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FAX a virus - Rhetorical and logical Fallacies
From: "Craig Wright" <cwright () bdosyd com au>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 20:27:32 +1100


First, the attacks stating that I am a lawyer, that I am ranting etc, are rhetorical fallacies of the order "Ad 
hominem". This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments. This does nothing to 
prove a case or an opinion.

A few "Red Herrings" - or diversionary tactics that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather 
than addressing them - have also been put in. Such as stating that Faxes can use VoIP. VoIP is invisible from the 
purpose of a fax based attack and thus irrelevant.

The arguments that there must be some attack over fax because email has become a means of attacking are "Begging the 
Claim". This is where the conclusion you should prove is validated within the claim.

The few emails I have received stating that the idea must be wrong as I am not technical enough (which also mis a 
fallacy) is a "Genetic Fallacy". This is a conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea, 
institute, or theory determine its character, nature, or worth.

The "Circular Arguments" or restating the argument rather than actually proving it are not even close to finishing.

The "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy, that a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must 
have caused 'A.' has been made.

In assuming that there must be some attack against a fax server as there is an image based attack, fuzzing on some 
Windows systems is a "Hasty Generalization".  This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence.

Together they make a "Slippery slope". This is the logically fallacy where a conclusion based on the premise that if A 
happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically 
equating A and Z.

I think that the "Ad populum" (an emotional appeal that speaks to positive/negative; such as patriotism, religion, 
democracy) logical fallacy has not been used as yet? If it was I missed it, sorry.

These are common errors in reasoning, but they do nothing to prove anything. In fact they make your argument weaker.

I reiterate. Please prove that a fax system can transmit a virus, trojan or ANY of YOUR choice of malware through the 
sending/receiving process. I will happily recant - if and when you prove me wrong. Until then, and if it is not proven, 
the case is that it is NOT possible.

Null Hypothesis (Ho): It is not possible to send malware using a fax in ANY event, ever. No way, no chance, never. 
(make this easier for you?)

Alternate Hypothesis (Ha): It is possible to send malware using a fax service (any one of any that may exist - just one 

Scientific reasoning states that the null hypothesis stands until and unless you can prove otherwise. No arguments that 
it is likely, that it is similar to something on a web server etc. Proof. Please even supply a valid thought experiment 
to test a logical possibility - even a REALLY remote one



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