Breaking News! Some Old News!

Something came on the news the other day that caught my attention. It was a news report on a new, supposedly scary virus called the Kama Sutra worm among other names. When I say they made us feel we should be scared, we’re talking doom and gloom forecasts. The very animated reporter was claiming that droves of people were going to pay the price for an accidental click that was going to dump a horrible virus on their computer. And what was so scary and earth-shattering about this virus? Honestly, I don’t know, except it was the media’s chosen virus to use to strike fear into people. I’ll give them one thing. It does do ugly things to your files. But scary? I don’t think so.

Let me explain. The virus only comes by email. It doesn’t try to crawl through open ports. When it comes by email, it doesn’t try to exploit a windows flaw to open on its own. It doesn’t con you into opening the attachment by telling you it’s a message from your ISP’s tech support team and this file is one of the good guys. It doesn’t even use the trick of making the naive think the attachment is a safe file like .txt or .mp3 but put another extension behind that one that is the real extension. No no no. The messages crafted by this virus practically scream suspicious to me. Don’t believe me? Have a look for yourself. Here is a sample of the beautiful subjects and bodies that this worm is capable of creating.

*Hot Movie*
A Great Video
eBook.pdf
Fw:
Fw: DSC-00465.jpg
Fw: Funny 🙂
Fw: Picturs
Fw: Real show
Fw: SeX.mpg
Fw: Sexy
Fwd: Crazy illegal Sex!
Fwd: image.jpg
Fwd: Photo
give me a kiss
Miss Lebanon 2006
My photos
Part 1 of 6 Video clipe
Photos
Re:
Re: Sex Video
School girl fantasies gone bad
the file
Word file

Message bodies:

—– forwarded message —–
>> forwarded message
bye
Fuckin Kama Sutra pics
forwarded message attached.
hello,
hi
Hi. I send the file. bye.
Hot XXX Yahoo Groups
how are you?
i attached the details.
i just any one see my photos.
i send the details
i send the details.
i send the file.
It’s Free 🙂
Note: forwarded message attached.
OK ?
Please see the file.
ready to be F**KED 😉
Thank you
The Best Videoclip Ever
VIDEOS! FREE! (US$ 0,00)
What?
You Must View This Videoclip!

Now, seriously. Try and explain to me how anyone opening a file attached to one of those emails is accidentally clicking on the file. If you received any of those combos, given that you’ve probably seen a million of those in spam you receive daily, would your first reaction, without any thought, be, “Oh wow! I must open this right now!” Click clickedy click click? Even if you haven’t seen spam in your lifetime, and if you haven’t, I’m jealous, wouldn’t you wonder why your friend Dave or Uncle John was writing like an extremely formal non-English speaker? Wouldn’t you think twice when the computer said, “now chester, are you sure you want to open this?” Wouldn’t that give you time to go, “Hmm. Well that message looked weird. Maybe I should hold back a bit.” If you wanted to rip the attachment open without a second thought, I second the advice of that fictional tech support lady in that email we’ve all seen a million times. “Ok, put your computer back in its box, take it back to the store, and tell them you’re too stupid to own a computer.” I mean, think about it. Half of those subject lines were trying to convince you you were going to get free porn, and half of those bodies looked like they were written by ESL students.

And here’s another reason why anyone who manages to infect their computer with this worm is a moron. There has been protection for this worm available from most antivirus packages for over two weeks leading up to the supposed black day when it would descend upon our word files, zip files and other treasured files and eat them like a pack of ravenous vultures. Hey chief. Wake up. Smell the coffee. If you’re on the internet, you need antivirus software. This is a given. If you just bought your computer, I feel somewhat bad for ;you, but where have you been before buying your computer? Wouldn’t you ask whoever you bought it from where to go to get something to keep you from getting viruses? Any vendor of computers is irresponsible not to sell you antivirus software with your computer.

Another part of the news report that got me was when Chirpy the reporter turned to her interview subject that was supposed to give her credibility. He piped up and said that this worm was sprouting a new form of terrorism because now everybody has to be afraid for every day of the month, wondering if they had the virus lying dormant, waiting to strike. Hey Imbecile, most viruses have set dates and times when they unleash their payloads. If that’s terrorism, I have the perfect anti-terror weapon. Antivirus software. Get some, shut up, chill out.

So, after all that, tell me why the media has to start screaming like Chicken Little over this. If this virus is such a big deal, shouldn’t we have seen a complete media panic when Bagle, Netsky and Sobig broke out? Those were far more threatening than this, yet I don’t think I heard a thing about them on the news. If I did, it was a little wee five-second report.

I find this to be a problem with the media in general. They take non or close to non-issues, or subjects where nobody has a real answer, *cough* bird flu *cough*, and work people into a panic with them, and then, when there is a reason to panic, they sweep those issues under the rug. “We don’t want to cause mayhem,” they say.

It makes me sad to see their crap working on my parents. They sent me a frantic email asking if it was safe to even send emails because of this horrible worm that, in their words, was scary and even the TV said they should be worried. I don’t think my parents are stupid. They grew up in an era when the news was perhaps more believable. Now, they’re being taken for a ride. Please, everybody, think for yourselves! If the media wouldn’t try to think for us, and people wouldn’t let the media succeed, fear-mongering like this wouldn’t sell.

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