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Re: Fwd: INTERNET VIRUS ALERT - BULL!

From: <ronald@trace.com.tw>
Date: Sat Apr 1 01:10:28 1995
Message-Id: <9504010420.AA0130@trace.com.tw>
To: www-talk@www10.w3.org
Cc: daniel@compass-da.com

****  1st  April  *****  1st  April  ****  1st  April  ****

The mail with the subject "GOOD TIMES" does not contain the virus, ...

.... it is the mail with the subject:
"INTERNET VIRUS ALERT"

It works in this way, that, if the three words in this sequence comes 
into the mailsystem, the program sendmail is sensitive against this 
words and activate its defence. Unfortunately the programmer of 
sendmail let it open what exactly should be done, so some students 
from Berkerly "corrected" it. The virus is not in the mail, just the 
trigger for it. And it does not matter if you read the message or not,
....

****  1st  April  *****  1st  April  ****  1st  April  ****



> > From: Fell_Travis/dal11_tjfell@dal.mobil.com
> > 
> > Item Subject: Message text
> > ---- Begin Forwarded Message
> > 
> > Today (3/30/95) I received a copy of an e-mail ... regarding a new 
> > virus
> > called GOOD TIMES that originated from someone on AOL.
> > 
> > This virus ... is extremely destructive ...
> > 
> > The virus can be detected as an e-mail message with the subject line
> > reading "Good Times."  ...
> > 
> > The virus is launched when the e-mail is loaded into the mail server's
> > ASCII buffer and it is highly intelligent...it will send copies of 
> 
> I strongly doubt that.  (And see below for stronger opinion.)
> 
> Viruses are instructions that need something to execute them.  (Biological 
> viruses effectively are chemical instructions that need the chemical environ-
> ment of a cell to execute them; computer viruses are instructions in some 
> form (e.g., hardware instructions, shell commands, mailer control file 
> commands) that need some agent (e.g., hardware, shell, mailer program) to 
> execute them.)
> 
> There have been mail viruses (or were they worms?), but as far as I know they 
> are executed by the software that moves mail around, not by the end-users mail
> reader.
> 
> (For example, here's a virus:
> 
> "Send a copy of this sentence to someone else."
> 
> It is instructions to you, the human reader.  If you follow the instructions,
> it propagates; if you don't, it doesn't; if you ignore it and delete it, it 
> dies.
> 
> Obviously, this virus isn't very effective, because humans usually will 
> choose not to follow the instructions.  But it is a virus.
> 
> Hey!  I just realized---THE FORWARDED RUMOR IS A VIRUS!  (It doesn't 
> explicitly contain instructions to forward it, but it's written knowing that 
> people repeat rumors, so that's an implicit instruction to forward it.
> Therefore, it is a virus.)
> 
> But I, one valiant little antibody in the Internet immune system, have 
> recognized the invader, and have mutated it, hopefully sentencing it to
> death.
> 
> (Now if only someone could do something about those (ex-?) lawyers who keep
> spamming the Internet...)
> 
> )
> 
> > ....  Once a computer is infected, one of
> > several things can happen.  The hard drive will most likely be 
> > destroyed. 
> > If the program is not stopped, the computer's processor will be placed 
> > in
> > an nth-complexity infinite binary loop which can severly damage the
> > processor.
> 
> THIS IS 100% BULLSHIT!  Infinite loops don't damage CPUs.  And infinite
> loops are infinite loops; there's no such thing as "an nth-complexity 
> infinite binary loop."
> 
> If readers don't believe me yet, then consider this:  The warning doesn't 
> say anything about which kind(s) of computer the virus infects.  Because 
> viruses are instructions, they can only infect hardware or software that
> understands and executes that type of instructions.  The only thing machines
> have to have in common to exchange mail is they they understand and process 
> mail formats.  Therefore, any mail virus must be composed of instructions
> in mail-exchange protocols, and those protocols aren't powerful enough to 
> express the instructions needed to erase a disk (maybe fill it up with junk,
> but not erase it). 
> 
> > REMEMBER...if you receive a piece of e-mail with the subject called Good
> > Times, DO NOT READ IT...DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY.
> > ...
> > -- 
> > raley@rain.org
> > ventura, California
> > ---- End Forwarded Message
> > 
> 
> So...
> 
> Why did this bogus rumor start?
> - Someone naive misunderstood something, including maybe a joke?
> - Some idiot decided to start a rumor?
> - Someone is trying to prevent someone else's message from being read?
> 
> Why is Fell_Travis (dal11_tjfell@dal.mobil.com) passing it along?
> - He (or she?) didn't know that it was bullshit, and was innocently passing
>         along a warning?
> - He is an accomplice?
> 
> 
> Daniel
> -- 
> Daniel S. Barclay                                         daniel@compass-da.com
>         "They listen hard, and act like they care.
>          How can they be so completely unaware
>          Of the truth?  The answer is always denied me
>          So I introduce 'em to the killer inside me." - MC 900 Ft. Jesus


Ronald Wiplinger    [Taipei, 24h online]   Tel: +886 2 609-0652, Fax: +886 2 600-0132
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Received on Saturday, 1 April 1995 01:10:28 UTC

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