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Issue 27 - Hoax-Slayer Newsletter

Issue 27: 11th June, 2004

This week in Hoax-Slayer:
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Hoax-Slayer is a Free Monthly Web-Based Newsletter brought to you by Brett Christensen

The Hoax-Slayer Newsletter keeps you informed about the latest email hoaxes and current Internet scams. Hoax-Slayer also features anti-spam tips, computer security information, pertinent articles and more.

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Subway Terrorist Attack Hoax

This new hoax email has been rocketing around the inboxes of the world over the last few days. The message claims that a terrorist attack on the subway system of a US city may occur on Friday, 11th June. The message does not specify a particular city, but the assumption is that it refers to New York. Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne of the New York police has dismissed the email as a baseless rumour.

According to a Reuters news article:
The police department has received no credible threat information concerning a widely circulated e-mail message that discusses a purported subway attack allegedly planned for Friday, June 11th

Since the World Trade Centre attack, a number of similar, and equally bogus, email rumours have circulated. Many of these earlier hoaxes also claim that extra body bags have been ordered and make contrived connections between certain dates. If there had been credible intelligence about a possible terrorist attack, the US Government would have alerted its citizens in the proper manner. The email claims that the government chose Friday as the day to honour former President Reagan in a clandestine attempt to minimize casualties, but this strikes me as ridiculous paranoia.

There are enough real terrorist threats in our modern world without muddying the waters with pointless rumours like this one. This "warning" should go directly to the "Deleted Items" folder without being forwarded.

I don't know how true this is but I don't put anything pass our government. This was forwarded to me and I don't know what to think of it....so i figured i might as well pass it on. Ya never know in today's world, its very scary.

This mass email to everyone is because of something that was brought to my attention the other day that I feel I need to tell as many people as possible incase it turns out to be true.. One of my colleagues has a good family friend who works in city hall. This friend called my coworker on Friday to tell him about some intelligence the city has gotten regarding a possible terror attack in the city (most likely the subways) planned for this Friday and urged him to avoid the subways if possible. He also told him something about the city placing an order for 2 to 3 thousand extra body bags. Now you have to take these things with a grain of salt because I am sure they get tons of this intelligence that turns out to be nothing. However there are some things that coinside with this Friday that seem to give it a higher probability than usual. The terrorists attacked the WTC on 9/11. They attacked Spain's subways on 3/11. This Friday just happens to be 6/11. Whether that means anything or not who knows. The thing that really has me concerned however is that all of a sudden a lot of things are now closed on Friday due to Reagan's death. The stock market, banks, Mail and all federal buildings are closed. Obviously Reagan's death wasn't planned but the fact they chose Friday as the day to do this big honoring of him strikes me as a little to coincidental (less people going to work = less people on the subway). The question that I get most when I tell people about this is why wouldn't they go on TV and warn people. Well I think the answer to that is simple....they can't. They would cause mass hysteria and the city would be out of control. Take this information and do withit what you want. I just felt the need to tell as many people as I could. God forbid something does happen this Friday and some people get hurt or die that I know and could have warned about it and didn't, wellthat would be a tough pill for me to swallow. I hope all this is bull and nothing happens this Friday or any day for that matter. Onething is for certain though if I have to work on Friday I am taking a cab.


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eBay Phisher Scam

Online auction site, eBay, has been the continual target of phisher scammers. The latest scam email claims that "your eBay account had been recently compromised" and asks recipients to verify their account information. This email is the bait in a typical phisher scam and does *not* originate from eBay. A link in the email leads to a bogus website designed to look like a real eBay page. A form on the fraudulent webpage requests the user's eBay id and password. Information submitted on the form is sent to the scammers who will then be able to access the victim's account.

Read more information about eBay scams.

A copy of the fraudulent email is included below:

Urgent SafeHarbor Department Warning

You have received this warning because we have strong reason to believe that your eBay account had been recently compromised and it could be used by a third party without your authorization. In order to prevent any fraudulent activity from occurring we are required to open an investigation into this matter. To speed up this process,you are required to verify your eBay account by following the link below.

[LINK REMOVED]

(To complete the verification process you must fill in all the required fields)

Remember : Your personal information is protected by eBay's Privacy Policy and encrypted by the industry standard SSL technology. While on a secure page, such as our form, the letters https:// will appear in the address bar and the padlock will be located at the bottom of your browser window.

Please Note : If your account informations are not updated within thenext 72 hours, then we will assume this account is fraudulent and will be suspended. We apologize for this inconvenience, but the purpose of this verification is to ensure that your eBay account has not been fraudulently used and to combat fraud.

We apreciate your support and understading, as we work together to keep eBay a safe place to trade.

Thank you for your patience and attention in this important matter.

Regards,

SafeHarbor Department
eBay Inc.

Do not respond to this e-mail, as your reply will not be received.

Copyright 2004 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.

eBay and the eBay logo are trademarks of eBay Inc. is located a Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125


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Irish Friendship Wish Chain Letter

This email, along with many similar ones, has been a regular visitor to my inbox. Although this one is fairly mild, some are quite aggressive and threaten dire outcomes for those that don't continue the chain. Of course, chain letters predate email, but the Internet has proven to be very fertile ground for them.

