July 27th, 2002, 09:44 AM
Computer Pranks - where to draw the line
Sure, all of us at one point in time have done a prank; but, where do we draw the line? More importantly, when have we crossed the line? Now, I'm sure some people in here may have used trojan or virii to play a prank on their friend, or maybe you've made a prank phone call - but sometimes we don't know when we've gone over the edge.
Microsoft: Prank forces MSN TV to dial 911
Glitch not considered to be a virus
July 24, 2002 Posted: 3:52 PM EDT (1952 GMT)
SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- Microsoft Corp. has discovered that some users of its MSN TV service have downloaded a program that makes their set-tops dial the 911 emergency number instead of regular dial-up numbers, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Microsoft issued a patch Tuesday night for the program, which arrives in an attachment to an e-mail. When opened, it shuts down the computer, changes the dial-up setting and then dials 911.
The program, which has affected at least 18 customers, is not a virus since it does not propagate, the spokeswoman said.
Several people reported on WebTV newsgroup Web sites that police officers had showed up at their doors to find out why they called 911, according to a TechTV report.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft bought WebTV in 1997 and renamed it MSN TV last year.
Malicious programs that are used to dial 911 are not new. In April 2000, the National Infrastructure Protection Center issued a warning about a computer virus that was prompting infected computers in Texas to dial 911.
In the past, people have coded "malicous" programs mainly to show their "uber" or "l33t" codding skills. Sometimes it's just to have a kick or to get recognition. What we don't realize are the repercusions. Some virii and wurms may cost jobs and cost a lot of money to fix what damage they've caused - but this program may have cost the lives of people. I'm not going to tell you to stop playing pranks on friends or random people, but next time you do, think about the after effects.
July 27th, 2002, 08:49 PM
Simple rule to apply here...Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
If the way you display your 'uber' skills intentionally results in destruction or disruption of someone elses data or property, it's pretty clear that you lack a basic respect for others that is pretty well required to get along in todays society. Go draw an 8'x10' box on your floor and practice staying inside of it 23 hours a day, cause thats where you'll be headed.
It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...
July 27th, 2002, 08:53 PM
An 8'x10' box, lol
July 27th, 2002, 08:59 PM
Its hard to figure out where the line is sometimes, though the 911 programs are definately way over the line. Now pestering your friends on your home lan with a trojan, or turning off their box remotely if they are talking crap, thats no big deal, but when it harms or happens to a computer other than your own, thats going too far. I don't really see why people feel the need to even write programs like the ones mentioned above. Its a waste of time and ability that could have been put to some good use, like writing a security patch.
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July 28th, 2002, 01:32 AM