False Authority Syndrome
n. The tendency to assume that a person who is an expert in one field is also an expert in a related field.

Example Citations:
One of the most respected international experts on computer virus myths and hoaxes is Rob Rosenberger. “Many people in the computer field sound confident when they talk about computer viruses yet very few have adequate knowledge of this technically obscure subject,” he argues. “Most fall prey to what some virus experts call ‘False Authority Syndrome’, and it contributes significantly to the spread of fear and myths about computer viruses.”
—Michael Cunningham, “A case of False Virus Syndrome,” The Irish Times, October 20, 1997

Never get the services of an IT journalist/writer/reporter/editor to secure or advise you on how to secure your system, most of these guys who write about hacking and firewall do not have the ability to implement what they have written. They may sound impressive but all they do is report what they see or hear though they don’t have any idea about it. They may have written about firewalls and honeypots but if you will ask them to put up one Im sure you will receive a blank stare :). Most IT writers suffer from “False Authority Syndrome”.
—“I am a gadfly,” Manila Bulletin, August 19, 2004

Earliest Citation:
You can read about the “False Authority Syndrome” in virus hoaxes (attributing the warning to some real entity, like IBM or a government agency).
—Dan Keating, “Guarding against viruses,” The Miami Herald, June 5, 1997

Related Words: