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Don't Join the Club

The great Groucho Marx once quipped, "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member." E-mail users would do well to adopt this attitude with respect to unsolicited invites to join members-only Web sites, as bogus club invites appear to be the latest ruse that malware authors are using to trick people into turning their computers into spam-spewing zombies.

The culprit? Once again, the various criminal groups behind the "Storm worm," a prolific piece of malware that seems to adopt a different lure with each passing week. Last month, it was fake e-greeting cards. Last week, we saw storm disguised as fake "sexy pics." This week, Storm purveyors are pitching their wares in invitations like this one, which landed in my inbox today:

We are glad you joined Web Players.

User Number: 75129641513 Your Temp. Login ID: user3469 Your Password ID: lc411

Please keep your account secure by logging in and changing your login info.
Use this link to change your Login info:
[link altered by Security Fix for safety's sake]

Thank You,

Welcome Department
Web Players

Trust me on this one: You don't want to become a member of this club, or any of the hundreds like it spammed out over the past few days. Just hit "delete" and move on with your life.

By Brian Krebs  |  August 22, 2007; 3:33 PM ET
Categories:  Fraud , Latest Warnings , Safety Tips  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Skype Bug Triggered by 'Patch Tuesday'
Next: Yahoo! Issues Security Update for Messenger


"The great Groucho Marx once quipped, 'I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.'"

In "Annie Hall", Woody Allen attributes the origin of this joke to Sigmund Freud's "Wit and the Unconscious". He also uses a funnier wording, IIRC: "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member."

Posted by: aeschylus | August 22, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I like the Groucho quote "She's only half Jew. Is it alright if she only goes in up to her waist? " when he was contending with antisemitism at a club while inquiring whether his daughter could use the pool.

Posted by: | August 22, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

While I seldom bother to recommend 'security software,' at least publiclly, Kalpursky anti-virus appears to spin rings around Norton and McAfee [for the same price] and I find both Spyware Doctor [I had mine before it became a FREE part of Google tools] and LAVASOFT Ad-Aware 2007 [free ed.] to be the best combinations for keeping crap off your computer system.

Posted by: brucerealtor | August 23, 2007 2:44 AM | Report abuse

One reason I like my gmail account is that the subject line includes the first few words of the message, so I can confirm the spam without even opening it. I still wonder why these people do this stuff. They should GET A LIFE!

Posted by: nmaif | August 23, 2007 4:37 AM | Report abuse


The phrase "spam-spewing zombies," ought to become part of the lexicon!

Posted by: Fred Albrecht | August 23, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse


Why is that wording funnier?

@Fred Albrecht:
More apt would be 'spam spewing Microsoft Windows machines'.

Posted by: Rick | August 23, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse


Yeah you go with Gmail. Great app! And if anything Brin/Page really care about your privacy - so you know you're safe!

(How do these people find this place?)

Posted by: Rick | August 23, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"Why is that wording funnier?"

Because "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member," doesn't make it clear that the club's acceptance is a value judgment, whereas "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have someone like me as a member," makes it clear that the speaker's self-esteem is so low that he believes a club unable to perceive his worthlessness is not discriminating enough to keep out the riff-raff. It's really a joke about the speaker's low self-esteem, not about the club--it's self deprecation.

Posted by: aeschylus | August 24, 2007 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Rick> And if anything Brin/Page really care about your privacy - so you know you're safe!

If you want privacy, use PGP. Then it doesn't matter whose mail service you use. And don't send sensitive information in cleartext, period, no matter where the mailbox is.

Posted by: antibozo | August 24, 2007 3:42 AM | Report abuse

Well! How about that! I have recently had this invitation AND the ecard to show up in my SPAM folder. Of course 99% of what's in my SPAM folders gets the DELETE with high prejudice.
I really cannot understand what makes people like this tick. I include them in the same category with people who will 'key' the side of a car of people whom they don't even know.
They belong down there with whale manure sans safety gear.

Posted by: PeteBB | August 25, 2007 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I frequently find myself wondering how these scams can possibly work. Who in the world would be stupid enough to even open the emails, much less click on the links? Then I remind myself that 53 million people voted for George Bush...

Posted by: fudd | August 25, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

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