Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Sometimes opening "phishing" emails could result in prosecution for possession of child pornography
On September 23, 2013 I wrote about a Webroot report on the BKA Trojan that can put child pornography through “drive by” on a user’s home computer, creating a possible legal bind.
Recently, I’ve received repeated spam with spoofed senders saying “You should take a look at this picture” as subject line and attachments. To open such an attachment (maybe even the email itself with HTML enabled) would possibly create a legal risk of falling under the interpretation of “knowing” possession of c.p., at least as the law might be interpreted in many states, because there is enhanced reasonable suspicion that this is what the content will be. At the very least, if an “illegal” image appeared (and could get backed up in the user’s Cloud quickly), the user might have to completely destroy the computer or erase the hard drive and all backups.
Such emails should be marked as spam and not opened. They stopped, and are not even appearing in the spam folder. Maybe AOL is screening them before they get to my account and sending them of to NCMEC.