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Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

How thick do you want that irony sliced, Mr. Adams?

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Monday, 17 May 1999 JAMES ADAMS RECENTLY penned an opinion piece about the CIH virus. In it, the one-time CEO of United Press Int'l says "our best defense is sharing information — not panic-inducing rumors and half-truths, but solid, verified knowledge." Ironically, a fair amount of Adams' information seems to come from panic-inducing rumors (thanks to a couple of Asian bureaucrats) and unverified anecdotal evidence (thanks to unknown media sources). This doesn't really surprise me, though. You may recall Adams fell for the Gulf War printer virus hoax in his recent book on cyber-warfare. Adams mentioned the NATO website attack in his opinion piece, so I encourage you to investigate the factual anomalies. He talked about alleged Chinese spy Wen Ho Lee, so you might as well investigate that weird controversy, too. You should also try to find a good number for total PCs in the U.S. — Adams claims roughly 50 million, which seems amazingly low to me. Perhaps he meant to say 50 million households instead? Oh, forget it. I can't even get over the irony of his "panic-inducing rumors" statement. In related news: I read Soviet Colonel Stanislav "Clancy" Lunev's book about Russia's military-industrial-criminal triad. A juicy quote from page 13 jumped out at me: "Russian computer specialists are trained to hack into computers all over the world. In fact, every company that is on the Internet can be penetrated by Russian hackers." Lunev goes on to say these über-hackers directly support the Russian mafia. I know this may sound like a panic-inducing rumor, but the Russian mafia detected my feeble attempt to write a review of Lunev's book. GRU-trained hackers infected Amazon.com's mainframe computer with a virus designed to alter the book review submission form so it doesn't work.