Feeds

Bill Gates tops email hoax list

Unwilling daddy of useless chain mails

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Bill Gates isn't only the richest man in the world - he's also the subject of more email chain letters, virus hoaxes and scams than any other person or subject on the planet.

The Bill Gates fortune email chain letter tops a list of hoaxes compiled by AV vendor Sophos. Despite the frankly ludicrous claim that the Microsoft's chairman is prepared to share his wealth with anyone who forwards the email to a friend, the hoax (below) is still in active circulation after first appearing on the Net more than a year ago:

Dear Friends,

Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates is sharing his fortune. If you ignore this you will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.00.

Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque.

Surrreee.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus, comments: "Obviously emails like this are nonsense, and should be deleted by computer users rather than forwarded on to their friends, family and colleagues."

Users are advised to always check their anti-virus vendor's Web site when they receive a possible hoax email. Independent resources such as Vmyths.com also provide a useful first port of call.

Lack of funds, and a military call up for Vmyths.com editor Rob Rosenberger, mean Vmyths is highly unlikely to be updated in the immediate future but an archive of the site will remain online. ®

Related Stories

Microsoft declares war on spam - Bill hates email hoaxes and scams too
VX writers release sequel to infamous Sobig worm (bill@microsoft virus)
RSPCA in censorship crusade against humour site (Bonsai Kitten hoax)
Hoax virus alert could cripple Windows Java (the infamous JDBGMGR.EXE hoax)

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.