Social Engineering, can you be hacked?

I need to share first my urge to read. I have it since I was 5 years old and never overcome it. I like to immerse myself in another reality, see the world through someone else mind. I found that for me this is so enchanting that sometimes the thin line between book and reality mingle in my head and not sure if I read it or had really happened. Two days ago I was spying on my flatmate book and the name speaks to me, inviting me to have a second pick to see the author. As I am not great at hiding my enthusiasm, he gave it to me to read, as he was just re-reading some passages. I usually read on my Kindle out of commodity and because is easier for me to buy tones of books and keep it on a tiny device rather than on bookshelves in my room. This time I had to settle for a proper book with real pages and to be honest is getting more and more difficult for me to read it and I have already checked the price on Amazon 😀 Technology is sometimes addictive and does appeal to our laziness to become part of every day life.

Based on the same laziness we have inbuilt in ourselves, we are very easy to be hacked and the book has plenty of examples of how gullible we can be on the right hands. In few minutes you can find plenty of information on someone on a simple search. I usually do use this tool of research quite often in my job as a sales engineer to find information about the company and the person I will be in contact with. We live in an era when information is power and this is what makes me excel at what I do. Until reading this book I never thought of research being such a valuable skill and the main part of information gathering in social engineering.

Photo by h heyerlein on Unsplash

For me, social engineering so far is an art to read people and how you handle the information is what makes all the difference. It is the subtle use of having your homework done and be aware of the breaches you have in your system (can be your mind, your email your social life). Could you be easily the subject of blackmail or how hurt would you be if someone will know the darkest secrets of your life? Most likely those secrets are more in plain view than you ever think.

I will close this post with a link for the book in case you want to be more prepared for what others can know easily about you. Hopefully is not going to get you scared by rather a bit more careful with what you let yourself out there in the digital world.



A little bit of fresh mint tea

I had first mint tea when I was a kid in the mornings together with bread and butter and honey. My dad used to collect the mint somewhere close to his job and he used to dry it in the kitchen or on the balcony. So as far as I remember I thought the mint tea is from dry leaves.

Many years apart I started to travel the world and one day I arrived in Morroco and I felt a familiar enchanting my olfactory senses. I was happy with my cappuccino on a small outside cafe on the Marakesh market but i had to give up and have a mint tea as my mind refused to think or smell anything else. When the tea arrived i was suprised to find out that fresh mint tea leaves where jamming in my cup and not the dry black version that was popular in my country. I really loved the idea that something was different but somehow the same that I have decided to keep the habbit of having fresh mint tea.

Fresh mint tea is the tea that connected 2 of my cherished memories, one of my dad making breakfast during my youth and one of me travelling around the world and experiencing old and new flavors alike. It is the tea of connection and care and I enjoy a cup with you this evening to cure my craving for both.

Photo by Jaida Stewart on Unsplash



Feeling Uninspired – Take A Walk

Today wasn’t easy to invite inspiration and mood to write on my life. I wake up feeling like running away to a different universe where people are free to roam and they have parties and they go to eat out on nice restaurants by the beach. Well a bit far what is possible in UK for now, so I just settle for my second best, a walk in the neighborhood. Starting last week we received guidance about what is considered to be exercise and we are alow to drive to the place we exercise if the exercise time is longer than the drive. Summary of our lovely police.

So I put some petrol in my lovely Toyota that I have been neglected her since a long time and I hit the road. I chose a castle around 60km of my house and I was ready to go. I have not been in a petrol station for a while and today I realized how much it is changed since my last visit. There is a plastic glass between me and the counter and the transaction was done trough a small window where I swiped my card. Still friendly and smiley and no mask (really really glad is not mandatory in UK). The road was pretty clear so in around 50 minutes I reached my destination.

Must be a long time since I had my last journey in the countryside, but I have been welcomed with a lovely surprise – PUBLIC FREE PARKING 😀 I had a lovely chat with a local that I had to ask if it is for real and we were both made fun of my disbelief. I asked him for directions and he said I could not miss my castle, is just down the road. On my way to the castle, I remember how much I miss those tiny public paths that keep you safe from the unexisting traffic. One of the locals was offering for free to their neighbors’ tiny little seedling in a big variety: cherry tomatoes -children’s favorite, baby plum, Italian plum and cream sausage. No idea that they are so many, yummy. I did not take one, as I am the worst garner I know, I manage to kill all the plants.

