New viruses - READ THIS!

Dennis Putnam dap at ILINKS.NET
Thu Oct 10 21:50:19 MDT 1996


On Thu, 10 Oct 96 05:09:11 PDT  , Joseph Bisti wrote:

> Hey, everybody.  Read this and follow it to the letter!  Then, send it =

to
> anyone in your address book who may benefit from it.  I don't know
what the
> second part means, but maybe someone else does.  Be careful in
the future!
>
> THERE IS A NEW VIRUS ON THE INTERNET...IT COMES IN
ON E-MAIL AND IS
> CALLED "GOOD TIMES."  DO NOT OPEN THIS!!  IT WILL WIPE
OUT YOUR HARD
> DRIVE AND PUT YOUR SYSTEM IN A BINARY LOOP!!
DELETE IT WITHOUT OPENING
> IT.  THE FCC IS TRYING TO GET MORE INFORMATION ON IT.
>
> THERE IS ALSO A VIRUS IN THE FILE PKZIP300, AND, A FEW
MONTHS AGO, ONE
> WAS FOUND IN THE PKZIP200 FILE ALSO.
>
>                                                         Joe Bisti

--------- End quoted message ----------

I wish I had a nickle for every time this hoax has been circulated.
Viruses cannot be imported to a  host by simply reading mail.
Common sense should tell most people this is simply not possible.
One should be asking how can this type of virus get executed, mail
reads are just that? They read the mail and do not execute anything
in the contents of the message. How does the virus know what kind
of platform it is being read under? Every platform, UNIX, DOS,
Windows, System V, etc. has entirely different acrhitectures and
obviously binary executables are platform dependent. How do you
send binary files through e-mail? The e-mail transport mechinism is
ASCII based and any non-ASCII characters are muddled because of
different translation tables on all the various platforms the mail
crosses on the way to you.

There are a couple of caveats to this but "Good Times" is not one to
worry about. First, one can UUENCODE a binary and send it via
e-mail but the recepient must UUDECODE it then execute it for
anything to happen and that assumes the sender knows the platform
you intend to execute it on. So this is entirely under the control of the=

recepient and if anyone sends you a mail file and tells to
UUDECODE it and execute it, simply put it in the trash. The second
is the only scenario that could infect a PC or MAC via e-mail and that =

is through macros. If you have a mail reader that invokes a word
processor like Word, Wordperfect, etc. there is a path available for
the determined virus. The message can contain a macro that is
automatically invoked when the word processor is executed. The
macro can then execute OS type commands, determine the type of
platform, select the proper imbedded code and place the virus on
your hard drive where it eventually will get executed or it can execute =

it itself. Fortunately there are only two known macro viruses and
although both are a pain to cure and annoying, neither is destructive.

The bottom line is that computer viruses are like AIDS, easly
prevented with proper behavior. Do not execute ANY program you
get from the internet without scanning it with an up-todate virus
scanner. Use only a text style mail reader and if it has a word
peocessing document attached do not load it until you have verified
it is not infected.

Keep your computer healthly or the government will do it for you. :)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-----------------------------------
Dennis Putnam
Loganville, Ga.

"The founders did not create our civil rights, they assured
them." Tanya Metaksa - Director, NRA-ILA



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