By Joan Goodchild
August 26, 2010
There is a new breed of animal appearing in the infosec community,
according to Dr. Jimmy Blake, chief security officer for Mimecast, a
cloud-services company based in London, and host of the blog Cloud
Computing and Bad Behavior. The new breed is what he calls the
"attention monger" (he actually used a more colorful word, but we toned
it down for this article.) The attention monger is courting headlines
with the media that add no real value to information security.
Most infosec pros know the term FUD; it stands for Fear, Uncertainty and
Doubt. But increasingly Blake thinks he sees FUD making headlines too
often because opportunists are hoping to get their name out there.
However, while drumming up concern over vulnerabilities in popular
products does often garner media attention, it can be detrimental, too,
he warns (See also: Good FUD vs. bad: Is there really a difference?)
"The danger in raising FUD is that users get attrition. They get so used
to a constant stream of things that they are told to watch out for and
when the really big things actually occur, they aren't ready for it," he
said. "If we are constantly bombarding users with this stuff, it gets
lost in the noise and they aren't prepared for the real
Blake recently outlined three areas where he sees rampant hype spewed in
the media with little value.
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