Sometimes it only takes the smallest thing to brighten up one's day. Take this apparently innocuous quote from the point man of the Sophos antivirus hit squad, Graham Cluley: "They [the emails] claim to come from a German 21 year-old go-go dancer with blonde hair. She is seeking employment as a model and she says she has attached some naked photos of herself. But of course the photos are the worm."
That's as we printed it. The original, however, was somewhat more detailed: "They claim to come from a German 21 year-old go-go dancer with blonde hair that goes right down to her bottom." Why stop there? Why not "that goes right down to her gorgeously sculpted buttocks, peeking pertly from beneath her silky locks"? If this is an example of the sort of social engineering that gets people to click on tainted mail, I'm all for it -- it's certainly worked for Mr Cluley, and also for Andrew Donoghue, who gets all misty-eyed at the prospect of receiving such exciting email. Later, he refers to getting the chance of 'stroking' Carly Fiorina at an upcoming HP press event -- for some, the weekend cannot come soon enough.
We think it's all Graham Cluley's fault. The man has form when it comes to digital pictures, after all. He is probably the only security consultant whose bitmap appear in a virus -- W32/Coconut A -- due to his walk-on part in an embedded game. Throw a coconut and hit Graham, and the virus will take mercy on some of your files.
So, virus writers -- think before you commit your sins of commission. It's all too easy to tweak the tail of the lion, but even if you don't get bitten the consequences may affect us all for years to come.