back to article Cybercrooks befuddled by Icelandic volcano name

Scareware slingers have balked at using the name of the Icelandic volcano that this week has prevented planes flying across much of Europe as a theme for search engine manipulation campaigns because its name is simply too complicated. Distributors of rogue security software can normally be relied upon to latch onto any item of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Change the name

    Change the volcano's name. Not that big of a deal.


  2. Jimmy Floyd

    If you're bored...

    ...try learning how to pronounce it:

    It's taken me all day and now my tongue hurts!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Once is enough

      It took me half the Indian coast to get Thiruvanathapuram and Tavvavanipalem down to pat well enough that the people I asked for directions didn't look at me as if I was in need of medical treatment. Not wishing to repeat that, I think "the Icelandic volcano" works well for me.

    2. Steve Evans


      Krakatoa is referred to by name, Mount St Helens, Vesuvius and Etna are also... Yet for reasons I just cannot understand, the current one is just known as "The Icelandic volcano".

      And I bet the news casters thought the casualty list from the Polish air disaster was bad enough!

  3. Jamie Kitson


    Fascinating stuff.

  4. Richard 81


    Your computer might be at risk from Icelandic Volcanoes.

    Click OK to download Geothermal Event Protection Wizard.

  5. SuperTim

    lazy twunts.....

    can they not just cut and paste from any of the miriad news stories?

    God hackers and crims are lazy.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or dumb..

      They may not have worked out this copy & paste thingy yet..

  6. Andus McCoatover

    Eyja fjalla jökull

    ...seems to translate to "Island mountain glacier" if you know where to split the comopund word into its discrete parts..(kudos,

    I don't speak Icelandic (unlike the amazing savant Daniel Tammet) * but Nordic languages have a tendency to, er, saveonthespacekeyabit. Yougetthedrift.

    * --< worth a read!

    1. Steve Evans


      Thanks for the link, that was actually interesting...

      I have to wonder about his invented language though, did he make the same howling mistake that Zamenhof made? Namely including the pointless genders for inanimate objects, which serve no purpose other than to reinforce the belief held by every English speaking school boy that all other languages are "stupid". I note that he does include Esperanto in his list, so I'm not hopeful he has learnt from this.

      Sufferers from aspergers are famously unable to relate to or put themselves in the shoes of others (namely us pour saps who can't learn a language is a week) so my hopes are really fading very fast...

      Actually this might explain the new language, what better way is there of avoiding interacting and relating to others! I guess Esperanto was just too popular for him!

      1. Andus McCoatover


        Yesterday, I ordered his book "Born under a blue sky" from Amazon . I'm sure it'll be a fascinating read.

        ""what better way is there of avoiding interacting and relating to others!"" -maybe why, when I was an active Radio Amateur, I only used Morse Code, and never a power over 3 Watts...Heathkit HW8, anyone? In Morse, no-one can hear you scream! ;-)

      2. Andus McCoatover

        Tammet's "Invented language"

        .. is basically Finnish. He just modified it a bit. Dunno why he reinvented the wheel, but...

        E.g., (Caps are the Finnish equivalent). I hope he hasn't come out with the similar grammar (15 case endings, vs. English's three as did Mikael Agricola - father of the Finish lingo*)

        * buss (bus) BUSSI

        * kuppi (cup) KUPPI

        * kellokült (lateness, tardiness; literally "clock-debt")

        * puhukello (telephone; literally "speak-bell") PUHELIN

        * tontöö (music; literally "tone-art")

        * nööt (night)[17] YÖ

        * koet saapat (footwear) SAAPAS

        * hamma (tooth) HAMMAS

        * rât (wire)

        * (Sorry about the picture quality - it's the only photograph we have of him ;-)

  7. Wokstation

    Isn't it a matter of targetting?

    I'm sure most people searching wouldn't spell it correctly anyway, so they'd throw "icelandic volcano" into Google and hey-presto, malware results.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security ideas

    So the path is clear. Security by obfuscation fails every time. Security by discombobulation is the wave of the future.

    Personally I will be changing my name to something hideously complicated in order to implement thisnew method as soon as possible.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Eddy Ito

    Cut... paste... no?

    "Eyjafjallajökull... is simply too difficult to spell for most surfers, let alone virus writer types"

    My money says it's name recognition. Virus writers don't put it out there because most people would see the name and say, "huh?" Now then, the words "volcanic eruption" gets people's attention even if you're selling V1AGRA!

  11. Andus McCoatover

    Oh, right.

    Guess the Cybercrooks have never heard of 'cut ' n' paste, natch,

    Eyjafjallajökull. 5 seconds. Google? Islandic volcano name. Difficulty? Lower than most of us commentards.

    D'ohhh. Gime another do'nut.

  12. Alan Barnard


    Cut & Paste?

  13. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    Security through Unpronounceabilty

    That is all.

  14. frank ly

    Extreme spelling skills- not needed

    I don't know how to spell Eyjafjallajökull either, I just copied and pasted from your article into my scareware mail-shots.

    The way I see it, I have few competitors on this one so it's a good opportunity.

    (I know, I'm assuming that El Reg has got it right, but who would check it anyway?)

  15. Absent

    There's got to be

    some sort Kerry Katonna joke in this somewhere.

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge


      but there is a cheryl cole one...

  16. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    Face it, the target audience isn't that sound on Icelandic spelling or much of anything else. Stick with a volcano that everyone has heard of and is easily spelled: Etna for brevity, Katmai if Etna's too obvious.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Even the BBC have referred to it throughout as "the Icelandic volcano" - you'd have thought they could have managed to learn it...

    Having heard an expert pronounce it it doesn't sound that hard...

  18. Anonymous Coward


    you really shouldn't plaster my root password all over the internet...

  19. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Isn't it interesting that Icelandic has a word for...

    "Dreadful flooding caused by a volcano erupting under a glacier". We don't havethat in Yorkshire.

    I've also been told that there's a single SHORT word for "A friend who, under the influence of alcohol, become attractive enough". And short words tend to have been around a long time. But then, the nights can be very long in Iceland!

    1. Andus McCoatover

      Nights can be long in Iceland..

      I'm friends with a lass, who lives at the northernmost tip of Norway. About the same latitude, but without being pestered by some ancient old geyser. Nomadic 50-something - lovely lady, she relies on friends around Finland to stay with (crashed on my sofah dozens of times) when she flies south for the Summer (to maintain her 'non-dom' status, I guess)

      She told me once, "Where I live, in the Summer, all we do is make love, and catch fish. In the winter, there's no fishing..."

      1. John H Woods Silver badge


        that as not getting pestered by some old geezer ...

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