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Fluent Access Corporation

JavaScript Format-Disk E-mail is a Hoax

If you still have your copy of the message, please provide it, with all mail headers intact, to your ISP or IT department, so they may lodge the appropriate complaints to find and stop this imposter from hurting others.

Sometime in the morning of Sunday, February 8, a person or persons unknown sent this interesting letter to a large number of people, particularly to people in governmental agency positions. The Fluent Access system administrator became aware of this when the Fluent Access mail system started receiving a large number of "bounce messages " indicating that mail to certain addresses were being returned because the addressee did not exist. More than 200 of these notices were received in the space of one hour.

Since that time, more than 100 "delivery receipts" have been received during the subsequent 18 hours...and it's not even business hours on the West Coast yet.

This mail did not originate from Stephen Satchell, from Fluent Access Corporation, or from the computers that host this site or mail server.

Here are some points that support this claim:

  • The address "Stephen Satchell <satch@fluent-access.com> has not been in use since the Corporation stopped active operation in November 2002.

  • The mail was received from IP address, whereas the IP address for the Fluent Access mail server is Furthermore, the originating IP address resolves to "user-0cdfdfd.cable.mindspring.com", which belongs to Earthlink, Inc. The system administrator has filed a complaint with Earthlink about this e-mail.

  • The JavaScript fragment is designed to scare the unwary computer user with text that says it is formatting the hard drive. In fact, it does nothing of the kind, nor does it even mimic a formatting program very well at all. If Mr. Satchell had written this, he would have done a much better job of it.

  • The presence of personal identifying information is suspicious in and of itself. As Hollywood has popularized, a "hacker" never signs his real name to his work; instead, he adopts a "handle" that only a select few can attach to a face. Attaching personal identifying inforamtion has only one purpose: to harm the person named.

  • Finally, at the end of this little piece of work, there is a copyright notice naming Jamie Baillie as the author. Mr. Baillie is a well-known "personality" with quite a reputation in the UseNet newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.email, a newsgroup devoted to the administration of mail systems in general and, lately, to the elimination of spam in particular. Mr. Baillie is well-known for wanting to slap his copyright notice on everything, which means the actual author may be trying to nail two people with one stone.

The person who sent this e-mail is counting on you, the general public, to accept on its face that either Stephen Satchell or Jamie Baillie is responsible for this electronic mail being sent to you, and to use the personal identifying information contained in this electronic mail to harrass Mr. Satchell. Sadly, one person has indeed done so, by calling Mr. Satchell at 5:45 AM.

This mail is a hoax, with a forged "From:" address and forged SMTP envelope address. There are other markers in the headers of the message that scream "FRAUD" to those trained to read them.

Thank you.

Watch this space for more information

The corporation is undergoing many changes: new ownership, a new mission, and a new set of products some time in 2003 . . . in short, a Phoenix is rising from the ashes of the old company. Like all living things, a company must grow and change to match the changes in its environment, and Fluent Access is no different from any other company.

Just because we are re-tooling under the hood doesn't mean that all the "old" stuff is trash. There was plenty of good information included on the original Web site, so while we reshape ourselves this site is designed to keep that information available to those seeking it.

  • Information about the book authored by Fluent Access principals and published by Corilois Press, Linux IP Stacks Commentary, is here.

  • The White Paper collection can be found here.

A short history of the Corporation

Fluent Access started as a business services company, specializing in high-quality technical translations and analog modem testing. Other services included Web design and hosting, general computer consulting, technical article creation for national magazines and Web sites, and on-site computer maintenance for our neighbor businesses in Incline Village, Nevada and the surrounding area.

Spam policy may be found here.
Complaints about the spam policy may be sent to here.