FoxNews leads today with a dramatic story entitled "Washington confirms Chinese hack attack on White House computer." Read More ..
In other important news, experts confirmed that there was a "high probability" that tomorrow, 03 October 2012, due to the rotation of the earth on its axis, the sun would once again give the impression of rising in the East. They also claimed that dinosaurs would "in all likelihood" continue in their state of alleged extinction.
(You read it here first, folks!)
Do we really need major headlines of this sort? What information do their stories convey?
Fox dedicated over 660 words to the Chinese hacking story, but after careful reading it seems pretty clear that the incident, and the story, can be simplified quite significantly.
Here it is in 40 words, for a compression ratio of over 94%:
* A malicious spam from a computer in China reached a single unclassified computer in the White House Communications Agency.
* The computer may or may not have become infected as a result.
* Protection against malware and hackers is a good idea.
You may stand down from any coloured, or even lightly tinted, type of alert.
Please be careful of reading too much into tales like this. They may very well be true, but they may also merely distract you from other clear and present dangers in the computer security field.
To help you out, here are some of the tell-tale signs that a story of this sort has undergone what I will politely refer to as "reverse compression".