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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)