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O.K. I Am Now Really Scared

Why do I keep receiving hacked mail from friends?

August 14, 2012 By Denny Hatch
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Roughly three times a month I receive a fake email from someone I know whose computer has been hijacked—hacked into.

I can spot one of these little e-turds immediately:

  • Often no subject line, or it's a strange one.
  • There's always a URL in the email body and occasionally a meaningless message that this person would never send me.
  • More often than not, the entire content is the URL all by itself.

A friend of mine clicked the URL in a fraudulent message from someone he knew and up came an offer for diet pills.

I never click on a URL in those surroundings. It could be malware—a virus that screws up my computer and that of everyone I send email to.

I also never click on "Reply" even though I can verify the message indeed came from my friend's email address. I do not know what little bomb the hacker implanted that will invade my computer no matter whether I click on the URL or the reply.

Instead I copy the email address and forward the whole thing back to the sender (who was not the sender at all) with a note suggesting that a hacker has breached his computer, stolen his I.D. and dangerous stuff may be going out to his entire contact list under his name.

Henry Ford and the K.I.S.S. Formula
I have been driving cars for more than 50 years and haven't a clue about what is happening under the hood.

Henry Ford in Detroit and his myriad automotive imitators around the world over the years have been brilliant about "keeping it simple, stupid"—making cars so easy to operate you don't need to know anything about how they work. Those wizards love making money.

Early on, those who dreamed up the Internet decided that everything online should be free. With no incentive to make money (unlike Ford), these techies get their jollies by showing off how smart they are and gleefully making the rest of us feel stupid.

For starters, in the early days they tried to impress us with their brilliance and mystique by jamming obtuse acronyms such as GUI and WYSIWYG down our throats. Could not somebody (e.g., Steve Jobs) have figured out how to help us simply turn on a computer (sorry, I mean "boot up" or "initialize" a computer), pop a gear into "drive" and let us be on our way?

 

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