience and not just Steve Simon, with phrases like :

  • I thank you all
  • I hope to promote Chinese tennis with you all

A Blinking Cursor???

The presence of the cursor clearly tells us that the email was being written when that screenshot was taken. It won’t appear if you are merely reading the email.

There are several possibilities for a cursor to appear in the screenshot :

  1. Peng Shuai wrote it and sent CGTN a screenshot of the draft, instead of CCing them the email like what anyone else would have done. The presence of the active cursor meant that the email was still being written, and may not be the final version.
  2. Someone punked CGTN by sending them a fabricated email, which they posted without verifying with Peng Shuai herself.
  3. The email was fabricated by someone at CGTN pretending to be Peng Shuai. That is the only way CGTN can possibly take a screenshot of an email with an active cursor.

Now, it is not possible to determine with certainty that CGTN faked the Peng Shuai email. It could be someone else. But it’s not hard to see why no one believes that the email was really written by Peng Shuai.

No matter how you slice and dice it, that pesky cursor makes the Peng Shuai email incredibly suspicious… or as our younger readers may say – very sus…

WTA Chairman and CEO, Steve Simon, said, “I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is attributed to her“.

Read more : CGTN Lied About China Contributing 60% Of COVAX Vaccine Supply

 

Peng Shuai vs. Zhang Gaoli : A Quick Primer!

For those who missed the developing scandal involving the Chinese tennis star, here’s a quick summary…

On 2 November 2021, Peng Shuai accused retired Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault in a 1,600 word post on her official Weibo account.

Written like an open letter to Zhang Gaoli, she claimed that they had an intermittent relationship over 10 years.

“Why did you have to come back to me, took me to your home to force me to have sex with you? Yes, I did not have any evidence, and it was simply impossible to have evidence”

“I couldn’t describe how disgusted I was, and how many times I asked myself am I still a human? I feel like a walking corpse. Every day I was acting, which person is the real me?”

“I know that for someone of your eminence, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you said you were not afraid. But even if it’s just me, like an egg hitting the stone, a moth flying into flames, courting self-destruction, I would tell the truth about us.”

Her post was quickly deleted from Weibo – in less than 10 minutes, but Chinese netizens took screenshots of it. They were shared widely, but were soon censored.

Peng Shuai has not been seen since she posted her accusations on Weibo.

As a result, tennis fans and netizens in general are incensed, with calls to #BoycottBeijingOlympics and #BoycottBeijing2022 increasing on social media.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Scam Alert : Bank Negara Malaysia Scam Email!

Bank Negara Malaysia is warning the public about an email scam using their board member to scam victims of their money!

Find out what this Bank Negara email scam involves, and make sure you WARN your family and friends!

 

Bank Negara Malaysia Email Scam : Watch Out For It!

You may have received this email purporting to be from Chin Suit Fang, a Bank Negara Malaysia board member, and Chairman of the Board Audit Committee.

It warns you that you have just 48 hours to address an outward payment from your bank account (not necessarily RHB), or Bank Negara Malaysia will freeze your account for investigations.

Bank Negara Malaysia confirmed that this is a fake scam email, even though Chin Suit Fang is really on the Board of Directors for BNM, and that’s really her photo.

 

Bank Negara Malaysia Email Scam : Why It’s Fake

For those who want to learn more how to spot such email scams, and specifically why this Bank Negara Malaysia email is a scam, here are the details :

Tip #1 : Check The Email Address

If you check the email address, you will see that it’s from BNM.gov.my@banknegaramalaysia.onmicrosoft.com.

That is not a valid Bank Negara Malaysia email account, which always ends with @bnm.gov.my.

Tip #2 : Do You Really Have That Much Money?

It is impossible for Bank Negara Malaysia to question you over such a large transfer when you don’t have that much money in the bank in the first place!

Tip #3 : Did You Really Transfer That Much Money?

If you really have that much money, did you really transfer so much out?

First thing to do is NOT to respond to the email, or click on any link.

No, the first thing you should do is check your bank account. If there has been no such transfer, the email is evidently false.

Tip #4 : Bank Transfers Are Generally Limited To RM50K A Day

Unless you performed the transfer over-the-counter at the bank, and submitted a Bank Negara Malaysia declaration form, it is simply impossible to transfer more than RM50,000 a day.

Online transfers are limited to just RM50,000 a day, and in some cases, to just RM20,000 a day.

Tip #5 : Bank Negara Malaysia Directors Will Not Email You 

Even if you are in the habit of transferring half a million ringgit to other people (call me please?), Bank Negara Malaysia will not email you to ask you about it.

If they require you to submit documents, you can be assured that it will be by an official letter.

Even if you are a famous personality or a politically significant person, no Bank Negera Malaysia director is going to write you an email.

Do you really think it is the job of a BNM director to write demand letters?

Tip #6 : Why Would They Include Their Personal Picture?

Why on Earth would any person include their personal picture in an official email?

