Thursday, 18 February 2010

Etisalat's Emails - Phish off!

You can only imagine the joy deep in my  black heart this morning when I received an email from the telco that everyone who's not a Du subscriber loves to hate, Etisalat, snappily titled "Security Alert - Beware of Email Fraud Disguised as Official Emails".

We've all got these stupid mails from Weisatwit before. I've blogged about 'em before too. Surely they must have learned by now from the online howls of derision that accompany these well-intended but knuckle-headed emails. Apparently not.

The email, immortally, once again contains the words: "Etisalat will never email links, or call you, asking for such information." as well as, of course, a number of links to online forms asking for your name, email address and telephone number ('personal information'). The site itself also requests a user name and password as a log-on.

Of course, we could all rest assured that the user base has already been educated about computer security by the pathetic radio ads being run by UAENic, which purport to be raising 'public awareness', in which a voiceover artist doing a bad fake of an Emirati with a cold trying to English tells us 'I am Salim. Don't download undrusded zoftwares widge good arm your gombuter.' I initially thought this would at least be one of a series ('Don't run wiz zizszors in ze ovice'; 'Don't drawl born sites wizout bobub bloggers') but sadly, no. It's just the one repeated piece of useless advice that is of no utility whatsoever to anyone with enough intelligence to successfully switch a computer on. And who the hell is Salim anyway and why do we want to know?

You have to wonder about the security standards being applied to public networks and resources here when the standard of communication regarding security is so utterly woeful.


a-hem said...

It took me a while to decipher 'Don't drawl born sites wizout bobub bloggers' but it was worth it. Thank you, for the end of the week laughter.

Dave said...

Absolutely thank you for the laughter...

Grumpy Goat said...

The Dangers of this scam email
It is strongly advised not to respond to such emails. Further, please do not click the link provided in these emails.

I counted six separate hyperlinks in my copy of the anti-phishing message. Irony bypass, anyone?

emirian said...

So what?
A telco wants to warn its customers. It says not to respond to any email asking about etisalat's username and password. I don't see anything wrong with that. It says it would neven send you an email asking you for your username and password. Have you ever received an email from etisalat asking for your username or password?

I think etisalat would not bother itself sending such warning unless they have been receiving complaints from customers.

So this is a good warning. Plus, It's talking about not to click on the hyperlinks of the phishing emails, and you guys are counting the number of hyperlinks in etisalat's warning email? how smart!!

Grumpy Goat said...

Here be subtitles for the hard of thinking.

If I were the sort of lowlife who obtained gratification from infecting computers with viruses, I might email an almost exact copy of Etisilat's latest warning email to everyone. Almost exact, except in one tiny detail:

On my version, each and every hyperlink would point straight at viruses, trojans or spyware to be immediately downloaded on to the unsuspecting recipients' computers.

Etisalat chose to provide the warning, then fair enough. If the instructions were to go to the website and read more, then also fair. But how are we the punters supposed to know if the message is genuine or not? "It looks genuine. I'll just click here and...oops!"

"Keep the real warnings free of hyperlinks" is my suggestion to emirian with his new blog etislat2care... Do please be so kind as to pass this helpful suggestion on to your employer.


anti-emirian said...

yay emirian!
please du tell us more about our favorite telco.
i love to hear about how it has made it possible for us to request an additional service by a text message while cancelling it takes a trip to our favorite building with the ball on top armed with passport copies, photographs, labour cards etc etc.
c'mon now, don't be shy, add in the benefits of throttling bandwidth, having proxies that help slow down all that useless information on the interwebs..
pray tell us how it is one of the most profitable companies in the world, but still manages to hire some of the worst customer service staff possible.

emirian said...

anti-emirian ?!?! hahaha

But you're right, I remember when I used to have a blackberry from etisalat with local unlimited package. One day I decided to change the package to global, I called 101 and they changed it. Few months later, I decided to go back to the local package, but when I called 101 they refused and asked me to do it through one of their offices!?!?

Anyways, that's not the points here

So, etisalat's anti-phishing email and how can we know whether it's genuine or not? Well, read the sender's email (

And why should I pass this to my employer? I don't think you know my employer.

Chopstick said...

It's ironic that Etisalat should warn against fraud appearing to be from "Official Emails" considering Etisalat sent one such "Official SMS" and managed to inconvenience a fair number of its BlackBerry users. I use inconvenience in it's broadest possible sense.

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