Feeds

Bogus BBC Fukushima radiation texts panic the Philippines

Thanks for that

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Hoax BBC text messages are claiming that radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has begun spreading in the Philippines.

Authorities in Manila were obliged to issue an official denial over the SMS messages, which are entirely bogus. The put-up messages (extract below) advise recipients to stay indoors, and to start taking unnecessary medical precautions.

BBC Flashnews: Japan gov't confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. Remain indoors first 24hours. Close doors and windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precaution, radiation may hit Philippines.

The supposed news flash is reckoned to be the work of pranksters, whose actions forced the Philippines' Department of Science and Technology to put out a statement designed to quell public fears.

"The advice circulating that people should stay indoors and to wear raincoats if they go outdoors has no basis and did not come from DOST or the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center," it said.

The rumour was plausible enough for some companies and schools to start sending people home, net security firm Sophos reports.

The security firm advises people to check with official sources rather than relying on randomly forwarded messages for advice. The hoax messages went out in both English and Filipino, and some of the English language versions of the messages have been forwarded on to other Asian countries, including The Maldives.

Superheated and highly pressurised gases caused explosions of the outer hulls of a number of reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plants, but the reactors themselves remain intact and meltdown has been averted following the failure of cooling systems caused by Friday's mighty earthquake and resulting tsunami off the coast of north eastern Japan.

Low-life scum have quickly taken advantage of the disaster in attempts to ensnare surfers looking for news within scareware portals. More recently fake donation websites have been established, Trend Micro warns. Spam emails invite would-be marks to donate to the bogus site. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.