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Submission + - Conficker frenzy exposed media ignorance (pcauthority.com.au)

Slatterz writes: Calling the panic over the virus an "April fool's joke", security researcher Bruce Schneier says it was a classic example of how the mainstream news media misunderstood the threat from malware and used it to make news to the detriment of security. "It appeared to come from nowhere, it had a funny-sounding name — and research shows unusual names provoke fear — and it came on a 'magic' date. But it was the classic boy who cried wolf story," Schneier said. Fr all the media frenzy, the malware didn't even itself on April 1st. Instead it did so five days later, by which time the media had forgotten the story. Schneier said that such cases may have helped vendors sell more security products but in some ways they made the situation worse, since people became inured to virus stories and this might lead them to ignore future warnings.

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