ICQ Rumors 121 - 130
Sometimes I wish someone would hack the ICQ homepage, it could use a facelift (just kidding guys... please don't take down my links!). Seriously though, there may be a slight risk if someone were to hack into the ICQ servers (note I said "servers" not "website"). The ICQ client can be automatically updated via the server, in theory a hacked server could start to update ICQ clients in a most undesirable way. But then, so could someone hacking into Microsoft's update servers or any number of other similar services. Hmmmm... now that I think about it, I don't live too far from a very busy airport, a plane could come crashing down on my house while I type this... so I try not to dwell on such things. The point is, a lot of things could happen, but they haven't. Such is the case with ICQ being hacked and a worm spread. It hasn't happened and it probably won't.
Now I know I'll probably get a few e-mails about the above comments. Some will point out that the "auto-update" feature can be turned off. Yes it can, but most people won't (and perhaps shouldn't) disable it. It seems far more likely to me that an auto-update may contain a critical security fix rather than a security threat. On the other hand, the auto-update probably brought us such fine features as those lovely ad banners everyone is so pleased with. Oh well, would have gotten them one way or another, sooner or later. (R130)
Woah! Let me just catch my breath for a moment. *inhale* Okay, now let's see if we can make sense of this. "Tiffany Tilghman," an "Office Automation Clerk" for the "Department of Justice" is sending out an ICQ warning about some SlaveMaster guy who has killed 56 women (so far)? Gee, I wonder why Ms. Tilghman hasn't bothered to inform the media about this guy, you might think that would be a slightly more efficient way to get the word out rather than relying on forwarded ICQ messages? But no matter, did you write down all those screen names? I'm glad I sometimes go as "slavemaster552" instead of "slavemaster551"... wouldn't want to be confused for a killer.
You know something? Maybe we should all take a deep breath when we receive a message like this. There are some dangerous people on the net, just as there are anywhere else you go. Now this particular message is obviously a fake, for the simple reason that you would hear about it on the news, in the paper, just about everywhere before you heard about it from an ICQ message. The DoJ would hold a press conference if they wanted to issue a warning, they wouldn't just hand a message to the office clerk and ask her to forward it to her friends. You can pretty much apply this standard to any sensational sounding warning... the media would be all over it if it were true (sometimes they fall for a hoax, but in this case I'm fairly certain they would check with the DoJ before tossing up the "Breaking News" banner).
Oh, and one other thing... if there really was a murderous "SlaveMaster" on the losse, don't you think he would have changed his name by now to something a little different? Maybe "NiceGuy716" or "IPromiseNotToKillYou554"? Call it a hunch. (R129)
Oh no! Poor Julie got deleted! I'll bet she followed that DiamondBack guy's advice and didn't forward the message when she had the chance. So much for believing everything you read, just can't trust anyone these days!
Calm down, I have it on good authority that poor Julie is just fine and hasn't been deleted. But you really can't believe everything you read, especially on the Internet. Here's a tip: If you receive a message that claims to not be "a joke" then it probably is... and the joke will be on you if you pass it along. (R128)
Wow, they even included both URLs, that must mean it's official, right? But does it occur to anyone that if you have a name and password, and are using the ICQ network, then perhaps you are already registered? I hope so, since if you send your password to this bozo you really are going to have to register... for a new UIN because you can kiss your old one goodbye. (R127)
First ICQ Admin: So what do you feel like doing today, want to answer some support e-mails?
Second ICQ Admin: Naaaa, we did that last week. Let's randomly choose some users and inform them they are going to be deleted.
First ICQ Admin: Hey, that's a brilliant idea! Should we post something about it on the website?
Second ICQ Admin: No, we'll just send a screwed-up URL and let 'em sweat when they can't load it.
First ICQ Admin: Oh man, you're good. But won't they think it's a fake?
Second ICQ Admin: Not unless that jerk DiamondBack tells 'em. But just to be sure, we'll tell them that the message isn't a fake.
First ICQ Admin: And then we'll REPEAT in all caps that it's not a fake!
Second ICQ Admin: Right... now you're getting the hang of it!
Folks, trust me, conversations like this only happen in my warped mind, the admins at ICQ aren't going to randomly delete people. (R126)
Yeah sure, and if you click your heels together three times you'll be back in Kansas. Upgrades (and travel for that matter) don't work this way. If you want to get an upgrade, you'll need to visit ICQ's homepage or one of the authorized distribution sites (note Download.com is an authorized site, "HAxoR'S HeLL" or some such site on a free hosting service IS NOT where you want to download an upgrade from). If you want to return to Kansas, I would suggest a plane or a bus. (R125)
Well, at least they almost got the URL right, but left off the "L" in the page extension. If you were to go to http://www.icq.com/press/press_release26.html you would find (what some would call "the infamous") press release announcing ICQ's sale to America Online. However, what you won't find is anything about forwarding a message to avoid being deleted from the system (though some people have deleted themselves after finding out who ICQ's parent is, click here for more). (R124)
Ever seen a movie called "Strange Days?" The lead character is one "Lenny Nero" who "sells dreams and hustles nightmares, dealing in real-life experiences through a new technology that makes every sensation immediate." That sounds a lot like our Lenny here, who would like your IP address and then would like to send you a "Debug program." You might as well just send him your computer, because if you follow his instructions he's going to own it anyway. Let me put it another way, remember when your mother admonished you to never take candy from a stranger? Well the Internet equivalent is "never take programs from a stranger"... especially one named Lenny Nero! If you would like to know why, then please see the ICQ Hazards page for an introduction to backdoor programs. (R123)
Note: this message was sent from UIN 100000200, going by the name "ICQ Server."
I guess this was sent to the folks who were too smart to fall for the first "system message" demanding their password. Nice of them to give us a second chance to do something really dumb.
Here's all you really need to know. Real system messages look a little different from ordinary messages and come from UIN #1. And you will never receive a system message (or any legitimate message) asking for your password. (R122)
Here we go again is right. But let's have some fun with it anyway.
With only 18 hours left, the evil Overloads of ICQ are counting down the minutes until their dastardly plot is revealed to an unsuspecting world. At the appointed hour, a hundred million ICQ messages will be frozen in cyberspace, replaced by an insidious message demanding immediate payment for this once free and proud service. Friends and family across the globe will be cut off, their favorite instant messaging system now held hostage by vile forces of evil. But wait! One anonymous user has come to the rescue! A massive message forwarding campaign springs into action! ICQ's servers spin wildly out of control... smoke and flames spew forth as the Overloads recoil in horror! "Oh no! We have been defeated! Never will we be able to charge for ICQ... please, PLEASE, we beg of you, stop the forwarding!!!"
Or not. Okay, that will be enough fun for now. (R121)
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