for May 2018
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this
Rante Escalona and Salvadore Toralba
Yep, I don't know who "they" are either, but I know the same person is behind both. He used the same phone numbers for both fake identities.
I'm trying to think of someone who likes to send out malicious communications using fake names. So far I haven't quite figured it out but when I have it pinned down I'll let you know.
The first of the Rante Escalona emails begain in June 2015. Between August 2017 and April 2018 the emails went dead, there were no more Rante Escalona term4sale communications. Now, all of a sudden, we have been seeing a blizzard of them. Hmmm, could those dates be a clue? And now we are getting them from both Rante Escalona and Salvadore Toralba.
For those of you who have not yet had a term4sale email from one of these fictitious characters (the perp will probably come up with a new fake name) you probably will get one at some point. The individual behind this chooses various zip codes which means the subscribers getting the contacts are different. Those with a lot of zip codes have already seen these numerous times and know the contacts are bogus. Please be assured that our copies of these malicious contacts are being put into an email folder and are not counted as part of the legitimate contacts that we count toward your term4sale warranty.
Anyway, we thought everyone should be on alert and if you get one of these fake contacts. I apologize for the nuisance and we are looking into ways to get to the bottom of it..
If anyone can tell me who they think this is, I'd like to hear from you.
And finally, if you get what you believe to be a bogus contact from term4sale, please notify us and let us know why you think it is bogus.
Term4Sale Moving To Its Own Server
About a year ago we moved to an SSL server. The server was to permit customers with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) websites to be able to feature our web quoting tool without a complaint from the browsers that the web quoting option was on an unsecured server. At the same time we put term4sale on the same server but the SSL certificate was not issued for term4sale it was issued for a different domain name. Since then our position in search engines has been slowly degenerating and I wonder if term4sale not being the primary domain identified in the SSL certificate has something to do with it. We are going to find out.
We are moving Term4Sale to a new server and the SSL certificate will be in the name of term4sale. We'll see if that has any positive impact.
At the same time we are moving the new Web Quotes Plus option to that new server. Further, those will be the ONLY services (pages/sites) that we plan to have on that server. We are going to attempt to ensure that customers who use the new WebQuote Plus option have as much speed and horsepower as possible, and so we don't want to put that new service on the same server where we currently have hundreds of WebQuote customers.
Compulife WebQuotes Plus
During April much effort has been made to design the best way to offer Compulife's WebQuotes Plus option. We knew what we wanted conceptually but the devil is always in the details. We have now finalized the design and structure.
As we advised last month, we hope to get as many customers as possible to migrate from the Internet Engine to the new Website Quote Plus option. The purpose is to gain much better control over the use of our internet quoting software and to identify unlicensed, unauthorized use. As I said last month, now that we know that we have no tangible protection by law we have to take steps to protect ourselves from those who want to benefit from our hard work without compensating us properly.
Last month I told you that customers of Website Quotes Plus would have to have some their internet pages on our server. The final design of the Webquotes Plus Option no longer will require that to be the case.
The new option will be an API where you will have/use some PHP code (that we provide to you) which will transfer client values that you gather from your website, and which will return product and premium values back to your website. You will then place those results in the pages of your own design. You will have a control panel on our server, that lets you limit and choose the companies you want in quotes. If you need to fine tune which products are available, from a particular company, Compulife will need to assist you with that.
The big plus for customers is that Compulife will be the one that does the updating of rates to the server, and so that issue will no longer be one you have to deal with. As we update all our other servers at the same time it's a well worn routine for us and your servers will be kept better up-to-date than when you were having to do it yourself.
Finally, the API option is what a number of newer prospective customers have been asking for, and this will kill two birds with one stone. As to security, the source code that calls the engine will be PHP code and NOT visible to your website visitor and certainly not visible to a hacker attempting to steal data from Compulife's database. That fact, combined with additional security features that we will be establishing should make it very difficult for hackers to exploit our software in order to take information for a competing product offering.
Compulife WebQuotes Plus Pricing
Pricing for the Compulife WebQuote Plus is not yet finalized, but will be tiered based upon volume use. At this point there will be three tiers of volume, offering those using less quotes per month a price level that is less than the current Internet Engine price. Two additional tiers of pricing will take care of most of those who have much higher volumes but those tiers will be at a higher price.
Internet Engine Pricing
There will be a new, much higher annual fee for the Internet Engine but we have not yet determined what that will be. there will still be a cap on volume use.
