October 29, 2010

Hobby Search was hacked!

Hobby Search has been hacked early this month. Read on for more details.

Regarding a security breach and stolen customer data

To Hobby Search customers:

We are writing to let you know of a hacker or hackers that penetrated our computer system and accessed customer data including credit card information.

At the time of writing, we do not know of any of this information being available publicly.
It is important to us that you, the customer, do not experience any monetary damages because of this incident, and have provided the information of all the cards that may have been involved in this incident to each of the credit card companies so that they may monitor the activity on these cards.
If you have any concerns about the security of your card, please contact the card company
(via the number on the back of your credit card).

Also, although we have switched to a more secure credit card transaction system that only stores the last four digits of your card on our databases on July 7, 2010, we have disabled credit card payments indefinitely.

The credit cards involved in this incident are those used in orders prior to July 7, 2010 (a maximum of 23,526 cards)

- Credit card numbers, expiration dates, cardholder names

We do not store personal verification passwords or security codes on our databases, so these have not been accessed.
Again, we have switched to a more secure credit transaction system on July 7 that only stored the last four digits of those cards (3,794 cards) and cannot be abused by a third party.
We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience or concern that this incident may have caused.

A timeline of events
October 6 - A system administrator found traces of attacks from Korea and began investigating immediately. That night, we contacted an external security firm to investigate.

October 7 - The external examiners began investigations in the morning. We shut off our systems for emergency maintenance, reinstalled all server operating systems and software, re-examined security settings, and isolated the server.
Logs indicated that customer data had been sent out from our server to the address of an institution in Korea.
We contacted that institution by phone and email about this incident and confirmed that the data had been deleted. We believe that they were used as a proxy.

October 8 - We revised program, network, firewall, and client machine security and implemented an intrusion detection system.

October 12 - We contacted the credit card transaction handler and began discussions about the course of action.

October 20 - The external investigators concluded their investigations and determined which and how much data had been accessed.

October 28 - With the results of the investigation and cooperation of credit card companies, we are ready to handle customer correspondence and have sent out email notifications to the customers that may have been affected.

We deeply regret that this incident has occured, and are continuously examining the security of our systems. We believe that the root of this problem was the lack of security awareness among each and every employee and are making sure this should not happen again.
We will work hard to maintain your confidence in Hobby Search and hope to see your continued patronage.

28 October 2010
Toshiyuki Suzuki
Hobby Search

Customer Q&A

* Why did this happen?
Although we strive to keep our site and systems secure, there was a security hole the attackers were able to exploit.

* What information was stolen?
Credit card numbers, cardholder names, and expiration dates.
However, personal verification passwords and CVV codes are not stored on our databases and have not been
Other personal information such as names, addresses, and emails have not been compromised either.

* Is the site secure?
Yes. We have revised our networks, site, and systems under the direction of security experts.
We have also suspended credit card transactions indefinitely.

* What did you do to improve the security of your site?
- deleted all credit card information from our databases
- suspended credit card transactions
- checked over all programs to confirm security
- revised firewall rules to make intrusion more difficult
- restructured our system network for higher security
- changed all passwords and imposed stricter regulations
- hardened the security on all server and client machines
- heightened security awareness among all employees

* Why did it take so long to announce this?
We apologize for the delay in making this announcement.
When we discovered a possible breach of security, we began investigating the issue and whether credit card
information was stolen.
Once we confirmed that, we contacted credit card companies.
We coordinated with them and concluded that both parties would be ready to handle this issue on October 28, 2010.

Regarding Credit Cards

* How do I replace my credit card?
Please contact your credit card issuer for further information.
The number is located on the back of your credit card.

* How do I know if my credit card number has been stolen?
Please check your billing statements for any suspicious charges and contact your credit card company.
For extra security, fraud protection programs are available for most credit cards.

* What do I do if my number has been stolen?
We sincerely regret the inconveniences this incident has caused.
If you see any suspicious charges on your credit statements, please call the number on the back of your card.
From there, you can confirm if it is a fraudulent charge and replace your card if necessary.

* Should I replace my credit card?
Should your card be used for a fraudulent transaction, you should be able to cancel the charge. Please contact your credit card company for more information.
Most vendors offer fraud alerts you can opt-in for.
If you are unsure, please ask your card company.

* Can you replace my card for me?
We are unable to do so because only the card holder is able to replace a credit card.

* I pay my bills using this card. What should I do?
If you replace your card, the payments will no longer automatically be deducted.
Please update your billing information after you replace the card.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

* When will you be accepting credit card payments again?
We do not have an estimate at the moment.
We are still strengthening our security under the advisory of security experts.
We will make an official announcement if we begin accepting credit card payments again.

* What should I do about existing preorders I chose to pay for by credit card?
Existing credit card orders will be processed normally.

