Monthly Archives: September 2012

Adobe‚Äôs code signing certificate has been stolen


So it appears that a build server at Adobe was compromised, and the criminals managed to make off with a code-signing certificate bearing a shiny “Adobe Systems Inc.” string.

The code signing certificate has already been utilized to sign malware. Adobe say they will shortly revoke the certificate and have it added to Verisign’s certificate revocation list.

Full details at

The best regex to validate an email address

Validating an email address using a regular expression can be tricky. If you wanted to follow the official RFC you would have to use the following monstrosity:


Obviously, that is a regular expression that is impossible to understand the meaning of, let alone a practical one to use in a real life web application. Consider that 99.9% of all email addresses use the following formats:

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Throw in a few special characters that should be alloed, namely - . + and _ and we can create a regular expression to match almost any email address in use today. This is what we come up with:

[-0-9a-zA-Z.+_][email protected][-0-9a-zA-Z.+_]+\.[a-zA-Z]{2,4}

This will match a character in the group [-0-9a-zA-Z.+_] one or more times, followed by an @ sign. Then we have the same group again, and a final dot followed by the top-level domain. We allow a top-level domain between two and four characters, upper case and lower case.

If you wanted to use this regular expression to verify an email address in PHP, it’s as simple as this line:

if (!preg_match("/[-0-9a-zA-Z.+_][email protected][-0-9a-zA-Z.+_]+\.[a-zA-Z]{2,4}/", $email)) die("Invalid email address");

Enjoy, and leave any feedback you have in the comments section!

Internet users in Sweden hit with “porn surfing fine”

Swedish media today reports that several thousand Swedes have been tricked into paying “porn surfing fines” after their computer is held hostage by blackmailers.

The scam works by tricking web surfers into believing the Police is after them for engaging in smut surfing. A notice is displayed that the user must pay a fine of 150 USD within 24 hours, or the case will be handed to a prosecutor. Oh, and the use of their computer is made impossible until they have paid the fine.

This is another example of the increasingly popular ransomware malware class that sees criminals make good money extorting computer users. As ever, a good anti-malware program should be your first line of defense.