Virus Hoaxes

by Charles Ferris

 

Virus Hoaxes do not seem to be as common as they were a few years ago. But they do still exist. I remember a few that I have received in recent years. Many of them start by saying IBM, AOL, or Microsoft has released a notice that some super nasty virus/macro has been found.

My first thought is that any of the above companies don't put out notices. But Norton, McAfee, Trendmicro (Pc-cillen), Panda, Computer Associates, etc. do put out notices of new virus code. Each of these companies have newsletters that can be subscribed to. I get legit e-mail about new virus code and threats from these companies.

Any time I get an e-mail about some new virulent virus code, I check it out. Most of the major anti-virus producers have a list of hoax "programs". Along with these companies, IBM also has a list of hoaxes. In addition to these places, Homer provides a list (www.lightlink.com ) of hoaxes also.

Virus hoaxes serve no good purpose. They confuse those that are less knowledgeable and not experienced. Back in 1995, before I had an account on lightlink, I had an account on the SUNY Cortland computer. It never failed, at least once a week there would be an e-mail going around about the "Goodtimes Virus". And then it would go out to the general public, and back into the campus and around again it would go. Constantly the mail boxes would have lots of Goodtimes warnings. These hoaxes clog up mail boxes, confuse people, slows down or prevents legitimate mail from being read and consume resources --- computer time, user time, ISP time and storage, and add to overall online time.

To those people that are on my mailing list, I will forward appropriate e-mail from Norton, McAfee, TrendMicro, etc. that requires upgrading of the major anti-virus program or obtaining some special removal tool. If someone wants to send a message to me that they may believe is a hoax, I will accept it and check to see if it is a hoax.

If the message has been forwarded, please leave all the forwarded address in the message. I will do a "reply to all" so they all find out it is a hoax. I would encourage that my reply about it being a hoax be forwarded to everyone with the encouragement that they do the same. Maybe everyone will get the message, eventually, to check about these hoaxes.

But, on the other hand, there are constantly newbies (new users) coming on line all the time.

 

authored by: Charles Ferris

web page: www.lightlink.com/computer