These orders will go through the newer, secure transaction system in which your credit card numbers will not be stored on our databases.
However, should the transaction fail, these orders will be switched to be paid for by PayPal and we will notify you of this by email.


* Have you caught the attackers?
We are currently investigating and contacting relevant parties.

* Have you contacted the police?
Yes, we have contacted the authorities.

If you have any concerns...
Contacts regarding this incident
Hobby Search Co, Ltd.
Telephone: 81-3-5833-3533 (International)
Fax: 81-3-5833-3534(International)
Hours: 10AM-9PM (10AM-6PM on weekends and holidays) 10/28 - 11/07
10AM-12PM, 1PM-6PM Mon-Sat except on weeks 2 and 3 of the month
11/8 onwards
(Hours listed are Japan time, GMT+9)
E-mail: hs-support@1999.co.jp

Be sure to check your credit card billing statements!

October 23, 2010

Frank Miller's Ronin

Frank Miller RoninI just finished reading Frank Miller's Ronin. I picked it up because 1) it's "ronin" and 2) it's Frank Miller.

Wasn't what I expected though.

The story revolves around a ronin and his arch-nemesis Agat (a demon) who lived, fought and died 800 years prior to the time line of the story which is set to the 21st century New York. New York at this time is extremely degenerating - not just the city, but the people itself. It's become a harsh place to live in, people have segregated themselves, some have turned into cannibals, and overall, it's pretty much a dying place.

Then there's the development of biocircuitry. It's kinda like a living machine that constantly develops itself and is maintained by a sentient program called Virgo. She's being helped by a freak called Billy who neither has arms or legs.

Frank Miller Ronin
This is where the story of our ronin continues.

Billy has constant dreams (or nightmares) about the life of the ronin - back when he was still a samurai loyally serving his master up to the time when both he and Agat are killed and cursed. All this happened because of the bloodsword that everyone wants to own for their own purposes.

So we find Billy possessed by Agat and he took the form of the ronin, fighting until... SPOILER!!! Agat is killed by Billy's lady-love, Casey.

Art-wise, Ronin is pretty much like most Western comics that I've read. The details of some of the scenes (not the people themselves) are really good though. Minute details are drawn, especially in the biocircuits.

As for the dialogue, it really reflects the different settings, scenes and people of and within the story. I especially found Casey's husband's drug-induced monologue interesting ^^;

Well, personally, I don't think that Frank Miller's Ronin was anything spectacular. Maybe it's because I'm not a big fan of stories with these themes. It's a good read, worth the money I paid for it, but I don't think I'll be re-reading this anytime soon.

Oh, and the ending was...okay...

October 18, 2010

Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia

Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of AlmiaThis is probably one of my favorite Pokemon games ever. The Ranger stint just works for me, better than the traditional Pokemon games. It's just more interactive and quite challenging too.

The game play is a lot different from the other Pokemon games since your character's a Ranger and you capture and befriend Pokemon not to battle, but to help you accomplish quests and missions.

You don't need a Pokemon to catch other Pokemon. You'll be given a Styler that you'll use to capture a wild Pokemon (or to save Pokemon in some cases) by drawing loops around the Pokemon. The creature can and will attack sometimes and if you're not too careful, your Styler will break and it's game over for you. Or you can just go back to your last save point.

You can use the Pokemon that you captured, aside from capturing other Pokemon, to clear out obstacles to help you get through the game. These are called Poke Assists. There are a number of Poke Assists that you will find familiar: Tackle, Cut, Soak. Then there's Recharge that will fill out the energy gauze of your Styler so you won't just die or something.

The plot itself is quite engaging. Simple story, yes: as a Pokemon Ranger, encounter bad guys who use Pokemon to take over the Almia region. For something that simple, I was amused throughout the whole game that I couldn't really put my DS down.

Now to resume playing Pokemon Ranger. Yes, a different Pokemon Ranger game lol XD

October 12, 2010

If Pokemon were real...

...(and rabid) they'd probably look something like these:




See the rest of the concepts in Gavin Mackey's Pokemon ReVamp.

Kanzaki Kaoru Photo Shoot

[Kotobukiya] Kanzaki Kaoru
From: To Aru Majutsu no Index
Scale: 1/8
Price: Y7,140
Release Date: February 2009

She's awfully pretty, isn't she?

I've never really seen To Aru Majutsu no Index, let alone know who Kanzaki Kaoru is, but the moment I laid my eyes on her, back when she was first posted in OtaKai, and when she was offered for pre-order by WasabiToys, I knew I had to get her.

Kotobukiya did an awesome job with Kanzaki Kaoru. The hair, the face, the little details of her clothes down to her base is just awesome. I can't say anything I dislike about her.

Though I get the constant, "her clothes are asymmetrical" or "cowboy boots, huh?" here and there, I think that her outfit is fresh. It gives a new concept to the whole samurai-wielding girl.

