Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Burning the black ICE

You'll all have heard about the ICE scheme. If you're someone on a lot of people's email lists, you'll have heard about it twenty or thirty times now.

Predictably, the first bulk email hoaxes are now doing the rounds - about mobile viruses that allegedly exploit your ICE contacts to promulgate themselves. These are Lies.

What gets me is that otherwise intelligent people forward these warnings on, without bothering to check or verify the contents first. I'm finding this particularly galling because:

1. I work in a department full of on-line journalists, who should really know better. Checking your sources, anyone? Hmn?

2. I'm working from home, and retriving six emails about whether it's a hoax or not wastes my time.

Is it just my longtime net-user status that means I'm familiar and jaded enough with these scams to spot them? Or bother to take a minute to slap a couple of keywords into google?

But anyway - I long ago gave up sending on firm remonstrations about forwarding hoax warnings. The things are designed just to propagate through the email of idiots, so even my firm and reasoned (and admittedly slightly grumpy) rebuttals are adding to the problem.

Which is why the idea behind this site is... maybe a little misguided. Spam harvesting, anyone?

The Hoaxkill service: Let's get rid of hoaxes now!

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