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Issue 113 - April 2011 - Page 7

Hacker Warning Hoax - Do Not Accept Friend Requests From Bobby Roberts

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Outline
Message warns people not to accept friend requests from Bobby Roberts because he is a hacker and his name will "destroy everything".



Brief Analysis
The warning is a hoax. The claims in the warning are untrue. You cannot give a hacker access to your computer just by accepting a friend request. A name - even a fake one - cannot destroy or damage your computer. This warning is just one more in a long line of very similar hoaxes and should not be passed on.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 14th March 2011
First published: 14th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
***WARNING!!!! DO NOT ACCEPT FRIEND REQUESTS FROM ~~~ BOBBY ROBERTS ~~~ Profile picture is four colored pictures ~~ A hacker and fake name !!!! the name will DESTROY EVERYTHING!!! PLEASE... COPY THIS TEXT ON YOUR STATUS SO THAT YOUR FRIENDS ARE WARNED************* PASS THIS ALONG A.S.A.P..

Bobby Roberts Hacker Warning




Detailed Analysis
According to a breathless message that is currently rocketing around Facebook and Twitter, users should not accept friend requests from a person called Bobby Roberts because he is a hacker. The warning claims that this supposed hacker is using a fake name and that just accepting this name will "destroy everything."

The claims in the message are utter nonsense. You cannot get hacked just by accepting someone's friend request. A name alone certainly cannot damage or destroy your computer. A name, even a "fake" one used by a skilled hacker, cannot actually do anything to your computer. Before a hacker can take control of your computer, he must use some method to gain access to it. Internet criminals can and do use a range of tactics to trick users into relinquishing access to their computers. They might trick victims into installing trojan software that allows a computer to be controlled remotely. Or they might use a phishing attack to trick a victim into sending them personal information such as usernames and passwords, which would allow hackers to access their victim's account. However, even the smartest criminal will not be able to hack your computer just by being added to your contact list or by using a specific name. For a hacking attempt to be successful, some sort of file transfer or exchange of information must take place.

This warning is actually just one more in a long line of very similar hoaxes. From time to time, some prankster will substitute a new name for the supposed hacker, alter a few details, and launch the pointless hoax anew. All such hoaxes claim that the simple act of accepting someone as a friend on your social network will give a sinister hacker access to your computer. All such claims are untrue.

Sending on these warnings will help no one. Such hoaxes clutter online communities with false and useless information, and lets face it, networks like Facebook already have enough of that to last a lifetime. These hoaxes can also unfairly tarnish the reputations of innocent users. "Bobby Roberts" is not an uncommon name. On Facebook alone, there are dozens of users with that name. If you receive one of these false hacker warnings, please do not pass it on to others. And please take a moment to let the sender know that the message is a hoax.

The following articles provide information about other versions of this hoax:
Christopher or Jessica Davies Hacker Hoax Warning
Christopher Butterfield Hacker Warning Hoax
Simon Ashton Email Hacker Hoax
Friendship Inquiries Hacker Alert Hoax

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Issue 113 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. "Photo U Got Tagged In" Rogue App
  2. Internet Rumour: Ramsgate Abduction Attempts - Man With Grey Hair & Glasses Driving a Red Car
  3. Little Rupert The One Pound Deer
  4. Is Lemon A Cancer Killer That is 10,000 Times Stronger Than Chemotherapy?
  5. Modelling Agency Overpayment Scam
  6. Japanese Tsunami 'Whale into Building' Clickjacking Scam
  7. Hacker Warning Hoax - Do Not Accept Friend Requests From Bobby Roberts
  8. DHL Notification Malware Email
  9. Crosses on the Beach at Santa Barbara - ACLU Suit Against Military Crosses And Prayer in the Military?
  10. Scammers Exploit 'Facebook Closing Down' Hoaxes via Rogue Apps
  11. July 2011 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  12. Craigslist iPad Giveaway Survey Scam
  13. Buscopan Syrup Recall Warning
  14. Facebook 'Virus Alert' - Charlie Sheen Found Dead
  15. White Van with Red Dragon Abduction Alert Messages
  16. Crocodile In Sugar Mill Sump
  17. Australian Tax Refund Scam Email
  18. Dog Comes Home With Deadly Snake Around His Snout
  19. Bogus Hacker Warning - &#039 Between First and Second Names in Facebook Chat
  20. False Virus Warning - Do Not Add "Smartgrrl15" Because Its a Virus
  21. New Prison Photographs - Prison vs Work
  22. Pepsi Can Email Hoax
  23. False Story Claims 450 Gaza Grooms Wed Girls Under Ten in Mass Muslim Marriage
  24. Baby Pacey Moore Prayer Request
  25. Slow Dance Charity Hoax
  26. Fake BBC News Alert Warns of Radiation Rain in Asian Countries
  27. Yahoo Account Phishing Scam Email