E-mail Virus Hoaxes Refuted
We all get a lot of forwards warning about e-mail viruses, right?  Well, guess what?  They are all a hoax!  There are no such things as e-mail viruses!  You have to open a file to start a virus, and e-mails aren't files.  You can read them and no harm will be done, however if you were to open a file attachment that you were unsure of the source, THEN beware.  People on Juno don't even have to worry about this at all because they cannot receive file attachments! :-)  Following are several articles/e-mails that refute the common e-mail virus hoaxes...


The following is off the McAffree internet page.

"Join The Crew" E-mail Hoax
This is NOT an actual virus.
Below is a copy of the actual text which was passed around.

>>Take note !
Someone got an e-mail, titled as JOIN THE CREW and it has erased his 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. Please e-mail this to everyone you know!!!  Remember the title : JOIN THE CREW - Make sure you do not "JOIN THE CREW" that have lost there entire HD<<

Please ignore and delete this message. This is a hoax because viruses are not carried in e-mail messages. Viruses must be transmitted as an attachment to a message.  By receiving the message you are not in any danger. Every attachment should always be saved and scanned before executing.  Delete any "JOIN THE CREW" e-mail message and DO NOT forward it to anyone. You will only propagate the hoax.
 


THE GOOD TIMES VIRUS IS A HOAX!

For those of you who have been living under a rock and don't know what the Good Times Virus is, here is a quick explanation. But don't believe it.

Here's what happens. You check your email. You find one titled "Beware the Good Times Virus." It tells you to be on the lookout for ANOTHER email simply titled "Good Times." Supposedly, if you read this OTHER email called "Good Times," a virus contained within it will wipe out your hard drive, leaving it a pathetic, impotent, blinking mess. Starting in late '94, the email warning was everywhere.  It still is!  And worse yet, it has mutated into other insidious warnings that often catch those "cognizants" who have developed an immunity to Good Times warnings off guard.

What's the big deal about a few bogus emails? At the height of the frenzy, about two years ago, AOL Tech Help received 500 queries a day from members shaking in their boots, according to an AOL Systems Operator who fielded many of those calls.

And not only AOL members were duped by the hoax. The Systems Operator remembers getting a forwarded Good Times warning from the United States Department of Defense!

How did this colossal hoax get started?  One convincing theory posits that it began with an ordinary chain letter titled Good Times.  Alan Braggins, another AOLer, remembers getting such an email.  "A while back I got an email titled 'Good Times' with the usual sort of chain letter stuff - this letter brings good luck, now send it to everyone else you know or Bad Things will happen.  Instead of sending it to everyone else I know, I deleted it. As far as I remember, no Bad Things happened immediately afterwards."

Evidently someone became annoyed by unsolicited email and set out to halt the perfidious spread of the original "Good Times" letter.

How do you stop a chain letter?  One way might be to warn people that if they open the mail, horrible things will happen to something they hold dear, like their hard drives.  Well the irony of this theory is that the cure became worse than the disease, and the "warning" spread farther and faster than any chain letter ever could.  [Added by Gretchen: Ever heard the saying "a lie will travel around the world while truth is putting on its boots"?!? :) ]

The warning about the virus became the virus itself, feeding like a cancer on people's fear of harm coming to their hardware.

As I clearly stated above in all caps, this is a pile of baloney. If you don't believe me, then believe this: The U.S. Department of Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability emphatically stated, "As of this date, there are no known viruses which can infect merely through reading a mail message.  For a virus to spread some program must be executed."

Why does it continue to circulate, now that many people know this is a hoax? One of our faithful readers, Jamie in Jacksonville has an idea: "Internet users have been sending this hoax to newbies in an attempt to scare and humiliate them. The humiliation comes when they tell everyone they know
about this 'horrible new virus.'"

An urban legend if there ever was one.

Only this time I feel compelled to kill the virus vs. spreading the rumor. Because if we don't kill the Good Times Virus pronto, it will mutate into another annoying false alarm and the chain will not be broken.

If you still have doubts about the Good Times virus, check out
ftp://users.aol.com/macfaq/good-times-virus-hoax-faq.txt where Les Jones presents exhaustive research on this pesky little subject.

