I got this e-mailed to me at work today:
Warning regarding new virus:
DO NOT OPEN “NEW PICTURES OF FAMILY”
Hi – This looks like a bad one that’s coming.
Forward this to others.
Please read and forward to everyone you know……
DO NOT OPEN “NEW PICTURES OF FAMILY” It is a virus that will erase your whole “C” drive. It will come to you in the form of an E-Mail from a familiar person. I repeat a friend sent it to me, but called & warned me before I opened it. He was not so lucky and now he can’t even start his computer!
Forward this to everyone in your address book. I would rather receive this 25 times than not at all.
Also: Intel announced that a new and very destructive virus was discovered recently. If you receive an email called “FAMILY PICTURES,” do not open it. Delete it right away! This virus removes all dynamic link libraries (.dll files) from your computer. Your computer will not be able to boot up.
Okay, let’s take a look at this, shall we?
Please read and forward to everyone you know…I would rather receive this 25 times than not at all.
Please do not blindly forward every ‘alert’, ‘warning’, or whatever else to “everyone you know.” I don’t know about you, but I would much rather not receive anything twenty-five times. There’s quite a few good reasons not to do this, most of which really shouldn’t need to be spelled out, but people persist in doing these things anyway. If everyone actually did pass something on to everyone they knew, then each of those people did the same, everyone would instantly be getting multiple copies of every alert out there in their e-mail box. Oh, wait…we already do get multiple copies of this junk, don’t we? Hmmm….
Check to see if the information is accurate. No, I don’t mean open a suspected virus to see if it crashes your system. This ‘alert’ describes a virus that comes as an e-mail with a certain subject line, and when opened, erases your entire C:/ drive. A second virus (with a very similar distribution method and subject line) is also detailed, only this one erases all .dll files on your hard drive.
The easiest way to check the validity of the claims is to go to Symantec‘s website. Symantec is the maker of the most popular anti-virus programs for both Windows and Macintosh computers, so it stands to reason that they would have a pretty good handle on any new virii (incidentally, as one of the more popular anti-virus programs is Norton’s Antivirus, the web address www.norton.com also points to Symantec’s site). Their site does currently show a high security alert for a new virus — W32.Nimda.A@mm — however, the listed symptoms and affects do not match either of the virii described in this e-mail. The closest listed virus to either of those in the e-mail is Trojan.ZeroBoot, which writes zeros over the boot sector of a drive — this will prevent a computer from booting, and to a novice computer user, could look like the entire C:/ drive has been wiped.
Intel announced that a new and very destructive virus was discovered recently.
Think about what the e-mail is telling you. Why would Intel — a chip-maker, most known for the 80×86 line of processors (from the 286 up to and including the P4) — be releasing information about a virus? A quick check of Intel’s press releases shows nothing detailing anything about a virus. In general, virus alerts are released by either very few people (like Symantec) that you can trust, or by every bleedin’ moron with a keyboard at his fingertips (like anybody with ‘l33t’, ‘haX0r’, ‘d00d’, ’69’, or ‘420’ in their e-mail address), which you should take with a grain of salt.
Buy and use one of the many Anti-Virus/Firewall/Security products from Symantec, or any other reputable software company. This will save a lot of problems and headaches in the long run — you won’t get hit with virii, and I won’t have to wade through mass e-mails about the virii that are loose.
If you think you’ve been hit with a virus: Contact Symantec and/or any decently savvy computer geek (i.e., someone who knows how to do more than click away at the World Wide Web) to see if there is information or a patch for your particular virus. Then go out, buy, and install one of the Anti-Virus/Firewall/Security products I mentioned above.
One last little thing: If you do ignore all the rest of my little diatribe…one little thing about my computers. I’m a Mac fan for many reasons. Like, for instance — no .dll files. No C:/ drive. And — while we’re not virus free — there are far, far fewer virii out there for us to contend with. Sending me your alerts does nothing but fill up my mailbox, waste bandwidth on the ‘net, and give me a minor annoyance to deal with, which I then relieve by ranting and raving on my website for the world to see.
Let’s avoid that next time.