January 22, 2005

Eudora overcomes stupidity to tackle phishing

(JPM reports) here is a simple example from Eudora (a popular email client) for OSX.

You'll get the idea. Note that "anti phishing technology!" is stunning, stupidly simple. It's just Not That Complex.

"You need a big warning in email clients when a link is fake."


So over at MIT people are making robots that can have intercourse with sound effects, but over in the Email Client Corner, a concept as stunningly simple as this...

"You need a big warning in email clients when a link is fake."

Is just Too Hard.

Note that anti phishing technology is far, far simpler than say "spell checking"

When you use the Eudora email client, and you make a spleliling mistake, it brings up a HUGE, CATACLYSMIC warning - the entire operating system is taken over, massive alerts 50% the size of the screen appear, if you have a printer connected, massive "SPELLING ERROR!" banners immediately shoot out of the printer. The Mac's excellent voice synthesis is employed and suddenly - before you can type the next space key - Steven Hawking's voice is telling you "YOU HAVE -- MADE A SPELLING - ERROR - ALERT!!!"

That's for a spelling error.

In contrast when an email contains a "phishing" link, the miserable alert attached flashes up for a second -- but only if you mouse over the link:

The bottom line here, as always, is that not so much software engineers, but software designers, are stunningly, hopelessly, pathetically, uselessly, staggeringly, mind-blowingly stupid.

Note that the same piece of consumer software put a HUGE amount of effort in to enable REAL TIME SMILEYS .... if you happen to type a smiley :) it notices that in real time as you type, and animates a yellow and black smiley there for you. Wow!

(thanks JPM!)

Posted by iang at January 22, 2005 01:45 PM | TrackBack

Have you ever actually looked at the spelling in most phishing or 419 mails?

-Johni Abacha
Son of Sani Abacha, fmr. Nigerian President

Posted by: Johni Abacha at January 22, 2005 04:11 PM
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