June 17, 2003

Some People are Mean

To all my Loyal Readers: If you have not already, please bookmark this site. It is the Symantec Security listing of email hoaxes.

My best friend forwarded me this email this morning:

We may have a problem.... see instructions below.
Chuck Langenfeld

Unfortunately, a virus has been passed on to me by a contact. My address
book WAS infected.
Since you are in my address book, there is a good chance you will find
it in your computer too. The virus (called jdbgmgr.exe) is not
detected by Norton or McAfee antivirus systems. The virus sits quietly
for 14 days before damaging the system. It is sent automatically by
messenger and by the address book, whether or not you sent e-mail to your contacts.
Here's how to check for the virus and how to get rid of it:

YOU MUST DO THIS.
1. Go to start, Find or search option.
2. In the file folder option, type the name jdbgmgr.exe
3. Be sure you search your C: drive and all subfolders and any other
drives you may have.
4. Click "find now"
5. The Virus has a Teddy Bear icon with the name jdbgmgr.exe DO NOT OPEN
IT!
6. Go to Edit (on the menu bar) and choose "select all" to highlight the
file without opening it.
7. Now go to File (on the menu bar) and select delete. It will then go to
the Recycle Bin.
8. IF YOU FIND THE VIRUS YOU MUST CONTACT ALL THE PEOPLE IN YOUR
ADDRESS BOOK, SO THEY CAN ERADICATE IT IN THEIR OWN ADDRESS BOOKS.

To Do This:
a) Open a new e-mail message
b) Click the icon of the address book next to the "TO"
c) Highlight every name and add to "BCC" (which means blind copy)
d) Copy this message and paste to e-mail

Ciao, Donna

Of course I checked Symantec before I did anything, and emailed my friend that it was a hoax, but not before she had deleted the file.

It is very sad that some people have nothing better to do than to sit around and think up these terrorist plots.

I know, it sounds kind of strong to call an email hoax a terrorist plot, but the only point of this kind of email is to scare somebody, which is really the point of terrorism--to scare all the people who weren't killed outright in the attack; to scare us into taking actions that might not be in our best interests in the long term, because of the fear of the consequences of NOT acting to prevent imminent and future damage to ourselves and our property. (Do I hear you murmuring "Patriot Act"? I thought so...).

We need to always think before we react blindly to a perceived threat. Granted, sometimes instinct takes over--the old "fight or flight" reaction that Mother Nature programmed into our wiring--but there are degrees of threat and degrees of available reaction time to that threat, and we need to always use any time we have, even if it is only seconds, to give our brains a chance to analyze the response mechanisms and override them if necessary.

Maybe it is easier for me, because I have to to do this on a daily basis. You see, I suffer from Panic Disorder.

I had my first Panic Attack at age 12, at the top of an escalator in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. At the time, I had no idea what it was that I was really experiencing, so from that moment on I avoided escalators. As the years went on, the list of things to be avoided grew. (This is one reason why I love the movie "What about Bob?" and the elevator scene in particular--my terror of everyday life experiences depicted in accurate, yet humorous, terms). Eventually I became completely agoraphobia as my world shrank to the safety of my home. I couldn't hold a job because I couldn't leave my parents' house. I developed LOTS of hobbies that could be done without going outside, such as baking, needlework, reading, and watching television.

Then, one night, while curled up in my favorite comfy chair, watching TV and embroidering, I had a panic attack. And as I sat there, trying to figure out just what it was that was so terrifying (my chair? my chair is not scary, it is my favorite chair; the embroidery? I embroidered all the time without injury to myself; the television? puh...leeze) it occurred to me that maybe there was NOTHING to be afraid of.

That didn't stop the panic attacks, of course, and in a way it made them worse since now the fear shifted to internal foci for the fear (I'm having a heart attack, I'm having a stroke, I'm dying here and no one is noticing) rather than external ones (I am afraid of riding in a car, I must avoid cars to avoid the fear). But it DID make me seek medical treatment for the heart attack/stroke/imminent death, and that eventually resulted in an accurate diagnosis, treatment, and an ability to function the way "normal" people do, including finding a job, owning a car, and paying taxes.

I still have panic attacks. They still scare the heck out of me. I still find myself in the ER convinced I am dying at least once a year. However, fear doesn't scare me the way it used to, which is probably why I took some time to see if that email was legitimate before franticly deleting that "suspicious" file and emailing everyone in my address book.

FDR said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
If he were alive today, I think he would add: "and, if you are a Palestinian, Buck the Marine."

Ok, I'm done channeling Bill Whittle.

Posted by Susie at June 17, 2003 12:23 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Wow! Great post, Susie!

[You need to tweak the formating of the email a bit, though. You might try wrapping it in , which will indent it all nicely for you.]

But... Why does the MS Java Debug Manager have a teddy bear icon?

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 17, 2003 01:09 PM

Damn and blast Movable Type's comment feature. Can't use HTML, can't not use HTML. Grumble.

Anyway, try wrapping the quoted text in <blockquote> and </blockquote> - which will indent it all nicely for you.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 17, 2003 01:11 PM

Better, Pixy?

Posted by: Susie at June 17, 2003 01:19 PM

Looks good :) Great content and great layout :)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 17, 2003 04:45 PM

A good friend of mine has a sister with the same problem. She wrote a great book about her journey back from the same type of panic that you described. It's called scruffy's pawsitive mission. She was helped by a lot of loving people and one little dog . (hence the name)

Posted by: Pete at June 17, 2003 07:32 PM

Wow, that was long. ;) That really amazes me. I think my late wife had a panic attack once, but then again it all happened right after I made her smoke a joint*, so I was really never sure why she started acting so bizarre I had to rush her to the hospital. As for me, someone once asked me after I did something a bit daring if there was anything I was really afraid of. I said frogs. It wasn't true, but people just never believe you when you tell them you are unafraid of anything.

*She was anorexic and didn't eat. I thought maybe if I could get her smoking pot, she would get the munchies. Instead she had a panic attack. She probably did get the munchies and it scared her that she actually wanted to eat something.

Posted by: Tiger at June 17, 2003 07:36 PM

Most people have a panic attack or two in the course of their lifetime. It's when you get them daily that you start to have trouble functioning.

Frogs? Did they laugh at you? I would have, but then I am a "mean-spirited republican"! :)

Posted by: Susie at June 17, 2003 10:05 PM

I FOUND THIS WIERD SITE AND I AM AT SCHOOL AND I READ THIS I HAVE KNOW IDEA WHAT TO THINK but I GUESS I ENJOYED THIS STORY OR WHATEVER IT IS...
SP WHAT EVER IT IS I LIKED IT SO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND ROCK ON

Posted by: zontor at November 3, 2003 10:00 PM
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