IMPORTANT: There will be no change in pricing until the WebQuote Plus option is tested, implemented and available. There will be a transition period for those that elect to move to that option.
ALSO IMPORTANT: Price changes will not take affect until the first renewal following the price change. If you are currently paid for one, two or three years, your prices are locked.
Windows PC Volume Limits
During April we quietly rolled out a new Windows version of Compulife that introduced a volume limit on the number of quotes that can be run per day. So far the only folks that have hit the limit were life insurance companies running large volumes of quote for analysis purposes. In one example, the company had written a program that ran our program in order to batch process quotes. We did not now that was going on.
Let me underline for everyone, that that was exactly the reason we put in the PC quoting limiter, to stop that kind of potential use of our product. The fact that we found one customer doing so underlines the vulnerabilities and why we needed to shut it down.
Compulife Batch Analyzer
To address the needs of life insurance companies, who want access to our quotes for competitive pricing analysis, Compulife has decided that we will be introducing a new product called the "Compulife Batch Analyzer". The Batch Analyzer will permit a life insurance company to batch process multiple quotes for multiple scenarios on a Windows PC computer, and then have the resulting quote information exported to a spreadsheet format for analysis purposes.
The Batch Analyzer will be available as an option to life insurance companies who:
1. Have a Standard License Subscription to Compulife
2. Who provide Compulife with their rate information
The Batch Analyzer will have a two tier pricing structure. The first tier will be a single month subscription allowing a life insurance company unlimited use during that month. The second tier will be an annual subscription that allows unlimited use during the year.
The Batch Analyzer will be an option to the Compulife Windows PC program and will run from the Red Menu. The option will appear as a button on that menu, but will only work if you have the Analyzer and if the Analyzer subscription is enabled.
Certain parameters for the Analyzer will work in conjunction with the PC software. For example, if you want to batch analyze a particular group of companies, that group will be set using the "Manage Product Database" functions in the software. If you want only certain A.M. Best ratings or better, you will set that using the Enter Client Information in the Windows PC software. Users of the Analyzer can test some of the parameters they are constructing by using the PC program to run individual quotes. Once they think they have the parameters properly defined, the user can switch to the Batch Analyzer which will quickly produce hundreds of quotes and export the results to a spreadsheet.
Of course this type of use of our product is exactly what some might want to use to reverse engineer our database. That is what the defendants in the lawsuit did when they ran 850,000 quotes from our term4sale website in a 3 day period. For this reason users of the Compulife Batch Analyzer will have to sign an agreement that sets out the accepted analytical use of the material created by the Batch Analyzer, that they will not use it to populate any database offering quotes to third parties, and that they will not re-sell or provide the information to third parties. Those wanting exceptions to that will need to talk with Compulife directly.
The reason we are providing the Batch Analyzer is because we will be effectively remove the ability to do this with the web quoting options. We do not want anyone using our internet software to batch quote multiple quotes.
In addition to the Batch Analyzer software itself, Compulife will be providing a special update for Batch Analyzer customers. Those that buy the single month version will be entitled to a special midmonth-like update file which will let the life insurance company preview a tentative rate change and compare those non-released product premiums with their existing products and with the products of other companies in our database. This assumes that the company has provided those rates to Compulife which we will then enter and release back to the company in a special update which can be used with the PC software and that will then be accessable by the Batch Analyzer.
Once again, that special preview update will ONLY go to that company and will not be provided to anyone else. Compulife treats all pre-release information provided by life insurance companies as "top secret" and it is never provided to third parties. Further, Compulife never provides the raw data provided by companies to third parties.
Customers who buy the annual version of the Batch Analyzer will be entitled to two such updates annually. Such preview updates beyond the two will be available but there will be a cost for the update. Prices will be announced later, once the product is available.
All the changes we are announcing will take some time to complete, although the new API is well underway and we don't think it will take an enormous amount of time to complete the Batch Analyzer as it is really just a hybrid of our PC and Engine technology.
Until those are both available, we will continue to support the old engines and pricing. Once the new options are available, we intend to make a major change to our data structure forcing everyone to update to new programs. The old data will not be compatible with the new programs, and the new data will not be compatible with the old products. At that point we will roll out a new Internet Engine and the first renewal for that engine will be at the new higher price. The new engine will have new restrictions that limit the volume use.
We believe the limits and pricing will make most internet engine users want to migrate to the WebQuote Plus API.
The only exception will be for those customers who have been co-marketing the internet engine use to third parties, and who have significant volumes of sub-users. There the limits will be set on a per user basis, so that total volume does not inhibit use of the software.