How to spot a HOAX Virus Alert.

 

How many times have you received an e-mail like the one below & forwarded it on to make sure your friends & family were safe ?

Subject:  Get this sent around to your contacts ASAP...we don't need this spreading around.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS:

You should be alert during the next days: Do not open any message with an attached file called 'Invitation' regardless of who sent it. It is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail Address in his/her contact list, that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

If you receive a mail called 'invitation', though sent by a friend, do not open it and shut down your computer immediately. This is the worst virus announced by CNN, it has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever.

This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.

SEND THIS E-MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW

Of course you would - in fact I was looking through my e-mails from the last few years for examples like this one - only to find that I'd been suckered by one back in 2003 - I know - I should've known better but what the heck - I was probably having an off day!?!  :o)

Anyway my point is that you are decent people who don't want bad things to happen to other decent people - which is how it should be ... the only problem with this is the less than decent hoaxers KNOW that's what you will do & that's why they word the e-mail in the way they do. You will now see the same warning e-mail - with the tell-tale signs highlighted.

 

(1) Subject:  Get this sent around to your contacts ASAP...we don't need this spreading around.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS:

You should be alert during the next days: Do not open any message with an attached file called 'Invitation' regardless of who sent it. It is a virus that opens an (2) Olympic Torch which (3) 'burns' the whole hard disc C  of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail Address in his/her contact list, (4) that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

If you receive a mail called 'invitation', though sent by a friend, do not open it and shut down your computer immediately.  (5) This is the worst virus announced by (6) CNN, it has been classified by (7) Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply  (8) destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc,  (9)  where the vital information is kept.

 (10) SEND THIS E-MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW

 

 

 (1) Spread the panic ... QUICK !!! 

 (2) They always make it seem plausible - like something you might expect from an e-mail !

 (3) The virus will always be more violent than ever - to frighten you enough to do something about it !

 (4) Again spread the panic - the more times you're pushed - the more likely you are to comply !

 (5) Another mention of just how nasty the virus is

 (6) CNN - it's almost always CNN - anywhere in the world - I'm in the UK & I've yet to see a virus hoax that says it was on the BBC - surly IF the virus is as bad as they say it is - why aren't the BBC telling me about it ? I watch News channel every day - they normally mention the bad ones BUT I'll guarantee you won't hear about it on the news when read about it on an e-mail. If you do - you know it's not a hoax - otherwise you can be sure it probably is ... FACT!

 (7) Microsoft's name is always dropped into to these e-mails.  After all there's no more an important company on the planet for PC users & if Microsoft say it's the worst one ever you'll probably believe it to be true ! 

 (8) They again tell you how destructive this virus is by chucking in some technical sounding jargon - you don't have a clue what it means - but it sounds as though they know what they're talking about - so you'll trust them

 (9) Finally to make sure you're well & truly scared rigid they tell you that the virus only hits the most VITAL area on the hard disk - it doesn't bother with the little stuff that annoy you like most viruses do - this one is much worse - it erases everything beyond repair.

 (10) "SEND THIS E-MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW" - need I say more ?

 

By this time you're a nervous wreck & so you do the right thing  ( just as I did )  - you e-mail everyone you know & a few you don't - just to be sure that everybody knows what you know & they do the same.  As a result - like a chain-letter - the mass panic spreads like wild-fire & so they've managed to cause a similar affect by warning you of a fake virus as they would have got if they'd engineered a mild virus & set it loose.  Usually those who start these Hoaxes couldn't create a virus if they wanted to & why should they ?  When a short e-mail like the one above is much easier & has a similar effect.

 

There is one other point to make & that is ... What is the virus called ???  No where in the e-mail is there any identification of the virus.  If  ( as is quoted )  "This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday"- McAfee would have given the Virus a name such as CIH or Chernobyl etc  ( see below )  but none is given here so the author of the e-mail isn't as informed as you'd believe.

 

I am as serious as anyone when it comes to viruses - I was hit by a small one a couple of years ago & back in the late 90's there was a virus called Chernobyl, also known as CIH & it was NASTY. It infected my PC's & many of the people I knew - we didn't even know we had it in our systems - for many weeks - it turned out that it had infected millions of PC's world wide & waited for it's trigger date of 26 April 1999  ( the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident - which happened on Saturday 26th April 1986 in the Ukraine )  as soon as the PC's on-board clock / Windows clock struck 00:01 on Monday 26'th April '99 the virus woke up & did it's stuff.  Unfortunatley because the virus had stayed dormant & hidden for so long  ( it was created & released in September of 1998 )  the Anti-Virus companies didn't know it even existed & so NO-ONE knew about it !  As a result I remember hearing about it on the BBC first thing in the morning & then going to my PCs to find I'd been hit.  The PC that was My windows drive server was blank - nothing was left.  CIH is still regarded as having been one of the most dangerous viruses ever but of course ALL virus softwares know about it now so IF you are using Anti-Virus software  ( you can't afford not to be )  then you are totally safe - just remember to keep it's 'Virus Deffinitions' files up to date from your supplier.

  The reason I was hit more recently was because I tried to run my PC for less than 30 seconds with my Anti-Virus switched off while I was downloading - it was stupid & I paid the price ... PLEASE do not do the same.

I've included this link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Virus for you if you wish to see some more info on the Chernobyl virus.

 

Unlike in the 90's - these days most Anti-Virus softwares detect viruses they don't even know exist - by checking the file's 'signature' & if it looks like those used by other virus' - they'll try to prevent the file from launching & quarenteen it & then report the new found "virus" with the Anti-Virus software's creators so they can decide if it is indeed a new virus or a harmless file.  This way incidents like the CIH virus shouldn't happen again.  Anti-Virus programs are far more intelligent & powerful than they were in 1999 which means that a virus warning in an e-mail could almost be pointless.

 I hope this was easy enough to follow  ( it made sence when I typed it & read it back BUT then . . . I knew what I meant - I hope you do to !!! )  :o)  & that the information has given you something to think about & more importantly the confidence to know when you see another hoax e-mail - that it's nothing more than a sick joke !

 Please note - the opinions expressed in this article are my own & not endorsed by any of the companies named.  A very small proportion of the factual data  ( dates of CIH virus etc. )  were found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Virus. Please use this link if you wish to know all the FACTS about this virus.

 

 

 

Website GrafiX Content etc. - © - Mike Macrae - 2006 - 2012

( see ' About This Site ' for details )

Make a free website with Yola