Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Urgent IT Bulletin

From: ******
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:29 PM
To: All
Subject: IT Bulletin
Importance: High

Please remember to be very careful of opening an
attachment or link within messages where you don't
know the sender or if the message looks the least
bit suspicious. When in doubt, leave the email alone
(ie. don't forward it to anyone or click on anything
in it) and call or email the helpdesk for assistance.

Sigh. I work for a consulting firm. Even with an industrial strength spam filter, I still get a dozen or so junk mails a day. As does everyone else here, I assume. Yet still, we need to tell people - professionals, who work in offices - not to open the virus/scam/trojan horse emails.

This is 2007. Most people don't even realize that "spam" was actually a canned meat product before it was junk mail, and googling news about "phish" will return as many results about phishing scams as it does about the band.

I am just trying to figure out: exactly who isn't getting it? Who reads that email that says "Your [CLASSMATE] has sent you an invitation, click to view it" and thinks to themself, now THAT sounds like a good idea?

It really takes a lot of effort to fall for an internet scam these days. Email programs and web browsers warn you relentlessly about running any executable. Attachments are filtered mercilessly - to the point where it's actually quite a challenge for me to get an executable to certain clients for a legitimate purpose. You can't just accidentally read the email - you have to open it, follow the link, then click yet another link which actually downloads the virus. Then, your browser will give you dire warnings about running programs from the internet, or force you to save it to your hard disk, at which point you can finally commit technological suicide.

The moral of the story is, it's pretty hard to prevent stupid people from hurting themselves. I'm not sure that warnings like this really work. You might as well tell people not to stick their hand in a vat of boiling oil, it might burn! Oh yeah, and don't eat broken glass. It hurts going in AND coming out.

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