Re: CHAT: * cybercrime-alerts * E-mail virus hoax makes users do the dirty work
|From:||Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, June 2, 2001, 8:03|
> Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 13:45:17 -0400
> From: bjm10@CORNELL.EDU
> I got just one question:
> How does anybody actually fall for these things? Is a memetic immune
> system really that rare?
One factor is that the net population is still growing by 5-10 percent
a month, so most people haven't had their first exposure yet. Once
they get burned a few times, immunity may develop. (OTOH, April Fool
hoaxes keep working).
Another is the FOAF (friend of a friend) effect: You get it from
someone you know, and of course they must have got it from someone
(the FOAF). Since people don't know who the FOAF is, I think they tend
to assume it's some sort of authority figure.
Perhaps if people realized that the hoax had been transmitted by a
near-infinite chain of people just as gullible as themselves, mutating
along the way, they'd be less inclined to trust it.
Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)