Message warns that the address email@example.com is a hacker and simply adding it to your contact list can result in your computer being hacked.
This warning is invalid and should not be taken seriously. The message is, in fact, a slightly different version of the long-running MSN contact list virus hoax.
if somebody called firstname.lastname@example.org adds you don’t accept it because its a hacker. Tell everyone on your list because if somebody on your list adds them you get them on your list he’ll figure out Your ID, computer address, so copy and paste this message to everyone even if you hate them and fast cause if he hacks their email he hacks your mail
According to this message “email@example.com” is the address of a hacker and simply accepting the address into your IM contact list can allow the hacker access to your computer. The warning has been rapidly circulating around social networking communities such as Facebook and MySpace and is also travelling via instant messages and email.
This warning is invalid and should not be taken seriously. The message is, in fact, a slightly different version of the long-running MSN contact list virus hoax. In this case, the prankster has substituted “hacker” for “virus”, but otherwise the message is very similar to a long list of other variants of the hoax that feature different email addresses. An example of one of the many virus-related versions should illustrate this similarity:
If somebody called firstname.lastname@example.org adds you don’t accept it because it’s a virus!!!! Tell everyone on your bulletin because if somebody on your list adds him, you get the virus too…Copy and paste this!
Moreover, there are also several other virtually identical hacker related versions circulating with different email addresses, including those shown below:
hey if somebody called email@example.com adds you dont accept it because its a hacker. Tell every one on your list because if somebody on your list adds them get them on your list he’ll figure out Your ID, computer address, so copy and paste this message to everyone even if you hate them and fast cause if he hacks their email he hacks your mail
if some girl called firstname.lastname@example.org adds u don’t accept it because its a hacker tell everyone on ur list because if somebody on ur list adds them u get them on ur list he’ll figure out Your ID, computer address
Apparently, pranksters quite regularly substitute a new email address into one of the myriad versions of this silly hoax message and then pass it onto all their friends. And these friends, believing the warning to be valid, pass it on to all their friends and so on. Thus, at any one time, there is likely to be a large number of different versions of the same pointless “warning” aimlessly traversing cyberspace.
The “email@example.com” version seems to have been somewhat more “successful” and long-lived than some of its many cousins and has spread far and wide. However, this “success” does not make the warning one iota more valid than the less common versions.
As with the virus related versions, the technical aspects of the hacker variant are seriously flawed. The message implies that just accepting the address into your contact list will not only give the hacker access to your computer but to the computers of everyone else on your list as well. This is technically infeasible. Of course, a hacker might use clever ruses to trick you into actually installing malware that allowed him to take control of your computer. And if you inadvertently provided personal information such as a username and password to the hacker, he could possibly access your online accounts and webmail. However, just adding even the cleverest hacker’s address to your contact list will not, by itself, afford him this level of hacking power. Some sort of file transfer or exchange of information would, of course, be necessary.
Moreover, such a dangerous hacker would have certainly caught the attention of computer security experts and detailed information about his antics would have been published on various security related websites. In fact, the only mentions of this hacker warning on any credible security information websites are those denouncing it as a hoax.
False warning messages like these serve only to clutter the Internet with even more useless information. Please do not pass on this bogus hacker warning and be sure to let others know the information it contains is invalid.
Last updated: February 2, 2017
First published: August 16, 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
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