Application security

Users fall for ‘lipstick causes cancer’ email

Security experts have warned PC users not to fall for a chain letter - which claims lipstick causes cancer - spreading in the wild.

The so-called Lipstick chain letter claims that some brands of lipstick contain a dangerously high levels of lead, which can cause cancer.

However, Cancer Research U.K. has confirmed that the email's claims are not true, and IT security firm Sophos advised that users should simply delete the email, and not forward it to their contacts.

"Chain letters like this are too easily forwarded to friends, family and colleagues without people using their common sense. Stories like this become urban legends, constantly being repeated without anyone bothering to check the facts," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Hoaxes and chain letters like this are not harmless - they waste time and bandwidth, and can be a genuine headache for support departments. Users need to be more skeptical, and ask themselves whether everything they are told by emails can be believed."

Part of the chain letter reads as follows:

"The higher the lead content, the greater the chance of causing cancer. After doing a test on lipsticks, it was found that the Y.S.L. lipstick contained the most amount of lead. Watch out for those lipsticks which are supposed to stay longer. If your lipstick stays longer, it is because of the higher content of lead. Here is the test you can do yourself:

1. Put some lipstick on your hand.
2. Use a Gold ring to scratch on the lipstick.
3. If the lipstick color changes to black, then you know the lipstick contains lead.

Please send this information to all your girlfriends, wives and female family members."

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