Posted by MMMMarcia on April 28, 1999 at 19:59:29:
Hi, everybody! Just wondering if you have all been receiving as many computer virus warnings lately as I have. Apparently there are a couple of genuine new ones out there (Melissa, for one, appears to be real) but just to relieve the minds of some of you who may be new to computers, there are MANY more virus warnings that are completely bogus than there are real ones. Some of the phoney ones have become "legend!" Trojan and Irena come to mind.
I have it on VERY good authority that it is not, at this time, possible to download a virus by simply OPENING an email. Viruses are transmitted via programs and attachments. For instance, one of the warnings making the rounds right now (I've gotten no less than 6 emails concerning it in two days) says:
"If you receive an email titled "It Takes Guts to Say
'Jesus'" DO NOT open
> It will erase everything on your hard
drive. Forward this letter out to
>many people as you can."
This is NOT a real virus. Repeat: opening an email will NOT wipe out everything on your harddrive, no matter what the subject of the email is. The warning on "Melissa" on the other hand says the email comes with an attachment and the ATTACHMENT to the Melissa email apparently DOES contain a virus. But even in the case of Melissa, opening the email itself won't activate the virus...opening the attachment WILL.
Everyone who sends out these warning letters is trying to do a good deed, and we all appreciate that, so please don't think I'm upset about receiving the warnings. I'm really grateful to be on so many mailing lists of caring, concerned people. But what I'd like to do is alleviate some of YOUR concern when it's in reference to a hoax. I hope this helps! And while I'm at it, 3 good whacks on the head to the twisted little birdbrains who think it's fun to start these hoaxes just to see how far the messages will travel! Some folks have WAAAAAY too much time on their hands, obviously!
Hope this makes some of you breathe easier! But do remember it is pretty good advice not to open any attachments/downloads from any source you are not familiar with. THAT could cause you problems. For more information, there are several websites out there that contain a wealth of information on both the REAL viruses and the phonies. I have lost my bookmarks or I'd happily post the URLs, but if you are interested, a search should locate them for you. I know Microsoft has a page devoted to this subject.
And R & E, I have no way whatsoever to connect any of this with LOTM, accept to say that I hope no one in Mohicanland is ever taken in by these doofuses again, and I also hope none of you guys ever gets hit with a REAL virus, either! Will that do??? ;o)
Post a Followup