Virus Hoax Infogreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Just some food for thought.....
We're all aware of potential computer virus problems we might encounter everyday, especially leading up to 2000. Unfortunately, the problem is compounded by jokesters with hoaxes. In addition to creating paranoia, hoax rumors get cascaded through everyone's mailing list, creating lots of unnecessary network "traffic" and occasional congestion.
Here are a couple of recent popular HOAXES you may have heard of (they are NOT real):
Guts to say Jesus hoax: claims "If you receive an email titled "It Takes Guts to Say 'Jesus'" do NOT open it. It will erase everything on your hard drive."
Join the Crew hoax: states "look out for email titled as JOIN THE CREW as it has erased the senders hard drive. Please do not open up any mail that has this title. This is a new e-mail virus and not a lot of people know about it, just let everyone know, so they won't be a victim."
When you get such messages (usually from friends) warning of a virus, you might want to take a look at one of these websites to see if it has been identified as a hoax before passing the information along.
Computer Virus Myths: http://kumite.com/myths/
Symantec Virus Hoaxes Web Page:
NAI Virus Hoaxes Web Page:
If it has not been identified on at least one of these sites as a hoax, it is either a brand new hoax or -- a REAL virus.
Hope this helps!
-- TA (email@example.com), December 14, 1999
Short version: please stop posting specific virus warnings, however well intentioned.
-- Servant (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
Thanks, TA! We have a particularly bad problem with "Join the Crew," because the local soccer team is The Columbus Crew. I just posted two of your links to another forum in hopes of debunking this garbage.
-- (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
So what's the big deal? If it is a hoax, you obviously cannot receive the virus. Why spend your time worrying about whether it's real or not. Duh!
-- TruthSeeker (truthseeker@ seektruth.always), December 14, 1999.
Given the above, I hesitate to mention this, but this warning came to me via a U.S. corporation this morning:
(from internal Tech Dept that routed this warning companywide yesterday.)
"Subject: VIRUS THREAT: ICQ_GREETINGS VIRUS (alias: Passion) Importance: High Subject: Technical Advisory: ICQ_GREETINGS VIRUS (alias: Passion)
Virus Threat - We are not aware of any confirmed reports that this virus has impacted our network, however, industry reports indicate that this virus is spreading rapidly and that this file may attempt to format several local drives.
On Friday, December 10, information was released alerting of a new worm-like windows executable program that spreads itself using e-mail. The ICQ_GREETINGS virus, also know as Passion, spreads itself on all Windows platforms. The virus can be contracted by opening an e-mail containing the file attachment named Icq_Greetings.exe. Please be aware of this virus threat and take precautions to protect your workstation and data."
I have read about this particular virus once before, possibly on this forum, but this is the first corporate concern I have seen expressed about it.
What concerns me is that this virus supposedly comes in an email, not in an attachment.
-- Rachel Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 14, 1999.
A lot of people aren't aware of the following ...
When you send an email and you attach file(s) to it the attachment gets converted into a text form ready for transmission as part of the email message itself. When you receive the email with the attachment you email software scans the email and converts the converted text back into the original file.
This means when your email is winging its way around the Internet the attachment is not seperate, it is a part of the email itself. The attachment conversion to text will increase your email size by the size of the file itself plus 25 percent.
Now in this textual form if an attachment has a virus it is not active, really it isn't a virus at all. So as I mentioned before your email software will convert the text back into the file, this in itself will not activate a virus however it is possible that email software with certain could execute the attached file as soon as it is converted. The main way that a virus that is attached gets activated is if the user executes the file attachment manually.
Some people have the belief that when they download an email if they do not click on the file attachment then they haven't downloaded the attached file. This is untrue as mentioned above because the attached file is a part of the email.
I hope that clears up a few things, I always read my email on a Unix based system so Windows based viruses don't affect me.
Please come back next week for more of EMAIL 101
-- Simon Richards (email@example.com), December 14, 1999.
Thanks much, TA. I bookmarked the sites you provided. You would not believe how many Elf Bowling Virus warnings I have been forwarded from otherwise intelligent friends / associates. It's at a point now that I send email from certain persistent folks straight to the trash. I'd also like to mention that hoaxes can often be spotted by their wording (overly dramatic, threatening, poorly written, all caps). Cool it, people!! Use your noodle before sending obnoxious forwards.
-- Mori-Nu (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 15, 1999.