Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, June 10, 2005

Michael Jackson Commits Suicide!!

Hahahaha! Gotcha!! But wait. If by any chance you received an e-mail regarding the suicide of Michael Jackson, and you opened it — you have a virus. And of course this also means that if you receive a future e-mail about Michael Jackson’s suicide — delete it!

Yes, the newest computer virus is preying on the public’s fixation and mesmerization with Michael Jackson’s trial and other celebrity gossip. This is a strange juxtaposition of hackers’ ever-improving shrewdness and the public’s hypnotic fascination with entertainment news. Kind of a sad commentary.

If a hacker wants to use a catchy title to get people to open their e-mails, they’re probably not gonna use the Downing Street memo (Downing Street? Oh, is that over near Fifth and Kingston?) or an economic report on the effects of outsourcing. But hey, here’s how you push those buttons: “Britney Spears Had An Abortion!” Click.

The warning came from a British anti-virus firm. The e-mails have the subject “Re: Suicidal Attempt,” and if you open it the text is “Last night, while in his Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson has made a suicidal attempt.” Below the text there’s a link which will supposedly show you the latest word on Jackson’s “suicide attempt.” And if you clicked on that link — well, I hope you had all your files backed up.

Since Americans’ buttons get so easily pushed by celebrity buzzwords, this gimmick will probably be used more and more frequently by hackers. Even the most gullible people are (finally) less likely to open e-mails about Viagra and penis enlargement. And hackers are as ingenious and adaptable as any other group.

So, here are some e-mails you might be getting soon:

“Jennifer Anniston injured in fight with Angelina Jolie!” “Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise: Having an Affair??!?” “Paris Hilton: George Bush’s Lover?” “Jerry Falwell: James Dobson’s Lover?” “Laura Bush goes berserk, shoots ten people!”

Hint: Don’t open them.


Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

that was so odd...it's not like I have a lot of people emailing me updates about michael jackson...I think I would have suspected something.

June 10, 2005 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Stupid hackers and programmers... you would think they would do something useful like replace Microsoft but instead they amuse themselves with petty tricks...

June 10, 2005 at 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

I.M. Dedd: Yeah, I can't imagine anyone falling for it, except for people who are on mailing lists for constant Hollywood news and updates. Even then you'd have to be pretty gullible.

OK Democrat: Yup, there are certainly more useful things that hackers and programmers could do with their expertise. But I can see how they're tempted. Knowing that millions of people will drop everything if you yell out "Michael Jackson!" or "Paris Hilton!" -- it must be tempting to pull every possible scam on them.

June 10, 2005 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Solah said...

Damn got my hopes up ;)

June 11, 2005 at 4:28 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Benjamin Solah: There's always hope :)

June 11, 2005 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger ~jay said...

somehow I never suspected email forwards to be a great way to get the news, but when you are lazy and gullible all bets really are off, aren't they.


June 11, 2005 at 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

~jay: Yup, easy and gullible, that's the ideal combination. And millions of people fit that description, so they must be a goldmine for scam artists.

June 11, 2005 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger ~jay said...

and now we know why so much of America is so deeply in debt...

Ya know, if Tom Clancy wrote a novel like this, everyone would say it was too far out there to even be plausible. >_>


June 11, 2005 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

~jay: Truth is stranger than fiction, like they say. And yeah, these might be the same people who max out on all their credit cards, or jump at every offer that sounds too good to be true.

June 11, 2005 at 11:28 PM  

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