Social Media and Politics: Truthiness and Astroturfing

By Jeremy Wagstaff (this is a column I wrote back in November. I’m repeating it here because of connections to astroturing in the HBGary/Anonymous case.) Just how social is social media? By which I mean: Can we trust it as a measure of what people think, what they may buy, how they may vote? Or …

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Social Media and Politics: Truthiness and Astroturfing

(This is a longer version of my syndicated newspaper column) By Jeremy Wagstaff Just how social is social media? By which I mean: Can we trust it as a measure of what people think, what they may buy, how they may vote? Or is it as easy a place to manipulate as the real world? …

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MyDoom Anniversary: Another Big Attack In The Offing?

Today’s the first anniversary of the MyDoom.A worm. According to an email I received earlier today from MessageLabs, ‘the world’s leading provider of email security services to business’, it was a day that “changed the virus landscape forever”: 27 January 2005 – At 13.26pm on 26 January 2004, MessageLabs,  intercepted its first copy of W32/MyDoom.A. …

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New Variation Of Bagle Spreading Fast

More virus trouble afoot. This time it’s a variation of Bagle. MessageLabs reports that it’s intercepted more than 10,000 copies in an hour as of this morning. Most seem to be from the UK and the U.S, although the first copy it received was from Poland. It appears to be a mass-mailing worm, installing a …

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The Next Step: Anti Phishing Services

MessageLabs, those hyperactive purveyors of Internet security, have come up with an anti-phishing service for banks and other targeted companies (Phishing is the scam whereby bogus emails entice you to give up your online banking password and other sensitive information), the first of its kind I do believe. It had been available to about 15 …

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The Bagle Worm

I’m getting quite a few warnings about a new worm called Bagle, so I thought I’d pass them along. MessageLabs, an email security company, says it’s currently spreading at an alarming rate. The first copy of the worm was intercepted from Germany, and at the moment the majority of copies are being captured as they …

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Another Spamming Record

You’re probably getting bored of spam statistics by now, and I wouldn’t blame you. But here’s another milestone, courtesy of MessageLabs, who monitor this kind of thing: December was a new record, they say, for the ratio of spam to ordinary email. In that month, MessageLabs scanned some 463 million emails and found that 1 …

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Happy Birthday, SoBig

A press release from email security folks MessageLabs points out that tomorrow is the first anniversary of the SoBig.A worm’s debut. SoBig.A (the A bit means it was the first of a stream of worms that were somehow based on the SoBig worm) wasn’t just any kind of worm, MessageLabs point out. SoBig.A was unique …

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2003, Year of the Spiral of Evil? Or Just The Start?

MessageLabs, who track this sort of thing, say that spam and viruses hit all time highs in 2003. Not surprising, but the figures are pretty shocking, revealing the symbiotic relationship between spam and viruses — what I called in a recent WSJ/FEER column The Spiral Of Evil (no, it doesn’t seem to have caught on). …

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Update: Sobig Is Back

 Just when you thought it was safe to disable the antivirus software. MessageLabs reports of a fast spreading mass-mailing virus it’s calling W32/Sobig.F-mm.  The initial copies all originated from the United States.   Sobig.F appears to be polymorphic in nature and the email from: address is also spoofed and may not indicate the true identity …

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