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Top 10 Security Fairytales

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Top 10 Security Fairytales

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Some computer users astonishingly believe that answering their mobile phones will leave them open to computer viruses. And such fundamental misunderstandings over IT security issues are rife among staff in businesses across the globe, according to a new study.

The 'Top Ten Cyber Security Urban Legends' released by Secure Computing Corporation warns that, while such improbable stories circulating on the internet are amusing, they highlight serious problems related to misperceptions among end users about cyber security.

Secure Computing Corporation compiled its list based on support calls, customer requests, and monitoring of internet discussion groups. It found that, while most of these legends are harmless, some can cause real harm if taken seriously.

The Top 10 cyber security urban legends:


Creating a fake entry called 'AAAAA' or '000000' in your e-mail address book will block Trojans from replicating.
Not only is this untrue but it can give users a false sense of security, exposing them to real Trojans.

A digital mobile phone can be infected with a virus merely by answering a phone call; the call receiver must not answer the call or disaster will strike.
Despite this story warning that the virus identifies itself as 'ACE' or 'Unavailable', there is no evidence that any virus can be spread in this way.

Hackers can legally break into websites that lack 'warning' notices.
Breaking into websites is a crime, whether there is a warning notice posted or not.

Some Windows system files are malicious and should be deleted.
In fact, deleting legitimate Windows system files like JDBGMGR.EXE and SULFNBK.EXE can harm a PC.

Hotel card keys secretly record personal information, which could be maliciously taken advantage of without the person knowing.
Information encoded on these cards is limited to room number, check-out time and other non-identifying data.

Search engine 'crawlers' perform security checks and notify users of vulnerabilities.
No known search engine employs this practice.

Thieves use lists of 'out of office' auto-replies to target homes for burglary.
There are no known cases of burglars actually using this technique.

Free patches emailed to you will protect your PC from the latest worm or viruses.
Free patches received as unsolicited email are more likely to contain Trojans.

Signing up with a 'Do Not Spam' registry will stop users from getting spam.
Unlike the US 'Do Not Call' registry there is no official registry for spam.

Popular downloads Elf Bowling and Blue Mountain Greeting Cards contain viruses.
A widely held, but mistaken, belief.
14 REPLIES
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Top 10 Security Fairytales

education! education! education!

when will people learnHuh
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

indeed, thought they were quite good
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Top 10 Security Fairytales

Yes i thought they made for some fun reading Cheesy very good,

its the fact that so many people still believe these things
in this day and age that beggars belief :shock:

dont you agree ?Huh
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

personaly i think when u buy a new pc instead of the sales rep talkin u into buying stuff u dont need, they could use the time to EDUCATE the user slightly
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

In most computer stores (one large one namly, thet doesn't need saying), the sales rep could be spending the sale getting educated rather than educating.
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

Yep, I think I probably know which big store group that would be as well.

You asked them a PC question and they look at you as though your talking another lanaguage.
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

mmm isnt that like ALL large PC stores ?

*shrug*

Buz
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

Quote
Some Windows system files are malicious and should be deleted.
In fact, deleting legitimate Windows system files like JDBGMGR.EXE and SULFNBK.EXE can harm a PC.


Have to say that I think this one shouldn't be in the list, I'm pretty sure all Windows system files are malicious and should be deleted. In fact if you delete tham all you'll probably save yourself a lot of trouble. :twisted:

Joking aside I have finally given up on people that in this day and age still send out these emails to everyone on their list. I used to email them and point them in the correct direction but you can be sure that the following month they'd be at it again with the next junk email.

Now I just send them a standard email which tells them that I have blacklisted their email address and any further emails will just be bounced back to them. Isn't Mailwasher great Cheesy
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

yes yes it is Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Top 10 Security Fairytales

Similar to one of the above ones - getting a mesage on msn / yahoo / whatever
"If personX trys to add you to thier friend list, DONT LET THEM, its a VIRUS and will mean they will take over your computer"
The fools often forward that one and similar messages about.

Chris
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

i know, i mean come on ppl how can "adding" some one be a damn virus *hits head*

ok and yes i know msn 7beta had a ncie JavaScript hole but shush :p

maybe a sticky "Hoax" thread here?
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

Well, we do have Microsoft to blame for a lot of this scare talk.

You could say the same thing about Outlook Express. How can just viewing an email launch a virus?

When you get major bugs like this floating about in common PRE-INSTALLED software, then it is very hard to act surprised to people spreading things like this and peopel believing it.
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

Adding name on MSN = information that says "user is online/offiline" and nothing more...reading an email in Outlook Express = any volume of data from another PC that is not restricted to just a name that you typed in manually.

I just can't see a realistic, feasible comparison! :shock:
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Top 10 Security Fairytales

Looking at a e-mail you think you trust.
Works another way
Looking at a content you think you trust.

Yes, the way you describe them, they are two totaly different technologies, how can I possibly show an analogy that makes any sence.

However, think of what caused the e-mail problem, and you might see it relates to MSN as well as many other programs.

For a virus to laucnh in an e-mail, all the user had to do way look at it. Malicious code within the ehader of the e-mail, triggered a bug. The user had no way check to see if that email contained a virus, as to do so, is to preview the message.

Now lets look at MSN.

Adding a contact is a matter of trust. If you add the person to your contact list, you will see that persons online status. This happens regardless of you asking it to in the future.

What if?
What if so said trusted user changes his/her name, and/or sends a messages that causes a bug in the MSN software?

What if it triggeres and runs a URL emebeded into the contact name? What if it happens by that person only coming online?

I am not saying this does happen. What I am tryign to say is it is very hard to be surprised at users that get scared when people say it does happen.

Look at it from another way. Pretend that before all the problems with Outlook Express where known about, e-mails where going about saying that all you had to do was look at an e-mail and you could be infected with a virus.

What would we be sayign then? "I wish people wouldn't believe this stuff!"?

Only problem is, that was true! What if adding contacts to MSN did become true? We can't conlusivly say it can't, we don't have the access or authority to do so.

SO. The technology may or may not be the same, but those scare tactics, whilst they may or may not be true, certainly do sound plauasable.