Who creates email hoaxes and why?

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

The resurgence of the Marks & Spencer voucher hoax that I wrote about earlier this week got me thinking. Who is behind all these hoaxes and chain letters, and why were they created?

“They don’t know better”
There is no doubt that some email hoaxes are created entirely innocently. Take, for example, the JDBGMGR hoax that was being sent around the internet widely a few years ago.

The hoax warned that people should be on the alert for a file called JDBGMGR.EXE (which had a terrifying icon of a teddybear), as it could mean that their computer would be struck by a malicious payload within 14 days.

Even though JDBGMGR.EXE was a legitimate program produced by Microsoft (although heaven only knows why they chose a…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.