Saturday, January 20, 2007


"HELSINKI (Reuters) - Computer virus writers started to use raging European storms on Friday to attack thousands of computers in an unusual real-time assault, head of research at Finnish data security firm F-Secure told Reuters.

"The virus, which the company named "Storm Worm" is sent to hundreds of thousands of email addresses globally, with the e-mail's subject line saying '230 dead as storm batters Europe'." -- Scientific American

When it comes to komputers, I've known for years I don't know what I'm doing. But even I know not to open attachments from people I don't know, or know well enough to have complete confidence in what they might send.

And unless I know you and we communicate by email often enough for me to have flagged you as a "friend," all email (and I mean all) goes into a folder in McAfee's Spamkiller so that I can look at it to either pass it through, or delete it along with rest of the daily spam.

Two weeks or so ago the weather was bad, really bad, here in Northeast Florida. We were under a Tornado Watch and a couple of twisters had already caused damage west and south of us, when emails titled "Severe Weather Alert" showed up in the McAfee folder for me to review.

From behind the safety of McAfee's protection I took a peek.

The body looked exactly like an official statement that the National Weather Service publishes, but there's absolutely no reason why they would be emailing me. They don't even know I exist.

Besides, I live in Florida. Why would I be worried about damaging winds in Anchorage, Alaska?

CNet notes:

Other e-mail subject lines for it include "U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza..." and "A killer at 11, he's free at 21 and..."
I'm pretty sure I've gotten those, too, and not just since yesterday.

So why, if I've been having this worm sent to me for two weeks -- and while I don't know for certain I'm pretty sure -- is it suddenly so newsworthy.




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