PDA

View Full Version : This warning is probably too late!



Pam Downes
26-11-2008, 12:46 PM
I've just had forwarded on to me a message originally sent by someone on the 24th November i.e. two days ago. (I think I got it about eighth hand!) Usual sort of panic-the-end-of-world-is-nigh email - lots of capitals and bold. :)

quote:
"I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus!
I checked Snopes, and it is for real!!
Get this E-mail message sent around to you contacts ASAP.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS!
You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of who sent it to you.
It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer.
This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list.
This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to al your contacts It is better to receive this message 25 times times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive a mail called 'POSTCARD.' een though sent to you by a friend, do not open it!
Shut down your computer immediately.
This is the worst virus announced by CNN.. 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.
COPY THIS EMAIL, AND SEND IT TO YOUR FRIENDS.
REMEMBER: IF YOU SEND IT TO THEM YOU WILL BENEFIT ALL OF US."

end of quote.

It was forwarded to me (and several others) with the comment 'It appears genuine, What does Paul say? Well I don't know about Paul but Pam says |snore| |snore|

I know I've been dreadful in delaying getting the warning to you, but the original font was about size 20 and I couldn't reduce it, so I've had to retype.

So the message is basically - "there's a virus going round. As usual, don't open any attachments unless you know they come from a reliable source".

May I also add that I never open the 'you have received a greetings card' emails unless they actually quote a name known to me. Any that just say from 'a friend' are bogus ones, although they give the impression of coming from one of the genuine e-card companies.
Pam

nick2008
26-11-2008, 1:42 PM
Simple really

Dont Forward Anything

If I get anything from anyone I dont know I dont open it just bin it

The Thing is people think that the ooh send this to 10 of your friends and see how lucky you can be the only luck you get is VIRUSES

MarkJ
26-11-2008, 2:05 PM
Total fake. This is a well known one Pam - in fact, I think it has been covered on the forum here before from memory.

Ah yep - here is the one -

http://www.british-genealogy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30873

The linky in the that thread will take you to a page with the "virus" warning. There are two variants at least of this one - one is the one you were sent, the other is similar, but doesn't mention Hallmark.

My comments in that thread still stand - if it claims to be the end of the world, mentions how no AV program can detect it, most destructive ever..., technobabble (e.g destroys the hard drive, zero sector etc) it is going to be twaddle.

I would delete it. A lot of folks perpetuate these hoaxes by forwarding them to everyone in their address book out of concern. However, they are totally fake and in fact they actually cause problems for the rest of the users of the internet by sapping bandwidth sending out dozens of copies of the "warning".

I can appreciate these things are quite convincing, but if in doubt, always worth checking :)

They are the equivalent of those pesky chain letters which used to circulate before the internet - a pain in the rear!

Mark ;)

PS - I know that you already know all this Pam, just thought it restating in case anyone else comes across something similar :)

NickM
26-11-2008, 3:02 PM
The answer is quite simple - buy a good anti-virus program & firewall, like Kaspersky or Eset NOD32, and keep it updated. I get at least one email a week with an infected attachment, and Kaspersky deletes it. It's like any other form of security - if you want to deter burglars, fit decent locks to your doors and Windows. It's not rocket science.

MarkJ
26-11-2008, 3:11 PM
Or use a more secure operating system ;)

Mark

Geoffers
26-11-2008, 4:29 PM
;)
if it claims to be the end of the world........

...........then a computer virus will be the last thing on my mind

Peter_uk_can
26-11-2008, 5:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ
if it claims to be the end of the world........


;)

...........then a computer virus will be the last thing on my mind

But if it is the end of the world and we don't survive, how would we know that it was the end of the world ??

Nannas
02-03-2010, 12:49 AM
Hi,
There are a few reasons those "Warning,,,,pass on to all your friends" emails go round..
Panic amongst the people....
BUT problem is,,,Antivirus Companies (makers) have been known to begin them,,,hoping to scare people into updating/renewing or purchasing MORE antivirus software.
ALSO,,,,hackers send them out,,,WITH a new virus attached!!
What a better faster way to get your new virus into the world as fast as possible,,than to send it to 200 people and tell them to pass it on before the end of the world!!!

Remember,,,NO matter how good your antivirus is,,,,NO matter how updated it is,,,,the VIRUS has to be created first. The virus has to become known and infect computers BEFORE the antivirus companies can find it, view it and make the antivirus for it...
They DO NOT make the antivirus first,,,,,then a hacker makes a virus to suit...

Passing around those warnings via email is like playing with a loaded gun...EVEN if you get them from a friend,,,who is to say the freind hasn't been infected???
Just because someone is known to you doesn't mean they cannot get a virus...

I could go on about this for ages,,,but bottom line is those pass on to your freind emails are more dangerous than anything...Especially the pretty ones with a lovely poem and pretty picture...(good to hide alot of viruses in)
Viruses aren't even as bad as what people think anymore,,,,,it's more about tracing/tracking now.

