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10 Sep The what-bot

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Incidents|The what-bot

Yury Namestnikov
Posted September 10, 09:28  GMT
Tags: Instant Messengers

Late on Monday, a lot of Russian ICQ users got sent this message:

Woland (23:07:23 7/09/2009)
Link to download the file Frogs.rar
[-- File sent via file.qip.ru. More details on the site: http://file.qip.ru --]

If you've been using ICQ for a while or are even remotely security savvy, you know not to just click on links that get sent to you, even if they appear to come from a known contact. Instead, you're going to try and check in some way whether it's really a person who sent you the link, or just a bot. Turing tests are designed to distinguish humans from bots, and everyone's come across CAPTCHAs, a reverse Turing test. Of course, if you're on ICQ, you're not going to use an image to check who's on the other side of the screen, but you can ask a challenge question – after all, a computer can't actually answer questions, can it?