Self-denial is only occasionally a virtue in people and never in systems. A self-denial attack describes any situation in which the system—or the extended system that includes humans—conspires against itself.
The classic example of a self-denial attack is the email from marketing to a “select group of users” that contains some privileged information or offer. These things replicate faster than the Anna Kournikova Trojan (or the Morris worm, if you’re really old school). Any special offer meant for a group of 10,000 users is guaranteed to attract millions. The community of networked bargain hunters can detect and share a reusable coupon code in milliseconds.
One great instance of self-denial occurred when the Xbox 360 ...