Heck, do YOU even include a picture of yourself in your emails to your family and friends? Of course, not!

The only reason why scammers do this is to trick you into believing that this is really an email from a Bank Negara Malaysia director.

Tip #7 : Look At The Horrendous Grammar

The email isn’t even well-written, with bad grammar and odd capitalisation of various words.

Is this the kind of email a Bank Negara Malaysia director would pen? Seriously?

No, this is the kind of English that is written by someone with a poor command of the English language.

 

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COVID-19 Email Scams + Malware Are Spreading!

As the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads across the world, so are COVID-19 email scams and malware!

Tatyana Shcherbakova tells us what she and her team discovered!

 

Warning : COVID-19 Email Scams Are Spreading!

As the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads, fake information is being created and distributed at a very high rate, confusing people all over the world.

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the confusion, creating various email scams, with some realistic ones pretending to be from the WHO.

Tatyana Shcherbakova, a senior web content analyst, details how her team looked at the COVID-19 email scams, and came across the realistic ones from WHO…

 

WHO Is Warning You? These Are COVID-19 Email Scams!

At first, we found emails offering products such as masks, and then the topic became more commonly used in Nigerian spam emails. We also found scam emails with phishing links and malicious attachments.

One of the latest spam campaigns mimics the World Health Organization (WHO), showing how cybercriminals recognize and are capitalizing on the important role WHO has in providing trustworthy information about the coronavirus.

Users receive emails allegedly from WHO, which supposedly offer information about safety measures to be taken to avoid a COVID-19 infection.

Once a user clicks on the link embedded in the email, they are redirected to a phishing website and prompted to share personal information, which ends up in the hands of cybercriminals.

This scam looks more realistic than other examples we have seen lately, such as alleged donations from the World Bank or IMF for anyone who needs a loan.

In order to stay safe, we advise users to carefully study the content of the emails they receive and only trust reliable sources.

If you are promised a vaccine for the virus or some magic protective measures, or content of the email is making you worried, it has most likely come from cybercriminals.

This is especially true if the sender suggests clicking on a link and sharing your personal data or opening an attachment.

You should not donate any real money or trust information with promises to help those affected by the virus, even if the email comes from someone who introduces themselves as an employee of a trusted organization.

Finally, double check the email address, as scammers often use free email services or addresses that have no relation to the organization mentioned.

 

Malware Masked As COVID-19 Coronavirus Documents!

They also found malicious files disguised as documents related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The malicious files were masked under the guise of pdf, mp4 and docx files about the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The names of files imply that they contain video instructions on how to protect yourself from the virus, updates on the threat and even virus detection procedures, which is not actually the case.

In fact, these files contained a range of threats, from Trojans to worms, which are capable of destroying, blocking, modifying or copying data, as well as interfering with the operation of computers or computer networks.

Some malicious files are spread via email. For example, an Excel file distributed via email under the guise of a list of coronavirus victims allegedly sent from the World Health Organization (WHO) was in fact a Trojan-Downloader, which secretly downloads and installs another malicious file.

This second file was a Trojan-Spy designed to gather various data, including passwords, from the infected device and send it to the attacker.

 

COVID-19 Email Scams + Malware : How To Avoid

As governments and businesses are forced by the COVID-19 coronavirus to encourage their employees to work from home, it is critical that they employ these cybersecurity practices to reduce risk of falling for phishing attacks, or malware :

  • Provide a VPN for staff to connect securely to the corporate network
  • All corporate devices – including mobiles and laptops – should be protected with security software
  • The operating system and apps should be updated with the latest patches
  • Restrict the access rights of people connecting to the corporate network
  • Ensure that the staff are aware of the dangers of unsolicited messages

 

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Yes, Yahoo Mail Is Still Alive… And They Have A New App!

Even though many of us have long ditched Yahoo Mail for Gmail, it still commands a significant number of users. And today, they announced a new Yahoo Mail app to break through Gmail’s dominance.

 

Yes, Yahoo Mail Is Still Alive

Yahoo Mail has been so out of sight, we could be forgiven for thinking that they went extinct or absorbed by another entity, like the once-famous Hotmail.

Yet, Yahoo Mail remains popular amongst the older generation that grew up with it, in spite of Gmail’s dominance.

 

The New Yahoo Mail App

Today on 24 September 2019, Yahoo launched a new version of their Mail app, that they promise will “redefine the way people use their inboxes in an era of Internet and Inbox overload“.

The new Yahoo Mail app will organise the email clutter for you, and empower you to personalise and control your inboxes, so you can focus on what matters most.

The new app will automatically group your messages into Views, such as Travel and Attachments. It will also let you control email overload by introducing an easy, one-tap unsubscribe tool.

