DOGS by Sintron
DOGS is a surveillance simulation application that used the email and web platform to temporarily terrorize and humiliate a psychopathic individuals immediate community, inducing mass paranoia, panic, and a brutal backlash against him. The application sent an email message originating from Sintronís email address, to a pre-selected address list which informed them that he had found out that an [...]
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DOGS

Many computer viruses don't exist as running machine code, but as imaginary software implanted into the user's imagination, instigating it to copy and disseminate the virus. The most prominent examples of such "memes" (to use a controversial concept of the biologist Richard Dawkins who defines them as "contagious ideas") are so-called hoax viruses, E-Mail messages supposedly sent by anti-virus software companies informing recipients that their computer is infected with a computer virus, that they should delete a certain system file and pass the message along to their co-workers. Since these hoaxes create actual damage on systems, they are, as non-machine software, no less efficacious than viral machine software.
DOGS is such a simulated virus or backdoor program. It works as a meme and paranoia incubator, and can't be described better than in the words of its own author:
"DOGS is a surveillance simulation application that used the email and web platform to temporarily terrorize and humiliate a psychopathic individuals immediate community, inducing mass paranoia, panic, and a brutal backlash against him. The application sent an email message originating from Sintrons email address, to a pre-selected address list which informed them that he had found out that an embarrassing secret of his was being spread about and that he would find out who discovered his secret by installing a spyware application on everyones machine in order to read their emails and hard drives for information. Whoever opened the initial email and had the proper email reader automatically sent a message back to DOGS which then immediately sent the DOGS is Now Installed on Your Computer email. That email contained a congratulatory remark, an animated gif of a progress bar that blinked a Reading Directory Structure message, the recipients name, IP address and email address, and a link that when opened, simulated the display of the contents of their hard drive on the web. The application kept a log of all installations so that the progress bar animated gif would not appear twice; instead it would read Your Information is Already on File. All hell broke loose and a heated exchange between the community and Sintron began which then lasted for a few weeks."

by Florian Cramer, posted 06 Jun 2003


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