following is a lesson on what computer hoaxes are what you as a computer
user should do with hoaxes.
e-mail to all computer users,
It has come
to the attention of the staff of the Division of Information Systems (DIS)
that an ever increasing number of virus alerts, warnings, and hot tips, are
being circulated amongst the users. The time has come to discuss these
warnings, debunk some of the misconceptions that are circulating, and
hopefully set the record straight about computer viruses, hoaxes, and how
DIS is protecting it's users.
hoaxes are the digital age version of the chain letter. There are two kinds
of computer hoaxes. The "too good to be true" hoax, and the "doomsday" hoax.
"too good to be true" hoaxes that are currently in circulation are things
like: "send this e-mail to 10 people and get a free dinner from Cracker
Barrel" or "the XYZ company is testing it's new e-mail system, for every 10
people that you have send to XYZ you will get a check for $10.00".
good to be true" hoaxes have a couple of things in common:
1. The hoax
mentions a popular company that people recognize.
2. The hoax
mentions something that is "almost too good to be true".
3. The hoax
includes a "testimonial" from someone who "swears this is true, honest!".
4. The hoax
includes the tag line "Send this to everybody you know!"
5. The hoax
mentions something about deleting files!"
remember: If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is. **
everybody, has read, or seen on television, special reports on computer
viruses and the damage they can do. Viruses are real, and the amount of
talent that is needed to create one of these little monsters is impressive
(It is a shame these people couldn't put this wasted talent to better use).
A virus can range in damage from an annoying message on your screen, to
totally wiping out your hard drive, the network server hard drive, etc.
These "doomsday" viruses are a serious concern to everyone, and DIS is no
hoaxes are very similar to the "too good to be true" hoaxes except the
"doomsday" hoaxes uses a persons fear of computer viruses to propagate.
Popular "doomsday" hoaxes include: " A virtual card for you", "California\Wobbler
Virus", "It takes guts to say Jesus", and many more.
"doomsday" hoaxes have these things in common:
(hoax) Virus had been verified by a "big name" computer company.
(hoax) Virus is the most destructive virus ever. 100 times worse than the
last known "real" virus.
Testimonial from a person who "lost everything" to the virus, but wants to
save you from doom.
4. The same
tag line "Send this to everybody you know!"
remember: If it sounds too awful to be true - it probably is. **
YOU AS A USER CAN DO TO HELP
Now that you
have been informed as to what a computer hoax is, and that you are protected
from computer viruses, there are a couple of things that you can do for DIS:
1. Do not
follow the hoax's instructions to "send this warning to everybody you know",
"delete the files" etc. -
delete the message.
2. If you
are still unsure whether this is a hoax or not, educate yourself break
the "chicken little cycle".
Here are a couple of great resources for viruses and hoaxes:
For hoaxes: http://www.antivirus.com/vinfo/hoaxes/hoax.asp and
For viruses: http://www.antivirus.com/vinfo/ and
After you read about the hoax or virus - delete the message.
** Remember - if it's a hoax, we don't want to spread it.
importantly, scan any floppy disk that comes to you before you use it,
regardless of the source.