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Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

Rob Rosenberger

Picture.EXE in the news

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Thursday, 7 January 1999

This password-stealing stuff is years old, but the reporter couldn't wait for AOL to return his call. He wound up talking to a college student and NAI's Vincent Gulatto.[2]

I GOT SWAMPED with email concerning the MSNBC "Picture.EXE" story. I don't know why reporter Bob Sullivan printed old news — AOL has known about password-stealing programs for years. Perhaps Sullivan believed the "Picture.EXE" filename made it a fresh story?

Then again, 2.8 trillion other filenames might also contain a virus or Trojan horse. We might end up reading an MSNBC story about each one! I can't remember 2.8 trillion filenames, so I boiled it down to just two sentences:

Beware any file sent by someone you don't know. Beware any file sent by someone you DO know.

It works for me. I hope it works for you, too. Remember: computer security alerts never die, they just get a new life-cycle...