Saturday, November 15, 2008

8 Virus

Computer viruses come part and parcel with being on the internet. Unfortunately so do computer virus hoaxes. Typically, uninformed internet users receive a suspicious email or virus alert and pass along the information to other uninformed users without checking the validity of the virus. In essence the hoax itself becomes the virus due to the way it is spread. Below are 8 of the most commonly found computer virus hoaxes on the internet. Some of them are still floating through cyberspace scaring innocent victims into believing their computer crashed because they caught a virus.

1. Reeirti Virus - This is one of the most current virus hoaxes spreading through the web. It began being circulated amongst Serbian speaking users in February 2008 and may have begun to branch out into other languages. Supposedly this is a virus internet users get when they open an email from reeirti@hotmail will cause your hard drive to be formatted so that you lose all your data. The only risk associated with the reeirti virus is if the email alert comes with an attachment.

2. T-Virus Mobile Phone Hoax - In 2004 a marketing firm began sending text messages to mobile phone numbers saying they were infecting them with the T-Virus. Phone owners were instructed to forward the message to friends in order to win prizes. According to the message the only way to uninfect yourself was to reply to the message. There never was a t-virus but there was many unknowing sign-ups for mobile games.

3. Bum_tnoo7 Facebook Hacker Alert - This virus hoax started making the rounds in August 2007 when a MySpace user began sending emails and announcements via MySpace and Facebook. The chainletter claims that if you add a friend with you are adding someone who will hack into your email account. To date this warning has been found to be completely bogus and forwarding this letter is a waste of time.

4. The Sheep Virus - The sheep virus started out as adorable desktop animation much like the After Dark program Flying Toasters. Sheep jumped, ate, slept and frolicked across the computer screen. Internet users began suspecting this program contained a Trojan virus and like wildfire the news caught. Upon investigation it was determined that the cute little desktop sheep were harmless and that the commercial program was never infested with any type of security threat. An email virus alert regarding the sheep is still circulating the internet.

5. Budweiser Frogs Virus - The Budweiser frogs became an internet enemy in 1997 when a prankster began plastering messages on the internet alerting everyone to the evil of the Budweiser Frogs. The message was intended to scare internet users downloading the screensaver into thinking that their hard drive would crash and they would lose all their information and data. Even though Anheuser-Busch retired the frogs long ago, the screensaver continues to be just as popular as the chainletter that calls it a virus.

6. Postcard Virus - The postcard virus is a fairly new hoax. Supposedly opening any email with an attachment called 'postcard' will somehow cause your C drive to burn. In the announcement of the postcard virus many internet posts stated that McAfee anti-virus software made the discovery and alerted CNN. None of the information coming from the postcard scare is true and this is indeed another computer virus hoax.

7. Anticristo Virus - The Anticristo virus was first discovered in 2001. The alert that went out claimed that opening an email would cause complete failure of your hard drive and it could auto install itself. It was touted as being the worst virus in the history. The Anticristo virus has since then been found to be nothing more than a hoax.

8. Osama Hanged Virus - Much like the postcard virus hoax the Osama Hanged hoax claims that a simple email is all it takes to burn your computer's hard drive. An email started going out in 2006 to alert internet users that any email containing pictures of Osama Bin Laden being hung was a virus. McAfee has labeled this chainletter as a hoax and encourage everyone not to forward this message.

For every real virus out there, there is double that many hoaxes. Be sure to check with your anti-virus software website to determine whether or not a virus alert is a hoax or the real thing.