Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Web Hoaxes, Counterfeit Sites, and Other Spurious Information on the Internet

This article is basically a beginner’s introduction to bogus websites. The author, Paul Piper, defines the different categories of these fake websites in layman’s terms and gives in-depth details on each of them. He talks about counterfeit, malicious, product, fictitious, parodies (spoofs/entertainment), hacks, and disinformation sites. He explains the subtle differences between the categories and acknowledges that a lot of websites can overlap with multiple groupings.


It was painful at times to read; especially if you are no novice to the internet. The categories’ names are pretty much self-explanatory but still Paul insisted on really simplifying the terms to make sure you understand 150% of what he is talking about.

However, there were some very interesting things I learned. I was not aware of the Associated Press incident involving a spoof report that a lot of media outlets ran with; despite the obvious absurdity of the report. I am sure a few people had to find a new place of employment after dropping the ball on not fact checking a spoof report.

Another event I found fascinating was the fake-Samsung spam e-mails that ended up costing the company millions of dollars. It seems like any experienced hacker could pull off the same stunt with any company and do major harm to that business with relative ease. Perhaps I am underestimating the e-security in place of these organizations and the technology available to them today. I am positive everyone took notice of what happened to Samsung and is making sure that will be just a onetime occurrence.

Overall, I thought Paul contributed a valuable article to readers. This information is something every student definitely needs to know before doing research for any class. With that being said, he could have gotten his point across and informed the masses in an article the fraction of the size this one.
Piper, Paul. Information Today, Inc. 7 Sep 2009. http://books.infotoday.com/books/WebDecep/sample.pdf


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