Took a deep breath and walk further to see my castle. I was really in the hiking mood and I realized something else that I missed, the buzz of the hiking group. Those moments when you first say your name, try to remember a new face or say a confident hi to people you have seen before in walks. It is like a small ceremony where we try to befriend a fellow traveler.

Hadleigh Castle was initially closed when I arrived, so I walked down towards the Two Tree Island. I met a lot of people hiking today, it was much more crowded than I would expect, all of us taking care to not cross to close to each either in the usual polite British way. What I love about the countryside and the people in the mountains is that they always greet you when you pass by. People in the city, even neighbors they seem to forgot their ruts 😀

Half an hour later when I decided to try again to see if the castle was open I has rewarded for my patience and my perseverance. Few other people joined and decided to have their lunch on the grass there. I must have seen the biggest family gathered all between of the remains of the castle, around 10 kids and 6 adults. I even forgot that they exist with this lockdown.

It was amazing to get back to the places I love. Hiking is one of the biggest joy of my life and having a walk is a great help to fight any signs of depression. I strongly recommend a life that includes regular walks in nature, as maybe you can realize how easy is to in tune with existence. Nature is never boring, small birds, bugs, flowers are always ready to be by your side and to bring joy. Trees for me as well are amazing, I often hug then on my journeys or in parks because they have been for a long time to witness us changing their world without judging us.

On my way back to the castle I realized I forgot to add my funny face somewhere in this short walk. I fixed the issue in a second and I had a long water break and some rest before heading back to my car. I am really more in peace with the world today and a lot of this gaining was the walk in nature. I would love to be able to inspire more and more people to live a simple life and enjoy the trills of some fresh air. Vitamin D is a big gain as well, even in a country where the sun is not so present at full warmth.

Flower Blossom

For now, I will finish with some bushy flowers because the bumblebee was not really keen to be part of my picture. I feel like my story today is a little dry, but I am with this, especially because you cannot have the same drive and inspiration every day. I am proud as is my 6th day in a row when I am doing this creative exercise and I never expected to be easy and cheerful every day. But as good as it gets, I did show up today for my assignment.



[//]:# (!pinmapple 51.545277 lat 0.609398 long Feeling Uninspired - Take A Walk d3scr)

Self Love A Very Hard Learnt Lesson


Would you say that self-love is common knowledge and easy-peasy for everyone to adopt as a life policy? You just wake up one day full of love for yourself and take a long bath with an amazing view, some chocolate, a glass of red wine and that’s all you need, right? You are from now a person that knows how to take care of yourself and you are in charge of your happiness. I really would like to be so easy and all we need is an aha moment in the bath to nail self-love. Maybe I was the unlucky one to be born in a spot where self-love was the last of least of needs to be fulfilled.

I remember a memory from my early childhood that has been a long trauma in my life. I was really small in height and fragile for my age and my main problem then was that I seem to not be seen. I was not the popular child, but the one that was really shy and always chosen last on the teams’ games, unless no one else was available. Maybe because I wanted to much to fit in and to belong, I was less attractive as I believe small kids feel this instantly. Anyway, it was this big boy that was my enemy as he liked to make fun all the time of my shortness. He used to give me a nickname that I used to hate – Mammut (a big size elephant) and pretty much all the neighborhood started to call me like this, especially the male side of it. I was so embarrassed by the nickname and my shortcoming that it never crossed my mind that he might be wrong. I could not choose my growth rate, obviously, but he was not kind by far.

Sometimes when we have no clue how we can stand up for ourselves, we ask others for help. In this case, I went upstairs, home, crying my eyes out about this boy. My mom, she went like a storm downstairs in the yard to give the boy a moral lesson and a threat that he should not mess up with me ever again. She meant really well of course, like any mom will do for her child, but in my case did not help me to love myself more, au contraire. I was not assertive enough to say that I don’t want to be helped but to understand a way how I can become more confident and not be hurt about facts I cannot change.

