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Security United States

U.S. Govt. Offers Computer Security Alerts By E-mail 38

SilentSage writes "The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security is offering e-mail alerts on major virus outbreaks and other Internet attacks. The article found here says 'Anyone who signs up with the new National Cyber Alert System will receive e-mails about major virus outbreaks and other Internet attacks as they occur, along with detailed instructions to help computer users protect themselves.'"
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U.S. Govt. Offers Computer Security Alerts By E-mail

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  • by HawkPilot ( 730860 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @12:45PM (#8113645)

    I wonder what's worse, The internet traffic that the virus or worm generates or the email advisories.

    I still get emails saying that if I get a message with such-and-such in the subject to delete the email immeadiatly. And I get these from well meaning friends and family. Imagine how many of these alerts will be forwarded on because they have the authority of the Homeland Security Department behind it.

  • Dont' do it! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpaceLifeForm ( 228190 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @12:47PM (#8113666)
    Eventually, you will just get more spam.
  • Feh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the Man in Black ( 102634 ) <jasonrashaad@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @12:47PM (#8113667) Homepage
    I give it a week before someone spoofs one of these e-mails and uses it to propagate a tasty new kind of e-mail virus.

    But then, I'm a cynic.
  • Re:Dont' do it! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @12:58PM (#8113772)
    Exactly. Once you "opt-in" to this, you are now "doing business with" the government. Which means they can use your adress with any other part of government to spam the hell out of you. And, since the government "does business with" every company and corporation and individual (everyone has to pay taxes), then they could give this info out to everyone in the world under the guise of "business relations".

    Not to mention, there will probably be a webbug in the alert emails, so that they can periodically track a user's email address to an IP on a regular basis and - probably - use that to subvert your machine (remember, Symantec refusing to catch and remove the government's "green lantern" trojan?).

    This is a great way to get your machine pwned by the us government.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @12:58PM (#8113773)
    I've been on a govt IT contract for a couple years now and have yet to find 10 people who care about or know what they are doing. The people in charge have no clue and just happen to be the ones who have been there the longest. Its a wonder anything gets done. Another contractor and I have been talking about putting one of those wildlife transponders on one govt employee just to see where he spends his entire day. I see him in the morning for 30 secs when he hangs up his coat then you'll find him in the break room with the coffee pot, or standing at another guys desk talking, or just sitting outside smoking a cigarette. Or there is the guy who sits across from me and openly looks at the "Adult" personals I asked him if he was afraid of being fired the other day and he said the union wouldnt let it happen a manager tried a while ago.
    Lets just say I'm not to happen about how my tax money is being spent.
    Security is a joke in the govt. There are still groups who are installing that secret squirrel sendmail patch the govt supposedly installed before releasing it to the world.
  • You Have New Mail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Flwyd ( 607088 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @01:45PM (#8114277) Homepage
    5 New Messages:
    {Virus} Hello
    {Virus} TEST
    {Virus} hi
    {Virus} Hello
    Homeland Security Warning: New Virus Spreading

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.