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

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