Recursion & How Phishers Have Become More Creative

Some would-be phishers have a clever new idea. Rather than pretending to be from your bank and sending you an email asking you to click through and confirm account details, they are pretending to be from a magazine whose mailing list has been hijacked and their email wants you to click-thru and unsubscribe from the mailing list. The following message warning against the phishing attempt came in my mail this morning from Broadcasting & Cable magazine (I think!):

Early this morning a false message purporting to be from Broadcasting & Cable was sent to many of our subscribers claiming that Broadcasting & Cable had suffered a security breach that put our subscribers’ personal information at risk unless they unsubscribed from Broadcasting & Cable using a link provided in the e-mail message.
This message was completely untrue and unauthorized and was not sent on behalf of Broadcasting & Cable. Broadcasting & Cable has not suffered any security breach and subscribers’ personal information is not at any risk. Our subscribers do not need to terminate their subscriptions to protect their personal information and should not follow the link provided in this false e-mail message.
We are sorry for any concern that this false message may have caused our subscribers, and we want to assure you that Broadcasting & Cable intends to pursue appropriate criminal charges and other legal
remedies against the perpetrator of this malicious act. We thank our loyal subscribers for their support of our publication and are committed to always earning and maintaining your trust.

This is just another example of why in the age of RSS old-style mailing lists make no sense. After all, how do I know that this warning about the fake warning isn’t a fake warning? The inherent recursiveness makes my head hurt.