For info about REAL computer viruses, check out
http://www.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Security_and_Encryption/Viruses/

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I recently got a note that had been forwarded 22 times(!), spread to over a hundred people (including you on the cc: list), many of whom no doubt passed it on to many hundreds more.  It warned about opening any email message titled "JOIN THE CREW" or "PENPALS", claiming that merely opening the message would erase your hard drive.

Folks, this warning, and others like it ("Deeyenda", "Good Times", etc.) are all HOAXES!  There IS no destructive email like that described in these messages, and those of you who forward such "warnings" to everyone you know are not doing anyone a service.  You're merely pointing out your
gullibility, and spreading misinformation.

These hoaxes are authoritatively debunked at numerous sites, including the major anti-virus vendors, and the government's own CIAC center.  Here are are a few sites that you should definitely look into before forwarding ominous warnings to everyone you know:

http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html
http://www.nai.com/services/support/hoax/hoax.asp
http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACHoaxes.html
http://www.stiller.com/hoaxes.htm
http://kumite.com/myths/
http://www.korova.com/virus/
http://www.yale.edu/its/security/alerts/1997.09.11.crew-penpal-combo-hoax.txt
http://www.acs.uwosh.edu/documentation/virus/
http://spcug.org/hoax.htm
http://www.antivirus.com/vinfo/hoaxes/join.htm

I hope that those of you who have already helped spread this misinformation will follow up by checking out the information above, and forwarding IT to all those you sent the original warning to.  And I hope those of you who received the message will check things out, educate your friends, and
refrain from spreading such hoaxes any further.  You'll be doing a good deed for the Net!

James A. Tunnicliffe
Director, Americas Customer Services
Inference Corporation


Hoaxes

The Internet is full of viruses, which threaten the security of your computer.  When people receive a warning about one of these viruses, they tend to take it very seriously and try to warn all their friends about this potential threat.

However, most of these warnings are hoaxes.  They use the fear of Internet users as a vehicle to spread widely across the Internet.  This site tries to create some clarity in the situation.

The HoaxKill service is intended to help you find out what hoaxes are and what to do about them. Once enough people have become aware of hoaxes, the problem will hopefully disappear.

Although we try to keep the information on this site up to date and complete,  Oxcart Software cannot be held responsible for any negative effects resulting from incorrect information or omissions in this site.

I received a suspicious message, is it a hoax?

To find out if the message you received is genuine, please look at our hoaxes list, http://www.hoaxkill.com/ If you can't find your message in this list, you can send it to hoaxcheck@hoaxkill.com.  We will then try to verify the contents of the message.

 

How do I recognize a hoax?

- Any message asking you to send it to all your friends is a suspect.
- Most hoax warnings pretend to originate from a reputable source.  If this isn't backed up by a digital signature from the organization or at least a page about the subject on their website, it is probably fake.  Please don't contact the organization for verification since you won't be the only one and this message is probably already causing them enough trouble.  Just contact us and we will try to verify the source of the message.
- Hoaxes also have the habit of using a lot of technical terms.
- MANY EXCLAMATION MARKS! AND CAPITAL LETTERS!!! are also telltale signs.
- If a message claims that you shouldn't open a certain email message, because it will release a computer virus, it's fake.  You can't get a virus by simply reading a message.  However, it is possible to get one by executing an infected attachment.


The YLCF received the following e-mail message on viruses:

Dear Friends,

Recently I received a Virus warning that was sent to you all and felt I should write you about it. I am a computer programmer and have called AOL and talk to numerous other programmers and computer companies about these e-mail viruses and the truth is, they do not exist. A virus is like any other program. It must be downloaded onto your computer before it can do any damage. Think of e-mail as a letter. Letters, to my knowledge, have never blow up anyone's house. Yet if that letter had a package attached to it, then maybe you should be sure the package isn't a bomb. An e-mail cannot hurt your computer in any way (except maybe to clutter your mail-box with fowards :). If you see a e-mail in your mail box that looks unfamiliar, or has some wierd name like "BIG BAD VIRUS" don't worry, it is perfectly safe to open it. If however, after you open it you see a little attachment called "Open me! I'll blow up your computer." you might want to think twice about it. Anyhow, the sum total of this all is that there is no such thing as an e-mail viruses, and if you really want to protect yourself from viruses, go to your local computer store and ask them to explain them to you, or call up your internet providor. Hope this helps to make your Internet experience more peaceful!

