Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


This stock is da bomb!

So while researching the stock tout scam noted in another post, I came across a blog which discussed a similar mechanism, but one using text messages. An obvious variant, but the part I absolutely adored was when they linked to this August 31, 2007 article from (emphases added to save your time):

An abbreviated text message on a state mail-delivery truck driver’s official unlisted cell phone had police scrambling for several hours this morning.
Maine Capitol Security Chief Russell Gauvin said the driver received a text message that read “Stcks poised to explode, ticker FDKE, Fred.”
Gauvin said the driver brought the phone to his Capitol Security office in the state’s Cross Office Building just west of the Statehouse.
Gauvin alerted the state Computer Crimes Task Force, which determined after several hours and a subpoena to U.S. Cellular that the message was an advertising message referring to stock trading, not an explosive.
Gauvin said he seized the phone from the driver and kept it for investigation, but he said when the driver returned to his office at the Muskie Federal Building, postal officials there decided to isolate the truck and have it searched with the assistance of an Augusta Police Department bomb-sniffing dog and State Police.
A portion of the Muskie building’s parking was closed off as a precaution until the search was completed.

What is it with New England and this stuff? I thought they were all stoic realists up there. If the guy’s phone had an LED, they’d have probably called in NASA to shoot it into the sun.

3 comments on "This stock is da bomb!"

  • Blivious says:

    We’re very practical and stoic, but not a lot goes on in Maine. These guys get a chance to do a semi-real practice run and they have to take what they can get.

  • Simson says:

    It’s a 9/11 thing. The folks in New England feel guilty about being the source of two of the aircraft.

  • John P says:

    Bruce Schneier has written at length about this phenomenon on his blog. The overreaction to anything out of the ordinary causes problems and wastes money. How many dollars were spent responding to this non-problem? Did nobody in the chain of command become skeptical? Surely not all emergency responders are gullible.

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