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Internet Hoaxes - A Common Form of Lure to Victimize Users

According to reports published by InformationWeek on October 25, 2008, certain internet rumors can victimize even the tech-savvy online users.

These rumors or hoaxes use social engineering tricks to get people into performing what they normally wouldn't do. Most effective spoofs force people to follow them.

Moreover, according to security investigators and analysts, internet hoaxes hit users' computers like online viruses reporting of some malware on the system that actually do not exist. Often these viruses claim to act in a way that is impossible, leading recipients into believing that the hoax is a real virus warning, so they take a drastic action like shutting down the network; thereby, allowing the malicious worm to take over their system.

The online hoaxes might also attack users' systems as a bunch of chain letters, or as any false information circulating internet. Such kind of hoaxes, according to the security analysts, need not necessarily attempt to extort money from the recipient, but just waste people's time.

In addition, other online hoaxes that scammers use to compromise systems or spam, phish or hack personal data are forged e-mails. These e-mails appear to be sent by a reputed company with a logo, or as electronic greeting cards from a friend.

According to Jim Graham, Founder of the HoaxBusters.org Website that tracks and busts online hoaxes, hoaxes are capable of causing anxiety, stress and panic to recipients, as reported by InformationWeek on October25, 2008.

Jim Graham added that in the business world, hoaxes could result in loss of productivity, consumption of precious network bandwidth, or introduction of a grave security problem. For a spammer, finding addresses through forwarded e-mails is like mining gold.

And talking about how frequently internet hoaxes appear, security experts commented that these emerge every week in several hundreds. They report of fresh malware, computer viruses, trojans and other malicious codes that are quite hard for security firms to intercept. Moreover, online hoaxes hint about internet's security and of people's gullibility about security while net.

Related article: Internet Threat Volumes Overwhelm Security Companies

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