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Wednesday, 29 August 2018 11:34

Check Point gets a fifth-generation snub from Wikipedia

Check Point gets a fifth-generation snub from Wikipedia Pixabay

Security companies regularly hype the dangers of operating online in order to scare the bejesus out of ordinary people – that's nothing new. But when one of them gets caught and put firmly in place, it certainly merits some mention.

Israel-based firm Check Point has been pushing the term "fifth-generation cyberattacks" for some time now. You can see references to the term here.

It also has other "fifth generation" terms: fifth generation cyber security, fifth generation of data security and so on.

Exactly when the other four generations were in existence has never been mentioned, though. I have never seen any reference to such terms until now.

But then there's nothing wrong — except perhaps morally and ethically, both old-fashioned words — with a company trying to plug its wares any way it likes.

However Check Point did not stop with pushing the term on its own website; it tried to promote the bogus term with its own Wikipedia page where it was spotted by eagle-eyed British security researcher Kevin Beaumont who often punctures the myths that other security firms are trying to spread.

Wikipedia appears to have been wise to the stunt, because the page was soon taken down.

"Check Point added the Wikipedia entry, then linked to it from their website. In arguing against deletion, they cited blogs using their own infographics and marketing material," Beaumont wrote in a tweet.

The Wikipedia discussion that followed the excision of the page on "fifth generation cyberattack" was earlier noticed by Politico security reporter Eric Geller who tweeted that he was enjoying following the saga.

"I'm enjoying following the saga of a Wikipedia page for an industry term created by a cyber security firm's head of corporate marketing," Geller wrote.

"She defends herself by citing discussions with three other Wikipedians, two of whom almost immediately push back."

Now Check Point publishes good research every now and then and iTWire often finds these write-ups worth using in our columns.

But when a company indulges in ridiculous hype of this nature, it does tend to sully one's reputation quite a bit.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.





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