Wednesday, December 07, 2005

NEWSFLASH: AOL users dumber than initially thought

Well, it isn't really a newsflash... It really shouldn't surprise most folk that have been around the internet for an extended amount of time.

The latest proof that AOL users are stupid comes in the form of an IM worm that chats to the recipient. A little bit of social engineering always helps a virus/worm go further, but social engineering AOL users is pure gold.
A new worm that targets users of America Online's AOL Instant Messenger is believed to be the first that actually chats with the intended victim to dupe the target into activating a malicious payload, IM security vendor IMlogic warned Tuesday.

According to IMlogic, the worm, dubbed IM.Myspace04.AIM, has arrived in instant messages that state: "lol thats cool" and included a URL to a malicious file "clarissa17.pif." When unsuspecting users have responded, perhaps asking if the attachment contained a virus, the worm has replied: "lol no its not its a virus", IMlogic said.

The malicious file disables security software, installs a backdoor and tweaks system files, the company said. Then it starts sending itself to contacts on the victim's buddy list.

But the worm is programmed so that the infected user cannot see the messages that are being sent out by the worm, according to IMlogic.

How simple is the conversation that it strikes up?

'lol thats cool' and 'lol no its not its a virus', stupid AOL users... Even the second message tells you it is a virus, but the stupid yokels/hicks/trailer trash that use AOL probably don't understand English well enough to comprehend what it is saying. Grade 5 was the hardest 10 years of their lives, then they got married to their cousin.

New IM worm chats with intended victims - CNET


James said...

I might be in a unique position to comment here... I actually was an AOL user for about 4 months... because they have free offers and when you're trapped in a US airport with no idea when the snow will clear there's not much else to do but browse for pr0n... err surf the web :)

That doesn't mean their users aren't stupid. The marketing plan is the internet for dummies...

There is a difference between AOL customers and AOL IM users in much the same way that MSN IM thankfully doesn't require you to be an MSN/NineMSN customer anyone can use AOL IM.

Most Americans using AIM are uni students (not that smart) because most of their friends use it and they aren't smart enough to use Trillian ( .

I'm not saying their not stupid - it's a very clever virus targeted to a specific demographic. The title of the post should be changed to "AIM users dumber than initially though, AOL users' dumbness stays static"

Tom said...

I was going to ask who actually *uses* AOL IM. Then I saw James' post.

As you know I work for a company with many US clients. These are people who just cannot comprehend that when they supply us with a "URL" (they don't actually know what a URL is), they need to put "http://" in front if it.

It is easier to simply assume they are dumb. So really this kind of news is not surprising.

I used to always wondered about the "AOL keyword: Harry Potter" (as an example) during the previews of such a movie. How much harder is it really, to type "" instead? No, seriously?

Ok, there's more letters, but that's beside the point. The point of AOL is not "type less letters". Instead it is "you are too stupid to be able to type something we tell you, so type something that you'd 'think' makes more sense.