Wednesday 19 January 2005


I got this email a few minutes ago:

I got this information this morning, may be rubbish but thought I would let you all know just in case.

All mobile users pay attention if you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays (ACE) on the screen don't answer the call, END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY,

if you answer the call your phone will be infected by a virus.

This virus will erase all IMEI and IMSI information from both your phone and your sim card, which will make you phone unable to connect with the telephone network. You will have to buy a new phone. This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia.

There are over 3 Million mobile phones being infected by this virus all around the world now. You can also check this news in the CNN web site.


Now, those of us who are wise in the ways of the Web will recognise this as an obvious hoax — and we'd be right. There are the usual giveaway clues: histrionic use of block caps, casual acquaintance with grammar, no link given with the mention of the CNN site, and it's a bloody chain letter, which genuine virus warnings never are. Now, not everyone is as clever as me or at least three of this blog's readers, and I am more sympathetic than many webheads towards the naivety of the uninitiated. But I can't forgive total stupidity.

If the virus disables infected phones, who's making these calls? How does it spread, eh? Eh?

Now go to the back of the class.


Gary said...

Ah, my old friend the chain letter. It's not as bad as it used to be, thanks to my army of spam ninjas who ruthlessly fillet incoming emails, but when magazines printed writers' email addresses next to their articles I was receiving a few hundred of them per week.

I'm convinced that these things propagate not because people are stupid, but because of IIOTIIMBT syndrome: if it's on the Internet it must be true. Which is why otherwise rational, smart people believe that Bill Gates will give them a tenner for each person they send an email to.

There's a very good Denis Leary response (at least, it's attributed to him) on various sites on the net - don't have the URL but it'll turn up in a quick Google.

Squander Two said...

At one of my previous jobs, I successfully permanently stopped my colleagues sending me chain letters by replying with the Dennis Leary rant.

Gary said...

Heh. The old nuclear option - harsh but effective.