The Faithnetworker Newsletter
Vol. 2. No. 4, June 3, 2001
Faithnet Bulletin Board
We have started a new Faithnet Bulletin Board for users to post their
items of interest. Examples of items are: a link to your web site, resources
for spiritual growth on the web, announcements of upcoming events,
etc. This service replaces the old Swap-A-Link page. Simply email your
item to Mark Jones with an expiration date. Appropriate items will be
maintained on the Faithnet Bulletin Board.
Is it Real?
Cool Scripture Cite
"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John
Hot Internet Site
Know the truth about the imaginative stories you receive via emails
forwarded to your inbox from others: go to LIEmails where you can know "The
truth about e-mail lies - from a Christian point of view." I evaluated
LIEmails with my roach eggs-in-the-tongue test, and since it passed
with flying colors I can certify that their archive of internet hoaxes
is both deep and wide.
For more specific validation of virus warnings go the Norton Antivirus
or the McAfee site at:
The SULFNBK.EXE Hoax
Were you bitten by the recent emails about the bogus virus?
It was a new twist in cyber-vandalism. Rather than work hard to create
a small program code to infect computers and replicate itself--the
perpetrator just convinced folks to mess up their operating system
the old fashioned way: by scaring people into deleting a perfectly
good file. Friends and cyber-friends dutifully followed the instructions
of the errant virus warning and checked in their /WINDOWS/COMMAND
directory and found the file, deleted it, and then forwarded
the email on to all their friends.
SULFNBK.EXE even looks like a
malicious file with its strange icon which looked like the product
of some deranged mind. Obviously, some Microsoft programmer thought
it was cute. "GK," is that you?
What surprised me was how gullible some of my otherwise intelligent
friends were, who deleted this Windows utility file without first verifying
the claims of the emails they received. Of course I was happy to oblige
and send them a copy of my SULFNBK.EXE, though without any guarantee
that it was virus-free.
I suspect the hoax's success was due to a number of factors. First,
how many of us are that familiar with the program files on our computers?
The hoax took advantage of our sense of ignorance. Second, with its menacing-looking
icon, finding the file on our PCs evoked guilt and fear--fear that we
had somehow been infected and guilt that we had unknowingly passed this
demon on to our friends. Third, the email's warning that our virus scanning
software would not detect the file played upon our feelings of irrational
vulnerability. Admit it, most of us believe that sooner or later some
perverted geek will perpetrate the ultimate unstoppable virus upon us
that will crash our computers, steal our savings, turn our skin green,
and lay bare our nation's defenses to all terrorist threats. This of
course, is a totally ridiculous fear--no software virus can steal our
savings. But it does show how many people will believe a message passed
along in gossip-like fashion without any form of validation. Fourth,
the email warned that the virus would activate soon, leaving many to
act in haste to avert danger. And finally, knowing how many bugs Microsoft's
operating systems have to start with, the thought of a virus-infected
buggy OS was just too much for many folks to bear.
Here's a scenario for you. Suppose this hoax was really a test by some
terrorist-supporting state? What if the next step will be to send out
an email suggesting that red-blooded Americans all go out and raise the
hood of their vehicles and check to see if a suspicious looking part
is connected to their engine with hoses and wires, then to follow the
instructions provided to disconnect the apparatus for fear that all of
our cars, trucks, SUVs and clunkers have been secretly converted into
atomic weapons of mass destruction. Won't everyone feel silly driving
to work the next day in the July heat without air-conditioning? I can
imagine that the gullible victims will even keep their windows rolled
up and suffer in the heat to avoid looking gullible. Then when all such
victimized drivers pass out from heat stroke, there will be mass collisions
all over the U.S. resulting in the total obliteration of the American
way of life.