These types of emails are essentially just a waste of bandwidth and add needless clutter to our inboxes. And I can tell you that I've received hundreds of these over the years and sent them all to binary oblivion and, surprisingly (not) I haven't experienced any sudden or drastic downturns in my luck. Furthermore, none of the people who have sent them to me have reported any major windfalls or extraordinary turns of good luck!

I must confess that I take a perverse pleasure in "breaking the chain". As far as I'm concerned, if I delete one of these rather than forward it onward, I've ultimately stopped hundreds or even thousands of useless emails from circulating around the planet and cluttering up the Internet.



An example of the hoax:
Subject: Fw: I want this back. It DOES work.

This may sound nuts, but my husband got this the other day and sent it off. About 10 minutes later a really good financial windfall happened for his son Sean who he had sent it too as well. one of the people he sent it to was responsible for the windfall.

AN IRISH FRIENDSHIP WISH Good Luck!! I hope it works... May there always be work for your hands to do; May your purse always hold a coin or two; May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you; May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. OK, this is what you have to do.... Send this to all of your friends! But - you HAVE to send this within 1 hour from when you open it!

Now.................Make A wish!!!!!!
I hope you made your wish! Now then, if you send to:
1 person --- your wish will be granted in 1 year
3 people --- 6 months
5 people --- 3 months
6 people --- 1 month
7 people --- 2 weeks
8 people --- 1 week
9 people --- 5 days
10 people --- 3 days
12 people --- 2 days
15 people --- 1 day
20 people --- 3 hours

If you delete this after you read it... you will have 1 year of bad luck! But... if you send it 2 of your friends . you will automatically have 3 years of good luck!!! :-)


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Virus Report: Weekly Virus Wrap-Up

The list below represents some of the most significant new virus threats identified by Symantec Security Response over the last few days.

W32.Gaobot.AQS is one of a number of Gaobot variants that spread through Windows vulnerabilities and open network shares. The worm affects Windows 2000, Windows NT and Windows XP. It is important that Internet users apply the latest updates to protect against this and other threats.

Variations of the Korgo worm continue to spread. These worms use the LSASS vulnerability present in unpatched Windows 2000, and XP systems. Unpatched systems should be updated as soon as possible.

W32.Tubty.A@mm is another mass-mailing worm that sends itself to email addresses it finds in the Windows Address Book and uses its own SMTP engine.

The subject of the email carrying the worm is: "MESSAGE_ID:". The attachment is: "photos.exe."

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Windows Security Update CD

It is very important that MS Windows users apply the security updates that Microsoft releases. Failure to do so can leave your computer vulnerable to malicious attacks from viruses such as Sasser and cyber-criminals that know how to exploit security holes. Security updates can be quite easily downloaded from the Windows Update site. However, I've serviced several computers that have not been updated for long periods of time and require many megabytes of updates. Updating such systems can be a long and difficult task if the only available Internet connection is a dial-up service.

A partial solution for this problem is to order the free Windows Security Update CD from Microsoft. The CD includes Microsoft critical updates released through October 2003. Once the updates on the CD are installed, it will still be necessary to visit the Windows Update site to download any new patches, but bringing the machine up-to-date should be a much less daunting task. The CD also contains free trials of security software and information to help you protect your computer.

The CD has updates for Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows 98, and Windows 98 Second Edition (SE).

To order your free CD, visit the following site and fill in the order form:
Order Windows Security Update CD

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Tip of the Week: Single Click To Open Programs and Folders

In order to open a program or folder, the normal procedure is to double-click the associated icon. Generally, one click will highlight the icon while two will open it. However, if you would prefer to open programs and folders with just one click, you can easily configure your Windows system to allow this:

Windows XP Users:

  1. Press Widows Key + E to open Windows Explorer.

  2. Click on "Tools" then on "Folder Options".

  3. With the "General" tab selected, choose the item labelled "Single click to open an item (point to select)".

  4. Exit out of the Folder Options dialog and out of Windows Explorer.

Windows 9x Users:
  1. Press Widows Key + E to open Windows Explorer

  2. Click on "View" then on "Folder Options".

  3. With the "General" tab selected, choose "Custom, based on setting you choose, and then click the "Settings" button.

  4. Choose the item labelled "Single click to open an item (point to select)".

  5. Exit out of the open dialogs and out of Windows Explorer.


Now a single click on an icon will open your programs or folders.

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Feedback from Readers and Site Visitors

If you receive a hoax or scam email, I would appreciate it if you would send me a copy.

I've had a number of submissions about the Subway Terrorist Attack Hoaxthat I've discussed above.

Other submissions included new versions of the X-Box Giveaway Hoax, the Pepsi Can Hoax and the Perfume Email Hoax

As usual, I've received many Lottery Scam emails both as submitted examples and directly from the scammers.

Don't forget that you can discuss scams and hoaxes and other topics on the new Hoax-Slayer Forums.

Once again, thanks very much for you submissions!

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The Hoax_Slayer Newsletter is published by:
Brett M.Christensen
Queensland, Australia
All Rights Reserved
©Brett M. Christensen, 2008
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