Design refresh and deeper customisation

  • It will have a revamped interface that is built with today’s taller mobile screens in mind allows for intuitive one-hand usage with the new navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
  • The layout will be cleaner, colourful, easier to use, and customisable.
  • Users can also personalise their push notifications to highlight which type of mail they wish to be alerted to (personal vs. promotional) and tailor their inbox with custom colour themes and sounds.
  • There is also a drag and drop interface with fun animations.

Photos and files in one place

  • Now there’s one View that allows easy access and navigation of all mail attachments, including important files, travel documents, event tickets, and photos. The information users need is always at hand.

Industry-leading management of email subscriptions

  • With a View for subscriptions, users can browse the emails they’re subscribed to and unsubscribe from any newsletter with a single tap without leaving the app.

In addition, you can add and use your Gmail and Outlook accounts, making the Yahoo Mail app a multi-purpose inbox for all of your emails.

 

New Yahoo Mail App Availability

The new Yahoo Mail app will start rolling out progressively starting 24 September 2019, on both Android and iOS.

 

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Malicious Spam Emails Spike In Q1 2016

16 May 2016 – The latest Kaspersky Lab Spam and Phishing Report has discovered that although the quantity of spam emails has been decreasing, they have become more criminalized. At the same time, the level of malicious mailshots has dramatically increased – Kaspersky Lab products prevented 22,890,956 attempts to infect users via emails with malicious attachments in March 2016, twice the number of attempts reported in February 2016.

Since 2012 the level of spam in email traffic has constantly been decreasing. However, the quantity of emails with malicious attachments has increased significantly – in Q1 2016 it was 3.3 times higher than during the same period in 2015. There was also a growing amount of ransomware reported throughout the quarter. This is often propagated through emails with infected attachments – for example Word documents. The main actor on this field in Q1 was the ransomware Trojan Locky, which has been actively distributed via emails in different languages and has targeted at least 114 countries. Locky emails have contained fake information from financial institutions that have deceived users and forced them to open the harmful attachment.

Kaspersky Lab’s findings suggest that spam is becoming more popular for fraudsters to target Internet users, because web browsing is becoming safer. Almost all popular web-browser developers have now implemented security and anti-phishing protection tools, making it harder for cybercriminals to propagate their malware through infected web pages.

According to Kaspersky Lab’s Q1 report on spam and phishing the main findings for the quarter were:

  • In Q1 2016 Kaspersky Lab registered 56.3% of spam in email flow. This is 2.9 percent lower compared to the same period in 2015, when it equaled 59.2%.
  • The largest amount of spam was sent in January (59.6% in overall email traffic). This is explained by the end of the holiday season, when the flow of normal, non-spam, emails is usually low.
  • The USA retained its position as the biggest source of spam, sending 12.43% of unwanted emails. The share of the USA in this rating is slightly decreasing in comparison to Q1 2015, when it was 14.5%.
  • Other large sources of spam included Vietnam (second place with 10.3%) and India (6.16%). This is compared to the same period in 2015, when the second and third places were held by Russia (7.3%) and Ukraine (5.6%). Russia moved to seventh place this quarter with 4.9%.
  • 81.9% of spam emails in Q1 2016 were very small size – up to 2 KB, a 2.8 percentage point increase in comparison to the same quarter in 2015. For spammers, smaller emails are easier to handle in mass mailings.
  • Germany was the country most targeted by malicious mailshots, with a total share of 18.9% of Kaspersky Lab product users in the country targeted this way. Germany was followed by China (9.43%) and Brazil took third place (7.35%). For the same period in 2015, the top three countries were Great Britain (7.8%), Brazil (7.4%) and the USA (7.2%).
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Terrorism became the main topic of spam emails in Q1.

During this quarter fraudsters tried to lure users into opening malicious files, gaining their attention with emails about terrorism, a subject which is always in the news. To prevent terrorist attacks many countries have strengthened their security measures and this has therefore become a popular topic for spam emails.

Some spam fraudsters tried to convince recipients that the file attached to their spam email contained a new mobile application, which, after installation, could detect an explosive terrorist device. The email emphasized that the US Department of Defense had discovered this technology and that it was sufficiently simple and accessible. The attachment usually contained an executive file, which was detected as Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Dapato, malware that can steal personal user information, organize DDoS-attacks and install other malicious software.

Well-known Nigerian spammers also used terrorist topics in their emails. According to the Kaspersky Lab report, the quantity of these emails has increased considerably. These spammers previously preferred to send long emails with a detailed story, and links to news to make it more convincing. However, they are now only sending short messages with no detail, asking the recipients to get in touch.

“Unfortunately we are seeing our previous predictions about the criminalization of spam coming true. Fraudsters are using diverse methods to attract user attention, and to make them drop their guard. Spammers are employing a diversity of languages, social engineering methods, different types of malicious attachments, as well as the partial personalization of email text to look more convincing. The fake messages often imitate notifications from well-known organizations and services. This is raising spam to a new dangerous level.” – warns Daria Gudkova, Spam Analysis Expert, Kaspersky Lab.

 

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