SPIM no. one

I’ve said before that the doom and gloom some people claim regarding computer security and IM is a bunch of hooey – and I still think it is – but this evening the library received its first piece of SPIM. The fact that something fishy was going on was so ridiculously apparent. Here’s what the message was.

patron: http://209.188.31.12/648f6942e1ef7554f57d509b7ae1eb52/other/msdos.zip C:\msdos.pif r

The message, of course, was a link but I’m not going to reproduce that here. Would this message have raised a red flag for you? Instead of clicking, I responded back to see what would happen. Again, it was an automated response:

patron: Find out who’s blocking you on AIM, Download it free from http://www.block-checker.com

Then the actual IMer responded, and we had a conversation:

patron: hi
patron: r u bored or something
thommyford: no, you IMed me, i think your computer might have a IM virus or something
patron: ya it does
patron: im like crying
patron: i dont know how to kill it
thommyford: do you need help getting rid of it?

I did a quick search to find out about “block checker” and found some removal instructions, which I copy/pasted to the patron. It was disappointing to finally get one of these IMs, but at least it turned into a positive library transaction.

2 thoughts on “SPIM no. one”

  1. The line “im like crying” in an IM conversation sounds like kernel of a good country/western tearjerker.

    Kudos to you for turning this into a very good experience for the patron

  2. Yea for Aaron! I’ve gotten viral-looking IMs at the ref desk a couple times. The last time, I IM’d back a note that I thought the sender’s computer has a virus, but the real person didn’t come on.

    Do you know of an “IM Virus Central” type of site with a collection of removal instructions? That would be a useful bookmark.

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