On to the shots! Set by my dad and sister.

Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru

Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru Kotobukiya Kanzaki Kaoru

October 5, 2010

Jack Skellington for me!

I forgot to mention this but..

Entertainment Earth is giving away free stuff when you buy $40 worth of toys (or apparel or comic books).

From their website:
We’re giving away not one, but four different items-- and you choose the one you want with your order! Just spend $40 on any combination of products on our web site, and select the gift you want. There are no extra charges or fees. Will you pick a FREE Reservoir Dogs In Your Pocket Electronic Talking Keychain, a Doctor Who Cyberman Rotating Cell Phone Charm, a Japanese Nightmare Before Christmas Series 1 Trading Figure, or a cool Bionicle Poster and Book Set? It’s up to you!
Jack Skellington!! Or the Boogeyman~ I like!

Anyway, you'll have to enter the code of the item that you want upon checkout.

You can view the items and their corresponding codes on this FAQ.

Hattori Hanzo Photo Shoot

[Alter x Hobby Japan] Hattori Hanzo
From: Hyakka Ryoran ~ Samurai Girls
Scale: 1/8
Price: Y8,800
Release Date: March 2010

Hattori Hanzo isn't my favorite character from Hyakka Ryoran. It's actually safe to say that I don't really like her.


Because I'm not inclined to favoring megane.

I got her for the sake of completing the Hyakka Ryoran line. That and she still *is* a samurai, or at least, she's samurai-themed.

Except for the glasses (which I have to confess is nicely done), her details are superb. She has a very dynamic pose and it was executed well. The details of her skirt are truly noteworthy as Alter made it seem as if the blades are real.

Oh, they hurt too when they poke.

There's not much to say about her colors since she's wearing a maid outfit that's primarily black.

I have the regular version so her weapon's a large shuriken, as opposed to the limited one where she's brandishing a sword. This set of photos will have her seem as if she's *catching* her shuriken since I kinda acquired the habit of changing the way she holds her weapon when I see her. (Not anymore since she's safely inside my display cabinet.)

Here's Hattori Hanzo's set by my dad and sister~

Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo

Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo Alter x Hobby Japan Hattori Hanzo

October 4, 2010

Sheryl Nome Photo Shoot

[MegaHouse] Sheryl Nome N.A. Version
From: Macross Frontier
Scale: 1/8
Price: Y6,800
Release Date: January 2010

This Sheryl Nome is the first Sheryl Nome figure that I actually liked. And I am mighty glad I got her.

She created quite a buzz in the old OtaKai forum because of the bullets that were positioned inappropriately lol. A lot of the guys were even wishing for them to be the bullets in this rendition of Sheryl. Ecchi happiness, indeed.

So this Sheryl Nome is sculpted well. The details of her clothes (or the lack of it) is nicely done -- down to the painted fishnet stockings that she's wearing. The gradient colors of her hair are lovely (one of the things that made me like her). Her face could have been a done a wee bit better though ^^;

She comes with two bullets of different sizes. One's to be placed where her bewbs meet (the bigger bullet), and one between her thighs (the smaller bullet). Her clothes are of the cast-off stock - you can remove her micro shorts to reveal cute undies and you can remove her bikini top that exposes her assets. Assets whose eyes are covered by little pink hearts XD

Her base is simple, just a clear, round one that has a banner print on it. It doesn't have pegs in it, both for the figure and the bullets so you can position Sheryl anywhere in the base...that is, if you want her anywhere other than the center.

Anyway, here's the last set of the rainy day photo session by my dad.

MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version

MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version MegaHouse Sheryl Nome NA Version

Cosplay Mania X

...is the last Cosplay Mania convention me and the boyfriend will be attending.

No pictures because there was practically nothing worthy to take pictures of - especially since I went there for the figures as they had Toyntoys as one of the sponsors. But alas, there were too few a figure on the display cabinets and the displays aren't even that much to look at (VN02 Miku and that Nuclear Rin plus a few Chogokins and the K-On! Figma line.)

The function room that they rented for the event was too small, the booths were cramped and clustered to fit a small area. Groups of costrippers occupied large areas where they just sat down and had all their stuff bunched together - a good way to waste what otherwise would have been walking space.

Well, this is the opinion of a toy collector who was told that GSC and MaxFac will be there. Oh and yes, they were "there" in the form of the Toyntoys booth. So yes, I was quite devastated. Wrong information was delivered lol.

Le sigh~ Me and the boyfriend just wasted Php300 for a 30-minute exposure on Stressdom and Hassleland.

And I wasn't even able to get ANYTHING from the convention. The Star Wars lightsaber chopsticks that I asked a friend to buy for me from AmiAmi does not count.

Meh. Should've just gone to Collecticon. I might've had scored some Han Solos then.

Oh well. Charging this to experience.