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Sarcastically Yours, Auntie Virus

June 4, 2012

Spreading Viruses: You’re Doing It Wrong

Emailed viruses are a bit passe at this point.  First of all, there’s the fact that most email services spam filters will know a spoofed email address when it sees it.  Secondly, pretty much all email services will put any file attachments through a virus screen before allowing you to download them.  Finally, thousands upon thousands of facebook users seem to feel the need to pass along any virus alert that they come across.

virus protection

Wait… that’s a phone cord. Bahahaha. Dialup. So fail. Oh, also the condom.

So when an obvious virus email was caught in my spam filter, I decided to take a look at it.  Frankly, as virus attempts go, it was pretty pathetic.  There were so many flaws in this attempt to spread digital harm, that anybody with a brain could easily foil this plot.  It was so bad, in fact, that I felt the need to assist the pathetic would-be digital terrorists with a few tips to help them in future attempts to spread viruses.

Original Email

The original email was made to look as if it had been sent from DHL to announce that I had a package which had failed to be delivered. It had all the company logos and allegedly came from a Patti Steinbaugh, DHL Regional Manager, but it also had countless flaws (to view what it looked like, click here).

Dear crakgenius, hereby we notify you that delivery at your destination, tracking ID  #345547, has FAILED  due to an address mismatch. To obtain your parcel please  print out the attached form and contact DHL US support

Feel free to contact us with further questions.

If you would like to speak to a DHL Express  Support Agent, please call the DHL Service Desk at 1-800-527-7298.

I love that they call me by my proper name, crakgenius… though it isn’t capitalized correctly.  The whole thing just needs some work.

Email Response

Dear Ms. Steinbaugh (or whomever really reads this)
I shouldn’t waste my breath on you.  After all, this is clearly some sort of attempt to spread a virus.  But I just can’t help but offer you basic email lessons.  You see, there is a VERY IMPORTANT difference between clicking “CC” and clicking “BCC.”  CC, as you have figured out, is a way to send the same email to MULTIPLE parties.  It stands for Carbon Copy… which is less important than learning what BCC stands for.  BCC stands for BLIND Carbon Copy… the difference being that each party will receive an email that appears to be addressed SOLELY to them. When you click CC… AS YOU CHOSE TO… everyone gets to see how many copies of this mass spam were sent out.
Next, you flaunt the phrase, “hereby we notify you.”  What the hell is that?  Unless this is a contract of some sort, “hereby we notify you” is a phrase which belongs nowhere near this email.  Also, having done business with DHL in the past, I happen to know that all waybill tracking numbers were 10 digits… not 6.  It took some balls to include the actual telephone support number for DHL, but let us not confuse balls with brains.  Why the hell would someone download and print a form (which is attached in .zip format, no less), to then call a phone number??  What part of this makes sense?
Finally, EACH and EVERY ONE of the intended targets of this virus were at email addresses.  You are apparently unaware of the fact that all attachments are scanned for viruses before Yahoo will allow you to download them.  Frankly, that’s true of most web-based email clients.  So, essentially, you were firing blanks to begin with.  I have attached a picture to show you the extent of your failure.
To summarize: the odds of 20 different recipients having packages awaiting them, all of which were assigned the same tracking number (which is four digits short of a complete tracking number) is approximately zero in one infinity.  I think. I’m no mathologist so I may have my calculations slightly off.
Sarcastically yours,
Todd (the CrakGenius) … or you may call me Ol’ Auntie Virus.
 (see what I did there?)
(I’m actually a dude, though… but Uncle Virus has no meaning…)
(I should have quit while I was ahead, huh?)
attachment: dhl_fail.jpg
An Apology
In the future, if the sources of this techno-douchery get better at what they do, I suppose I may have myself to blame for that.  And, if in fact that happens, I apologize.  Somehow, though, I suspect things will continue much as they have gone in the past.  An impressive length of time will be put into designing a virus which ingeniously subverts the security measures in place within the operating system.  A great deal of effort will go into seeing to it that the virus does damage to files on the computer, that it slows down the overall system speed, and that it opens the door for other viruses to join the fun.  But, in the end, it will rely on some poorly constructed email written by a halfwit with a rudimentary grasp of the English language and the balls to make the email utterly transparent to anyone paying even the slightest attention.  This is why they fail.
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