Tuesday, February 24, 2004

It's not who you know, it's who knows you

Gentle reader,

I've been getting a lot of spam. And lately most of my spam is of the virus variety.

I'm not stupid enough to open a *.pif, or a *.bat or a *.scr (all executables under MS Windows) mainly because I use at least three operating systems a day, and the virus won't work.

On the other hand there is spoofing. You know where the spam / virus is sent from an address in Florida, but marked with your own e-mail address. You only find out that someone is spoofing themselves as you when the rejected mail arrived, or the notice saying that you sent them a virus. That's the technical equivalent of getting a polite phone call from the STD clinic.

When spam arrived, you rarely know the person. In fact some of the names are randomly created. And worthy of a bad 1920's based whodunit.

But when you receive an e-mail virus (as opposed to getting one), you tend to recognise the e-mail address. This is because the virus (really a type of worm, but don't worry) invades the victims addresses book and sends copies of itself to the people on the list. The reason you know who it comes from is; they know you. With an e-mail address in the "C"s I tend to get a lot. The two things that come to mind are, how was (s)he so stupid, and in some cases, why does (s)he have my e-mail address. I've been getting virus from very interesting people and organisations. Why the Irish Times' News Desk would have my e-mail address on file is beyond me. The same goes for a rather interesting film company which makes movies sold in brown paper wrappers.

I'm looking forward to more interesting press releases!

take care,
Will

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