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McAfee Warns of Rapidly Spreading Irony Attack

Internet security company McAfee is warning of a brutal attack of irony currently affecting computer users. The company itself was the first to be hit.

By (@JRRaphael)

July 29, 2009

McAfee Irony AttackA new kind of threat is rearing its ugly head in the computing world, according to a warning released by online security company McAfee. The attack, described as “malicious irony,” has already struck McAfee’s own operations.

The incident occurred in conjunction with a McAfee-run security conference in Australia this month. At the end of the conference, a McAfee representative reportedly attached a spreadsheet with hundreds of guests’ personal information to a mass-mailed thank you note.

The spreadsheet was said to have to contained names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, employment information, and even dietary requirements of more than 1400 people.

“This is a dangerously high level of malicious irony,” an analyst warns. “We have not seen levels this high since the Windows Vista Compatibility Center suffered compatibility issues at its launch in 2008.”

According to initial reports, the level of irony in this attack may have been exacerbated by McAfee’s marketing of a product called Total Protection for Internet Gateways. The product “stop[s] sensitive and protected data from leaving the enterprise through e-mail and Web traffic,” according to the McAfee Web site.

“This kind of irony attack is a threat that should be taken very seriously,” an analyst explains. “Anyone could become the next victim.”

A full advisory is expected to be issued by the end of the day.

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