Friday, December 22, 2006

Security issues with online ticket booking

Last night, while I was trying to book a ticket via IndiGo Airlines for an upcoming journey, I got an SSL Certificate validation error. While I'm tempted to think that it was some genuine problem, it could also be that the site was hijacked.

The question is how many folks in the online community know to understand the cryptic (or sometimes thankfully not-so-cryptic) messages that browsers can throw up during such cases ? And how many people will realize the enormity of the incident and the repercussions that it may have on them ?

My guess is that as more and more people get "online", chances of fraud are going to explode !Certainly not a great/new revelation or prediction, but I'm only now beginning to realize the potential as the number of online people increases enormously day by day combined with an increasing number methods of getting online via newer/easier mediums.

Security must necessarily be beefed up in newer and simpler ways.

Oh BTW, I did write to the various email contacts listed on their website, but I'm not sure if they'll even bother to reply. In which case it will prove serious callousness and total negligence for customer information security.

Migrated to new blogger ...

Unless you'd noticed the "labels" in the previous post, you wouldn't know that I'd migrated to the "new Blogger". Google is getting to know more and more of me each day than it ever knew before. I'm kinda getting the shivers ;-)

And now that I think of it, the label "observations" in previous post seems ridiculously redundant on a blog :)

Problem with Firefox ?

Ever since I was on FF version prior to v2.0.0.1 (and now on it), I've been seeing strange problems with Firefox (on Windows XP SP2). CPU utilization shoots to 100% quite frequently for no apparent reason (while doing plain scrolling, opening new tab, etc). FF freezes and fails to respond for a brief period during such times. I've got so sick of it that I've almost effectively migrated to (gasp!) Internet Explorer. My only "consolation" is that I'm using the "savior" Yahoo! Toolbar for tabbed browsing.

Don't think the FF problem is related to virus/trojans, however, who knows ?!!! Need to run a full scan on my machine. Probably now is as good a time as any else.

Lemme know if you've heard/come-across this and/or know of a solution to the problem (other than migrating to IE, Opera, ...) :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Call from Service Provider ...

In the past few days, my usage of my mobile phone has been very minimal - more due to lack of necessity and usually available alternatives.

I got an automated IVR call from my service provider (Airtel) wherein I was informed that my mobile phone usage over the past few days was low and they wanted to know the reason why it was so ? Some of the options included "I'm happy with your service, have no complaint", "I'm not happy with your service, need to talk to someone" and so on. I chose the first option.

This is the first time I got such a call. The point is - I was surprised to know that such things are measured, monitored, and feedback is sought from end-users !!

Just out of curiosity - Have you ever got such a call ? Is your service provider known to take such "measures" ? Do you know of others who have done/are-doing this ?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Google US patents search ...

Google recently announced an application to help users search US patents more easily. Read their Google blog entry here. This is the patent search site.

The first thought that came across my mind when I heard about this is (nasty mind?) - "Wow, it gives Google a wonderful insight into what people are possibly looking at - and - possibly try and patent (or bring out products, etc) some or a derivative of those (after due guessing on what can be a possible idea for such-and-such search terms) in case nothing is already available".

I may be way off base in such an assumption, but it's possible (at least theoretically).