Bill B. forwarded an interesting hoax mail to my "hoaxchecker" account (hoaxchecker [at] gmail [dot] com.
The hoax isn't so interesting in itself, in that it's been around quite a while, as is described at the ever-dependable hoax resource snopes.com. But I do find interesting the fact that this particular variant includes some wrinkles that may well be intended to increase its spam potential as a chain letter.
Here's what it looks like, with some brief notes on its more interesting tweaks: I've included more information in another blog here, and I'll return to it in a longer paper in due course.
Subject: FW: Going Beyond Disrespect
When you forward this make sure you send it BCC to avoid hackers getting everyone's e mail.
[This is a spurious argument: you might just find addresses leaking to spammers and scammers, but a list of email addresses isn't much use to a hacker. However, the real motivation behind this suggestion is probably to make it more dificult to remediate the spread of a chain letter.]
Subject: Fw: Going Beyond Disrepect
The movie "Corpus Christi" is due to be released this June to August. A disgusting film set to appear in America later this year depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in theatres for a while. It's called "Corpus Christi" which means "The Body of Christ". It's revolting mockery of our Lord. But we can make a difference. That's why I am sending this e-mail to you.. If you do send this around, we just might be able to prevent this film from showing in America. Let's stand for what we believe in and stop the mockery of Jesus Christ our Savior. Where do we stand as Christians? At the risk of a bit of inconvenience, I'm forwarding this to all I think would appreciate it, too. Please help us prevent such offenses against our Lord. There is no petition to sign, no time limit, or minimum number of people to send this to.. It will take you less than 2 minutes! If you are not interested and do not have the 2 minutes it will take to do this, please don't complain when God does not have time for you because He is far busier than we are. Hey, it's worth a shot! Apparently, some regions in Europe have already banned the film. All we need is a lot of prayer and a lot of e-mails. JUST GET THE WORD OUT
[There are some other hoax-friendly suggestions in here, too, apart from the bullying tone of moral blackmail. Notably, the suggestion that it doesn't matter that you can't tell from this how long the mail has circulated. If I told you the hoax has been around (not in this exact form) since 1984, would that make you wonder about how effective it's likely to be?]
David Harley CISSP FBCS CITP
Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence
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Author David Harley, We Live Security