Sincerely, Dr. Brian


"It Takes Guts to Say Jesus Virus" is a HOAX
(the YLCF received this message on e-mail)

Hello all,

You can ignore this one... It's a hoax.  The original 'It Takes Guts to Say "Jesus"' message it refers to was an excellent thought-provoking devotional that circulated via email in March of 1998.  It is NOT a virus, and this is obviously just an attack from the pit of hell to prevent people from reading the message.  I've pasted the original text from the 'It Takes Guts to Say "Jesus"' message below my signature.  Please read it-it will move you mightily. 

I called the person who signed this message (John E. Murphy), and he did not originate it.  He received it via email, and then forwarded it to about 10 co-workers.  They then forwarded it to more people, and it went all over the world with his personal contact numbers on it.  He has since heard that it is a hoax, and has had thousands of phone calls and emails over the last couple of months because of this.  I have 'X'd out his numbers in this response to prevent further spreading of his personal information.   

As far as the HOAX is concerned, there are a few things you can do to avoid being 'hoaxed'.  Check out the link below for more information about various HOAXes, and how to identify a hoax from a valid warning.  It also has several links to valid virus notification agencies.  It's always good make sure that something is not a hoax before sending it out to lots of people. http://www.parrottalk.com/virus.html

Take care and God Bless!  ;-)

<Jeff>  <><

 

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*** THE TEXT BELOW IS THE EMAIL OF THE DEVOTIONAL ***
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It Takes Guts to Say "Jesus"

This is a true story of something that happened just a few years ago at USC.  There was a professor of philosophy there who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn't exist.

His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever 'really gone against him' (you'll see what I mean later). Nobody would go against him because he had a reputation. At the end of every semester, on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!"

In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, "because anyone who does believe in God is a fool.  If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that he is God, and yet  he can't do it." And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces.  All of the students could do nothing but stop and stare.

Most of the students were convinced that God couldn't exist. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up. Well, a few years ago, there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled in the class. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about this professor. He had to take the class because it was one of the required classes for his major. He was afraid. But for 3 months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said or what the class thought. Nothing they said or did could ever shatter his faith, he hoped.

Finally the day came. The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of  300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, "You FOOL!!  If God existed, he could keep this piece of  chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!"

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleats of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken. The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man and then ran out of the lecture hall. The young man who had stood up proceeded to walk to the front of the room and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God's love for them and of his power through Jesus.

"Yet to all who received HIM, to those who believed in HIS name, HE gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of GOD."

"But HE knows the way that I take. When HE has tested me, I will come forth as gold."  Job 23:10

 

 

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*** THE TEXT BELOW IS THE EMAIL OF THE VIRUS HOAX ***
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>Subject: VIRUSs Notice
>
> ******** Virus Notice ******** VERY  IMPORTANT!!!!!!! *********
> If you receive an email titled "It Takes Guts to Say 'Jesus'" DO
> NOT open it. It will erase  everything on your hard drive. Forward
> this letter out to as many people as  you can. This is a new, very
> malicious virus and not many people know about it. This information
> was announced yesterday morning from IBM; please share it with
> everyone that might access the internet.
> Once again, pass this along to EVERYONE in your address book so that
> this may be stopped. AOL has said that this is a very dangerous
> virus and that there is NO remedy for  it at this time. Please
> practice cautionary measures and forward this to all your online
> friends ASAP.

> John E. Murphy
> Global Service Manager for AT&T
> Voice : XXX-XXX-XXXX  (PERSONAL INFORMATION REMOVED)
> Fax : XXX-XXX-XXXX
> Pager : XXX-XXX-XXXX
> Pin code : XXXXXXX       


Other Websites to Look at On the Subject:

CIAC www.ciac.llnl.gov/ciac.CIAChoaxes.html

Computer Virus Myths www.kumite.com/myths

Urban Legends and Folklore at www.urbanlegends.about.com


This page is a ministry of the Young Ladies Christian Fellowship (Website: http://members.tripod.com/ylcf - E-mail: YLCF.Webmaster@saintmail.net). We pray that it has proved helpful to you. Please feel free to forward it to friends so that they may be informed of the truth regarding e-mail viruses. God bless!

This page is at http://members.tripod.com/ylcf/fav_forwards/e-mail_virus_hoaxes_refuted.htm