Wednesday, May 23, 2007

People Are Idiots

You cannot believe that people would do this:

Computer specialist Didier Stevens put up a simple text advertisement on the Internet offering downloads of a computer virus for people who did not have any.

Surprisingly, he found as many as 409 people clicking on the ad saying "Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!" during a 6-month advertising campaign on Google's Adword, said the IT security expert.

"Some of them must have clicked on it by mistake. Some must have been curious or stupid," said Mikko Hypponen, head of research at data security firm F-Secure.

There was no virus involved, it was an experiment aiming to show these kind of advertising systems can be used for malicious intent, Stevens told Reuters.

The thing is, however stupid people are, doesn't mean that everything shouldbe run by bureaucrats. They are just as stupid as us but with worse incentives.

1 comment:

Dr Dan H. said...

Actually, if you're working from something like a Sun Ultrasparc, and running from a user account as opposed to root (something which only a gibbering fuckwit would do), then clicking on such an advert might be quite interesting, if only to see what happens.

Sun Ultrasparc machines, you see, have a completely different CPU architecture to that of Intel machines; binaries that will run on an Intel or compatible little-endian CPU won't run on a big-endian one.

A similar incompatibility is true of PowerPC Apple equipment, and of some HP and other exotica.

This being the case, it could be quite interesting to click on such a link just to see what happens; the odds of the virus author doing anything to a non-Intel, non-Windows box are astronomically long.