South Park Self

the Computer is your friend

Ooh, interesting, another phishing spam mutation. I'm receiving increased amounts of spam at my work address at the moment, which is mildly annoying as you'd think my Cherished Institution would be more alert on the spam filter front (although, to be fair, it's a particularly long, nasty and ragged front). A lot of them are from "Standard Bank", plaintively requiring me to log onto my bank account to change details/because it's expired/because they've updated the login software, whatever. Not badly written, as spam goes, and only almost completely implausible, not least because I don't actually have a Standard Bank account. Today's one was different:

Due to the recent Malware and Phishing attacks encountered by our customers, Standard Bank has made it mandatory to all Customers to download the Rapport Software that will help fight against it. Our system shows that you haven't downloaded the latest version of this software that was introduced on 03-09-2010. It's your responsibility to protect your account by installing this new patch as a precautionary measure. If you do not log on to download this software now, Standard bank will not be liable for any theft that may occur on your account.

Click here [links to] to download the Rapport software immediately.

This is interesting because it's surprisingly free of grammatical errors - bonus points for the correct use of "it's", although the Random Eighteenth-century Capitalisations are a bit of a red flag. Mostly, though, I'm impressed by its self-referentiality: it rather neatly attempts to stampede the naive reader into succumbing to a phishing scam by semi-plausibly representing its phishing scam as a protection from phishing scams. A horrible circularity results: save yourself from malware by downloading this handy piece of malware! Further fear factor arises in the refusal of indemnity for phishing if you don't. In linguistic terms "patch" is good, people are lulled into thinking of patches as necessary and inevitable owing to the hideous Windows tendency to spray them out like Cape Town's pollen. I actually think this one might get people, even in this more virus-aware age: I still remember the number of innocent campus denizens who were taken in by the Windows SULFNBK.EXE hoax (delete it! it's a virus!) in the early 2000s. Even worse, Phishing Spammers May Be Acquiring A Clue. News at 11!

It's all particularly horribly relevant at the moment because smoczek is running a Paranoia game, and we're bumbling manically and paranoidly around trying to unravel a convoluted plot involving spammers, hideous revenge against same, and virus-infected scrub bots killing people. I'd forgotten how much fun Paranoia can be. And how horrible the puns.
  • Current Mood: contemplative randomly analytic
yep. I keep ignoring it, since I have never had a good experience ever with security software that a bank has asked me to install.
Just yesterday I logged on and it didn't prompt me to download it! Perhaps irate customers have shouted at them to stop it.