Well, I become more and more a hermit, I’ve closed myself more and more my friends become the books. If you read my previous post you would know by now that I started to read early in my childhood and this was somehow my help. When I was around 15 years old, in 1994, I read my first self-help book “The Art of Success For Romanian” by Pavel Corut. I was impressed and hooked by the possibilities described by that book to work with your self and change into an upgraded version. I become soon his biggest fan, read almost all his novels (science fiction with self-help mixed, where his hero was a Romanian international spy that can communicate with extraterrestrial life). I was so inspired by that book that I start to do experiments with myself and look for other self-book from international authors.

I continued my research during my uni, but slowly slowly understood that if I want to be happy I need to find a way to become good enough on my own. It was tedious to dig inside and to understand why I felt unwelcome and unworthy. The outside world becomes a little better, I have decided to offer my friendship than to wait for it to be served on a silver plate. I was analyzing my hurts all the time and tried to see how I can handle them so that they will not manifest on others. I met wonderful people then and we shared special moments, but in parallel, I continued my research on how I can love myself more. In my case, that was to forgive myself for not being able to speak about the things that were difficult for example or to cry in front of others (still on progress with this one).

After years and years of self-inquiry, I am not saying is a walk in the park. After more than 25 years from my first book and a lot of self-testing, doubting, trying and implementing and then repeat, I might be able to say I am a bit more close by. I have reached an agreement with my body and I love it as it is, I managed to be in peace that I am weird and I can now dance even on social media without the fear of being rejected or unfit. I can even admit to my friends when I feel week or not whole and be more ready to accept suggestions without feeling my base attacked. I tend to allow more time to think and not to react from anger with a sharp voice. All these are small, tiny baby steps towards self-love. I meditate more, surround myself with friends that can be supportive but can also help me see when I am turning the wrong way. I pay more attention to what I eat, say, not let the noise of media too much inside my head.

Spa, massage, body healing, festivals of awareness, meditation all these helped me, even more, to realize that “I AM ENOUGH”. Sometimes this -I am enough- could be I feel sad and my world is gray and outside is raining and not feel like moving from the bed. Otherwise could be that I am ready to start a blog and let everyone know what are my struggles so they maybe feel more self-love. Either way, self-love is an endurance process and not an achievement. It is a lifetime goal. One of my favorite eastern gurus is a funny one, OSHO and one of his quotes that I love is that

“Life begins where fear ends.”

Self-love is not an easy task, it needs effort and constant work. It is less about instant gratification and more about consistency, perseverance and sweat. It is a day to day journey and very easy to slide away. So it is a miracle that I am still on the path. I am glad for my journey so far and I am confident that I am going to maintain my practice until the end. How has it been your self-love journey?

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash



Change Of Plans, How We Handle The Unexpected

I just found out that British Airways canceled my trip to Japan. I waited for this for a long time, always planning to get there for hiking but somehow was never the right moment. Last year me and my friend Larisa we actually made plans to visit Tokyo, Osaka and the northern island Hokkaido. We dreamed about a long camping trip, she upgraded some of her hiking gear. She is a great companion on the mountains and I would dare to say we are both experienced enough to make the journey easy and alow for some unplanned events on the trail. I was really thrilled about her coffee-making skills and we talked about cooking vs buying ready-made meals. I draw a map of the main points on our journey and she made fun of my planning skills. We were on track to make our dreams a reality.

If you live on the same planet with us, you would know by now or guess why our journey has been postponed. A so-called virus is spreading fear among otherwise reasonable human beings. It is difficult to stay apart and not take sides on this matter, especially if you appreciate a good debate as an exercise. I must state my position (as is my blog and I can say what I want for now in here), that for me this virus hype is overrated. Viruses have always been part of our life and for me is weird that for this one we have taken measures without precedent. On the other side, democracy is still an emerging state around here and we have not learned our lessons how easy is to be taken away from us. I am born in a communist country and the measures worldwide today remind me of that time.

