Category Archives: 419

Advance Fee Fraud and Human Frailty

In an interesting blog on a fake Adobe update email, Graham Cluley asks “Is there a patron saint of computer users?” (In an update to that blog, he later noted that there is indeed: one St. Isidore of Seville, who can be seen at http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-isidore-of-seville/ apparently engaged in a little RTFM.)

In my gloomier moments, I sometimes think that the patron saint of computer security must be St. Jude, whose specialty is desperate cases and hopeless causes. Though I think most of that gloom is from despair at the depths to which human beings will sink when it comes to exploiting the frailty of others, whether it’s sheer naivete and gullibility, or the deterioration of the faculties that sometimes comes with age. So they tell me. 😉

I’ve just blogged on a particularly nasty practice (not particularly an infosec issue, though not unrelated) that always makes my blood boil: the targeting of the elderly. While the piece is largely concerned with snailmail exploitation, I suspect we’ll see more of this happening online as the number of silver surfers continues to accelerate. 

My blog is here:
http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog/2010/01/04/advance-fee-fraud-another-aspect.

David Harley FBCS CITP CISSP
Chief Operations Officer, AVIEN
Director of Malware Intelligence, ESET

Also blogging at:
http://www.eset.com/threat-center/blog
http://smallbluegreenblog.wordpress.com/
http://blogs.securiteam.com
http://blog.isc2.org/
http://dharley.wordpress.com