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hoax

April is the Cruellest Month*

This time last year I was on my way to Cambridge to deliver a presentation, having stayed up till the early hours of the morning to post a blog reporting that Conficker, although it had changed its behaviour, as we already knew it would, had not initiated the heat death of the Internet.  What's really

Corpus Christi Hoax Mail

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

Hoaxes and semi-hoaxes

Eveline Goy commented on a previous blog on "When is a hoax not a hoax?", and I thought it was too good a comment to let it lie unnoticed. Dear Mr Harley You might be interested to know that the MISSING GIRL email re Rachelle Marie Smith is now being distributed in Australia.   Of course

Whatever Happened to the Unlikely Lads? – Conference Paper

Here's another conference paper we've put up recently on the white papers page at http://www.eset.com/download/whitepapers.php. "Whatever Happened to the Unlikely Lads? A Hoaxing Metamorphosis" by David Harley and Randy Abrams, was presented at the 19th Virus Bulletin Conference in Geneva in 2009, The paper was first published in Virus Bulletin 2009 Conference Proceedings. Copyright is

Great Hoax From Little Acorns…

I learned a new word today. "Glurge", according to snopes.com, an essential resource when checking the validity of dubious chain letters, glurge is the sending of inspirational (and supposedly true) tales … that often … undermine their messages by fabricating and distorting historical fact in the guise of offering a "true story". I came across

Fake ICE and Hot ICE

Randy’s post yesterday about putting an "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) prefix in front of one or more entries in the contact list on your cellphone rang a particular bell (sorry!) with me. I first came across the idea around 2005, when the idea was first launched by the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust in

Hoax Hacking

The estimable Dan Raywood, of SC Magazine, forwarded me an interesting example of a hoax email, knowing that I have an unhealthy interest in these "electronic ephemera" as Martin Overton calls them. In fact, I have an email address (hoaxchecker@gmail.com) that I use to offer a free service to people who want information on whether

Watch Out for “Michael Jackson” Hoaxes

The news broke a short time ago that pop star Michael Jackson died of a heart attack. It is all too predictable that the bad guys will use this news event to spam out fake videos or links to alleged pictures in order to trick users into installing their malicious software. If you receive an

T-Mobile Data Breach – Or Not…

Just last Saturday, June 6th; there was a new posting on the Full Disclosure mailing list from a source that calls themselves pwnmobile (at least that’s part of their email address). In the post, pwnmobile claims they have harvested information from T-Mobile USA’s servers. The data they claim to have acquired is: various databases confidential

PSST! It’s PFTS!

PSST! Anyone remember the Telephone party game, also known by various politically incorrect names like Chinese Whispers and Russian Scandal? A series of reports like this and this illustrate a textbook example of how rumour and misunderstanding (some of it probably wilful) can transform a story into something very different to its original form. According

Bill Gates shares his fortune – not

As the Win32/Waledac nuisance continues to escalate, it’s good to know that there are some certainties in a changing world. One, unfortunately, is that people will continue to fall for hoaxes and chain letters. Much to my surprise, one of my mailboxes has just been visited by an old friend, a hoax that has been

What an Honor

I recently received an email stating “It is a privilege to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2009/2010 Princeton Premier Honors Edition Registry. This recognition is an honor shared by only the most accomplished professionals who have demonstrated excellence within their careers and communities.” I had always assumed these were

It’s Scam Time!!!

Welcome to prime-time scam season. This is when the advertisements for taxes in the USA really start to pick up. Granted, they go on all year long, but now is when we traditionally see an increase in volume. There are a variety of such scams. The worst of the scams are the phishing attacks. If

Spies in One’s Samovar (or a Storm in a Teapot)

Round here, we’re mostly concerned with the malicious and programming kinds of bug. But as an avid watcher of Spooks*,  I couldn’t resist sharing with you an item in the Telegraph about a samovar presented to the British Royal Family about twenty years ago. Apparently, after a surveillance sweep of the Queen’s estate at Balmoral, the

Hoax: “Life is beautiful”

When I get a chain letter like this, I don’t usually respond to everyone else who received it, even when it’s a hoax (as it usually is)…

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01 Apr 2010
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