The Risks Digest

Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems

ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator

Volume 18 Issue 73

Monday 30 December 1996

Contents

o HOAX: PENPAL GREETINGS
Michael Kohne
o China Strengthens Control Over Internet
Edupage
o Re: Action Alert
David Wittenberg

HOAX: PENPAL GREETINGS (Re: Zviran, RISKS-18.72)

Michael Kohne <mhkohne@discordia.org>
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 15:28:18 -0500
SIGH. Don't we get enough of these in the newsgroups? This is yet another
variation of the good-old Good Times hoax virus. Checkout
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/vinfodb.html. The 'P' section contains an
entry on this annoyance.

As a general warning to everyone out there - Please do NOT pass along
virus/trojan/etc warnings to ANYONE until you have discussed the matter
with your sysadmin. Your sysadmin will likely know if it's real or not, and
will be able to help you take proper preventive measures, and distribute
the warning properly.

I know you are trying to help by distributing this warning, but really, all
you are doing is WASTING EVERYONE'S TIME!

Thank you.

  [Similar rapid responses on the hoax also contributed by
     Michael Naunton <mmn@onyx.interactive.net> and
     Al Stangenberger <forags@nature.berkeley.edu>, who pointed to
        http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACHoaxes.html
  Too bad we were not approaching 1 April instead of 1 Jan.  PGN]


China Strengthens Control Over Internet (Edupage, 29 Dec 1996)

Edupage Editors <educom@elanor.oit.unc.edu>
Sun, 29 Dec 1996 18:19:39 -0500 (EST)
The newspaper called *China Consumers Daily* says that China plans to
increase its controls over the Internet, which already include the
requirement that all Internet users register with the police.  In its war
against pornography and "cultural rubbish," Chinese police detained more
than 47,000 people and seized 320,000 pornographic products in the first ten
months of 1996.  Chinese authorities use the term "cultural rubbish" to
include anything they consider unhealthy or politically suspect.  (*Atlanta
Journal-Constitution*, 27 Dec 1996, D3)


Re: Action Alert (Handler, RISKS-18.71)

David Wittenberg <dkw@cs.brandeis.edu>
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 14:31:46 -0500 (EST)
In RISKS-18.71, Jon Handler warns of the spread of personal information on
the net, and gives the URLs of several suppliers of such information.

A  longer list is available from "The Stalker's Home Page"
<http://pages.ripco.com:8080/~glr/stalk.html>  It's a rather scary
resource for finding people or information about them.

--David Wittenberg  dkw@cs.brandeis.edu

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