Happy Holidazed and Confused
Date Added: Dec. 5, 2006
In the early days of the Internet, virus creators relied heavily on "social engineering" to dupe users into opening their malicious programs and contaminating their computers. Viruses have evolved, finding new and more clever ways to force their way in, but the notion that you can still effectively protect yourself by being vigilant is still popular. most e-mailed virus warnings today are bogus, as is this one..
PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING:
You should be alert during the next days:
Do not open any message with an attached file called 'Merry Christmas' regardless of who sent it, It is a virus that opens as an Open Log Fire and will burn the whole hard disc in 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 'Merry Christmas', though sent by a friend, do not open it and shut down your computer immediately. This is the worst virus announced, 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
I first saw the text above in early December, 2007, but it was immediately recognizable. Its text is borrowed heavily from a 2006 warning about a file titled "Olympic Torch," which, in turn, was a reworking of early hoaxes around since 2002 that warned against opening e-mails titled A Card For You and WTC Survivor. None of the warnings ever had a basis in reality
Virus warnings play on common societal fears that something we do, such as unknowingly opening an infected file, will cause us a great deal of heartache and embarrassment. The present example also strives to make us more than a bit paranoid, fostering the belief that apparent holiday well-wishes could harbor evil attacks.
That said, there is some wisdom in being somewhat wary of what appear to be holiday greetings. Internet Scambusters named holiday e-card scams among its top five holiday scams for 2007. They advise caution in clicking on links in e-mails from unnamed relatives or friends who supposedly have sent you an e-card. The link, they caution, "may unleash anything from spyware and pop-up ads to viruses and Trojans." Their advice? "If there's any doubt about an e-card's authenticity, don't click on any links inside. Delete e-cards from people you don't know without opening or reading them..."
Relying on e-mailed virus warnings to ensure the safety of your computer and the data it contains is foolhardy at best and suicidal - technologically speaking - at worst. True protection from unwanted intrusions on your data and hardware comes from active, up-to-date, real-time antivirus software. These programs are inexpensive, effective and easy to install. If you currently are browsing the internet without protection, you are asking for trouble - trouble that all the forwarded e-mail warnings in the world won't prevent.
For more that you can do to make sure your computer is as safe as it can be, please read Protecting Your PC in the Chain-Breaker's Library. Then, never forward another virus warning. Break this chain.
References: Internet Scambusters