AMITIAE - Thursday 3 April 2014

Cassandra: How Low will Some People Sink - Phishing and MH 370

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


With all the ways that the less-reputable folks online have come up with to try and persuade us to part with our bank account details and cash, it was only a matter of time before some despicable soul sent me an email connected to the missing Boeing 777 airliner: Malaysian Airlines, Flight MH 370.

As soon as I saw the message on the iPhone, I knew it was no good; but had a slight problem finding it on my Mac as Mail had already filed this away in the Junk Mail folder, where it belongs.

The attached file actually appears safe to open (I use Apple's Quick View) and is an appeal to the receiver's sense of sympathy. Using the Mail > View menu, rather than the wife of a passenger on the missing plane, this appears to be fictitious.

It uses what we are told is the wife's name (the name of the missing passenger is correct and is shown on the passenger manifest, but the email address is clearly wrong:

We would hope that Yahoo! will deal with this. In addition, the originating IP number ( is in Frankfurt, Germany, The hosting service where the email came from is based in Prague (

In the meantime, there are proper channels for such appeals and individual requests are not likely to be genuine. This was a sloppy attempt at seeking attention, but there are sure to be more.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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