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Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

Malicious joke home pages

CATEGORY: Hoax virus alerts

Prank websites sometimes tell visitors they received a computer virus simply by reading the webiste with their eyeballs. Unfortunately, users fear viruses — and fear breeds panic.

One virus expert confirms these prank websites convinced at least one person into erasing months of data — by his own hand — just because he believed the prank.

You can help stamp out these malicious jokes when you complain to the hoaxster's Internet service provider. Fire off a stern message to the domain's technical contact. ISPs may fear a lawsuit if a customer's malicious joke backfires. They'll either terminate the joker's account or at least force him to stop toying with people's fears about computer viruses. Internet providers won't risk getting named in a lawsuit because of something a customer did.

Last updated: 2000/10/2