VMyths: Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Computer/online security, Cyberscams, malware, spam, Government, Hacking, Media, Misinformation & Propaganda, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests

http://vmyths.com/about

Vmyths traces its roots to a “Computer Virus Myths treatise” first published in 1988. It evolved into the critically acclaimed “Computer Virus Myths home page” in 1995, then it moved to Vmyths.com in 2000. Its name has changed over the years, but Vmyths remains true to its original goal: the eradication of computer security hysteria.

Vmyths sells the truth about computer security hysteria. We take no prisoners; we pull no punches; and we refuse computer security ads in order to maintain our independence.

Our editors:

Rob Rosenberger edits Vmyths and writes as a columnist. He is one of the “original” virus experts from the 1980s, and the first to focus on virus hysteria. Red Herring magazine describes him as “one of the most visible and cursed critics in computer security” today, and PC World magazine says he “is merciless with self-appointed virus experts and the credulous publications that quote them.” Rosenberger was one of only a dozen industry experts invited to the White House’s first-ever antivirus summit meeting in December 2000.

George C. Smith, Ph.D.
George C. Smith, Ph.D. serves as Vmyths‘ editor-at-large. He also writes as a columnist. His seminal book, The Virus Creation Labs, documents the insane early history of the antivirus world. He also published the critically acclaimed Crypt newsletter. The San Jose Mercury News recommends Smith’s work to “those who insist on at least a modicum of fact, accuracy and clear thinking in their tech news.”

Our columnists:

Lewis Z. Koch was one of the founding editors at the Chicago Journalism Review. He is a two-time winner of Chicago’s Jacob Scher award for investigative journalism. Koch wrote a weekly column for [email protected] Week and was a special correspondent for CyberWire Dispatch. He is paid to write on the mythology of hackers and hacking.

Robert Vibert is a prolific writer and author of The Enterprise Anti-Virus Book. He also used to design & sell antivirus solutions to Canadian enterprises and provide support for those products — a fact which gives Vibert a unique antivirus marketing perspective for which he is paid to write.

Vea Culpa is a pseudonym editor/columnist who corrects and clarifies things for the record here at Vmyths. We publicly correct our errors — because “truth” is the first word in our website slogan.

Website Charter:

Every professional website needs a charter to keep it from wandering aimlessly…

Summary

  • This website seeks primarily to dispel computer security myths, misconceptions, urban legends, and hoaxes.
  • This website seeks secondarily to improve the reader’s knowledge of lesser-known, technically oriented, and/or controversial issues in computer security hysteria.
  • This website exists for information purposes.

Topics specifically beyond the scope of this website

  • This website does not offer a beginner’s course on “what is a virus.” (Surf here for good information.)
  • This website does not review specific antivirus products or computer security services for functionality. (Caveat emptor.)
  • This website does not teach people how to use specific antivirus products or services. However, it will seek to dispel general misconceptions about them.
  • This website does not provide viruses for download. Nor does it teach how to create viruses. It does not provide source code to viruses — not even for so-called “information purposes.” Surf here if you want to mess with actual viruses.

Advertising

  • This website has no interest in running paid advertisements. It operates on a “hobby budget” with trivial income from occasional sales of T-shirts and audio CDs.
  • This website will never accept paid ads for computer security products or services.
  • This website will never accept paid ads related to pornography.

Unpaid endorsements

  • This website contains only unsolicited, unpaid endorsements.
    • Endorsements won’t include a “commission” link, e.g. an Amazon.com partnership.
    • Endorsements typically include a “bias disclosure” explaining why it received an endorsement.
  • The simple mention of (or hotlink to or image of) any product, service, company, or individual does not in itself constitute an endorsement.

Branded URLs

  • This website currently does not provide branded URLs.
  • This website will never provide branded URLs to computer security companies.
  • This website retains full editorial control over branded URLs and provides them at the webmaster’s sole arbitrary discretion.

Your data privacy

  • This domain doesn’t force users to “register” or participate in surveys just to read content.
  • This domain maintains a daily activity log for every HTTP transaction. It records only basic information so we can analyze our most popular pages and sources of traffic. We don’t retain information about specific users or visits from specific countries.
  • This domain provides raw logs to bona fide law enforcement agencies only when forced to do so (e.g. to document an attack).

Website philosophy

  • Comedy is encouraged because it is the single most effective weapon against hysteria.
  • A concise discussion takes priority in an extremely complex issue. (Look for an “advanced topics” hotlink in such cases.)

Dilbert: I’ve been considering acupuncture as a way to relieve stress.

Dogbert: The theory here is that sticking large needles into your body will help you relax?

Dilbert: It sounds silly when you say it.

Dogbert: Sometimes sarcasm helps us think more clearly.