I am more ready now to embrace changes as I tend not to fight with them as in the past. I used to be a very keen and objective-goals oriented person, but later in life, I learned that what makes me happier and fulfilled is the flow. Of course, I am sad that my plans will not become reality this early June, but I am sure that in the end, I will have another journey that was meant to happen. I am disappointed and is sad that we don’t live in our ideal worlds, but I chose not to submerge into this energy and to see the positive aspects of this postponement. I will have more time to build other dreams and to work on other substantial aspects of my beloved character.

I dont really believe in 7-steps recipe to heal your life, so for me was a long adventure to get here. I had my ups and downs, I struggled to understand how I can get better. One of the funniest exercises that helped me, I discovered maybe 10 years ago and is very simple. I dont remember where I have read it, maybe a self-help book or maybe just a novel.

Write a letter to your future self at least every 6 months and only read it two years after. As I was always tech-savvy of course my letter was an email.

So the first letter I wrote made so excited and I detailed how i believed my life will be in the next 2 years. I remember to write about my predictions on my professional life, love life and general hints regarding new trends in society. Well it was one of the most thrilled adventure I launched myself in. My first letter was 3 pages and I really really thought I was going to be so right…..

The second one, over the 6 months, my enthusiasm sink a little bit. I still had my fingers on fire to read the first one ahead its term, but my mom did a good job and I am a well-trained individual so if the stake is high enough I can postpone my immediate desires. Well back to the second one, only one and a half page more structured and less dreamy. I was more ready to realize that if my life will not meet my expectations I will be still ok and alive and smiling.

For the third one, I almost missed my term as I remember I used to travel with friends on the mountains and back then the mobile phone had not the same features and capabilities as they have now. I manage to forgive myself for being late and I went straight to my dreaming about the future. I learned to dream different from one letter to another and to think about why this exercise was becoming more and more important. It was not the thrill of reading the result but the acknowledgment that I will be happy with either of the options: if my reality will become true or if I was really far away.

When the time to read my first letter finally arrived I already have forgotten the content of the letter. My heart was filled with butterflies and I made myself a tea and took a cushion to support me. It was how I expected somehow, naive, emotional, and brave at the same time. I pay attention to understand why I dreamed about those things and how I felt when I interacted with me and my desires in the past. It was a mix of emotions that burst into the present and I felt it was a tiny step to understand myself more. I did cry (yes is my secret as i am a strong confident woman) and accepted that from that moment I will not be the same. I had to embrace the fact that life is and is going to be unexpected and find my way to deal with this resolution.

My point with this story is that no matter what we think, our life is going to change. I would say you can, of course, fight it and then be miserable or be humble and embrace it and many tiny steps in between. For me is helpful to know that I can be wrong with my predictions and still be happy, how do you take it?



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Blog reborn

Today is the day!!!! I have decided after a long processing time that I am reopening my blog and I am quite thrilled about it. No idea why is now the best moment as we are facing some interesting moments with the Corovirus flu-like virus that put our beautiful world under the key. We are not allowed to travel, meet friends or family and just enjoy faraway places that i used to like

This picture is from the pyramid in Teotihuacan near Mexico City and is the place I had a touching spiritual experience. I felt so inspired by that place that i was resting in a yoga pose (child pose) and once i felt full in heart and at one with a place I met an old man. He stood in front of me and said “I feel you are really at home today”

Maybe it was the perfect time for me to start my blog and to test if this time is gonna stick with me for a long time. For the moment I set a personal 21 days challenge to write a post daily. First one is on air, 20 to go.

I have a strange relationship with commitment in this life and rarely I manage to do things with consistency. Apart from my work domain that is more almost the same, the rest of my life is somehow fluid. Is not a complaint, au contraire.

I love trying new things and I am fully committed to change and reinvent myself as often as possible. Sometimes this could mean to set difficult goals like learning a complicated skill or being more kind in my approach to certain individuals. I tend to agree that I could be described as a ego-eccentric individual but is good to play and surprise.

My first post does not seem to have a central idea but could be that my energy tonight is not necessarily structured as I wish. I started from scratch this blog around 7.30 pm this Monday and for now, is as good as it gets. Optimization and a more fancy look from tomorrow onwards.