If vampires existed, the halls of my employer’s HQ would run red with blood, and echo with the terrified screams of the desperate and hunted. How do I know this? Because it’s pretty clear at this point that no matter how often you tell people, “They can’t come in unless you invite them,” there will always be some moron capable of answering the door, looking right at the fearsomely ridged brow and mouthful of gleaming ivory razors, and saying, “Candygram? Sure, put it right over here!”
How else to explain the fact that I have, since this morning, recieved several hundred copies of the e-mail virus du jour, all obviously originating from within the corporate network, sent from the machines of people who would never consider eating a pastry someone left on their doorstep, but who think nothing of opening a sketchy-looking attachment they didn’t ask for?
I used to wonder what was wrong with these people, but I’ve realized that I don’t actually care anymore. I just wish that I didn’t have to work with them. The ever-inventive Dirk has suggested that we introduce a new mandatory step to the hiring process. We e-mail the candidate a .zip file containing a program whose only purpose is to inform us, over the network, that it has been run. If we see that a prospect has taken the bait, that person’s resume is flushed faster than you can say “enormous walking liability”, and they never, ever get to work for us. Sound harsh? You haven’t had to endure a steady trickle of the same obvious, artless trick showing up in your mailbox all day, knowing all the while that it’s only because someone sitting at most a few hundred yards from you is apparently incapable of putting two and two together.
(Dirk suggests that the originating e-mail address be an obvious forgery, but I’m not sure that’s necessary or even desirable. The cleverest e-mail viruses take pains to look like they were sent to you by someone you know. The real test is not whether you can spot an obvious trick, but whether you’re paranoid enough to not reflexively trust mail appearing to be from a familiar source.)