Opinion: All you have to do is practice totally unsafe computing.
Greetings my dear friend and potential business partner. I am greatly excited about our correspondence today as it will lead to great riches, fame and power for the both of us.
I see you are suspicious because I am not using your name in my greeting. You have been told that one way to detect fraudulent e-mails or "phishing scams" is the lack of your actual name in the message, something that legitimate e-mails from banks, stores and other businesses always include.
You are right to be cautious. Your shrewd business acumen is why I have sought you out as a business partner. But, of course, you and I are friends. I am simply not using your name because in my culture it is considered unseemly to do so in a business proposal.
I am glad that we have settled the issue of the veracity of this correspondence. I know that I can trust you, shrewd titan of business that you are, and I hope that my credentials (successful banker, cousin to a king, nephew of a general, brother to a famed flamenco dancer) will ensure your trust in me.
Now on to the business proposal and what it entails. We will deliver to the world a new software program that will bring peace, wealth and health to all (and especially wealth to us). I will assist you in managing all your investments and banking assets. Through my knowledge of technology, I will ensure that your connections to your companys vital data are well-secured. And of course it goes without saying that I will need your aid to get my untold millions out of a small East African nation.
Once again I see that you are wary. You fear that the software program we deliver to the world could be spyware or a virus of some form. Nothing could be further from the truth. You think that, given access to your bank accounts and company data, I will steal your savings and sell your business secrets. No, I simply need to be certain that our business connections are secure.
And now you are thinking that this e-mail sounds suspiciously like those known as Nigerian e-mail scams.
This savvy business acumen is the exact reason our partnership will bring such rich rewards. But you can put your worries aside because I am not Nigerian.
On to the plan. I will send you the program, which you will then send to all the friends and associates in your address book. Then, after I ensure that all your accounts are fully secured, I will transfer my millions into your accounts, leaving you 30 percent for your troubles.
Soon we will be celebrating our successful venture together perhaps by sipping cava on Barcelonas Las Ramblas or grappa in Venices Piazza San Marco. It will be a grand time for you and I, dear friend.
You are a rare and wonderful breed, my friend. In a world full of viruses, Trojans and spyware, you are the person who says, what the heck, Ill open this strange attachment. When security problems bring whole networks to their knees, you are the brave soul who cant be bothered to patch and secure your systems.
And when e-mail boxes fill with garbage and noise you say, yes, I want free Viagra. I want to give you my PayPal account info. I want to meet attractive singles. And, yes, I want to help you get your untold millions out of a troubled country.
I shudder to think what the world would be like without you and those like you, my friend. What would happen to all the interesting spam e-mails in the world without the promise of someone responding to them? How would viruses spread if everyone avoided opening clearly suspicious attachments? And, of course, how would respected foreign businessmen, such as myself, rescue our fortunes?
Some may think it would be a better world if the Internet and e-mail were less encumbered by problems and traffic made possible by people like you. But thats no world for me.
So, my dear friend and associate, I salute you. And I thank you. I thank you very much.
Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.