Feeds

Bogus BBC Fukushima radiation texts panic the Philippines

Thanks for that

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.