Posted by: David Harley | February 18, 2010

About Check Chain Mail & Hoaxes

This is a placeholder for a new Small Blue-Green World blog. It will offer information on chain letters and hoaxes, including a slightly novel approach to verification which I’ll explain in detail later. I’ve been engaged (sometimes heavily engaged) in hoax and chain-letter management almost as long as I’ve been dealing with security and malware, i.e. since the very early 1990s. Since 2006, I’ve been intending to launch a resource with a slightly different approach, and now I’ve been spurred into taking action by a rather moving message I received from someone who read one of my blogs on the subject. I’m travelling quite a lot over the next few weeks, but this resource is high on my list of priorities for major work when I’m in one place for long enough.

In the meantime you can contact me as hoaxchecker [at] gmail dot com if you have questions or want to bring a chain letter to my attention. All genuine mail will be answered eventually, but I can’t promise an instant response due to sheer pressure of other work.

I (and my colleague Randy Abrams) have dealt many times with aspects of the hoax phenomenon many times in our blog at ESET: a blog search using the following URL gives you access to many of them.

We also have a paper on the topic published here: description below.

“Whatever Happened to the Unlikely Lads? A Hoaxing Metamorphosis” by David Harley and Randy Abrams
This paper traces the evolution of email-borne chain letters, from crude virus hoaxes to guilt-tripping semi-hoaxes, and examines both their (generally underestimated) impact on enterprises and individuals, and possible mitigations. First published in Virus Bulletin 2009 Conference Proceedings.*

I’ll be including many more resources here in the near future, but I have to go and do one of the rather-too-many jobs I’m actually paid for. šŸ™‚

Small Blue-Green World
Mac Virus
AVIEN Chief Operations Officer
ESET Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence

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