Nannas

MarkJ
02-03-2010, 1:25 AM
Hi,
There are a few reasons those "Warning,,,,pass on to all your friends" emails go round..
Panic amongst the people....
BUT problem is,,,Antivirus Companies (makers) have been known to begin them,,,hoping to scare people into updating/renewing or purchasing MORE antivirus software.


Alledgedly!



ALSO,,,,hackers send them out,,,WITH a new virus attached!!
What a better faster way to get your new virus into the world as fast as possible,,than to send it to 200 people and tell them to pass it on before the end of the world!!!


This does indeed happen sadly.
I prefer to call these folks "miscreants" or "crackers" rather than "hackers". The phrase "hackers" used to mean something completely different to what the media has turned it to mean. I call myself a "hacker", but I am not - and never have been - someone who writes viruses etc or attempts to break into another persons computer to cause damage or carry out unauthorised activities.



Remember,,,NO matter how good your antivirus is,,,,NO matter how updated it is,,,,the VIRUS has to be created first. The virus has to become known and infect computers BEFORE the antivirus companies can find it, view it and make the antivirus for it...
They DO NOT make the antivirus first,,,,,then a hacker makes a virus to suit...


In some cases yes, but remember that most AV programs use heuristics - which means they look for activities which are likely to be malware or contain code similar to known malware. Very few totally new viruses are released - most are simply modifications of code which is freely available (if you know where to look) already. This is why we see so many Virus A variant, Virus B variant etc things out there.

Even a totally new virus does not spread instantly - it needs time to build up "in the wild". Most - probably all - of the AV companies receive new problems daily and incorporate these into their updates. Keeping the AV program up to date on your Windows machine is vital. An out of date AV program is useless - and probably dangerous as it lulls people into a false sense of security.
Regular AV updating, plus following basic rules such as not opening unexpected attachements without checking if the sender actually did send them etc will keep you pretty much safe. Not 100% guaranteed, but well over 99% ;)



Passing around those warnings via email is like playing with a loaded gun...EVEN if you get them from a friend,,,who is to say the freind hasn't been infected???
Just because someone is known to you doesn't mean they cannot get a virus...


Indeed. As I said, never open unexpected attachments without checking they were sent first!



I could go on about this for ages,,,but bottom line is those pass on to your freind emails are more dangerous than anything...Especially the pretty ones with a lovely poem and pretty picture...(good to hide alot of viruses in)
Viruses aren't even as bad as what people think anymore,,,,,it's more about tracing/tracking now.

Nannas

Viruses which wipe a drive or destroy the boot sector are self defeating by their very nature. As you say, they tend to go for more useful things nowadays - useful to the creator of the problem. "Viruses" - and I use that term as a generic "malware" description - are now much more interested in gaining information or getting control. The use of trojans etc to download other programs onto computers is the "big thing" these days. From memory, something like 10% of all computers running Windows are infected with malware which - with one simple command - can make that machine act as part of a botnet. That means that an awful lot of machines can be told to send out spam emails or carry out a DDOS attack on a website.

We - as computer users - as well as keeping our AV programs up to date and carrying out safe computing - need to watch for signs of odd activity. Slow downs, excessive internet data transferring etc - all need investigating.

Computers are fun, but as with driving a car, we need to be responsible and careful. Keeping Windows and AV programs up to date and keeping half an eye open for odd behaviour is easy and doesn't take very much time.

And before those of us who use other operating systems smirk - we too are vulnerable to certain problems ;)

Mark

mfwebb
02-03-2010, 5:23 AM
As someone who has been caught out by a "send this to everyone you know" e-mail received from a trusted friend my advice is DON'T DO IT.

Shortly after the Asian Tsunami (Boxing Day 2004) I received an e-mail from a trusted Rotary friend circulating a picture of a "Rotarian's daughter" believed lost in the Tsunami with a request to send it on to everyone I knew. I never send these on -- not even then -- but I did foolishly try to open the attachment. Nothing there.

Next time I checked my e-mails there were 10 more identical e-mails from trusted friend. Then 50 -- then 250. His e-mail had been hijacked and by trying to open the attachment, so had mine.

Within 24 hours I could not download any e-mails -- I was on a dial-up connection then. When I contacted my ISP they got me into the back-end of my e-mail client so I could delete the e-mails before they could be downloaded to my computer. There were over 14,000 -- yes 14,000. Apart from that, my ISP at that time was not very helpful. So I abandoned the e-mail address I had for over 10 years and went with a temporary free one from Yahoo till I could get sorted out.

Fortunately, my computer was not otherwise affected but I did install anti virus software after that.

I NEVER open or read anything from an unknown source, and I NEVER attempt to open attachments to an e-mail which has been forwarded several times, no matter how trusted the source.

Most viruses get into computers because the user unwittingly lets them in. Beware the pop-ups which say you have x thousand infections on your computer and you need to download this programme to get rid of them. That's how my daughter's computer got infected a few weeks ago -- her son was using it and clicked the "yes" button on one of these pop-ups to get rid of it. Result -- total obliteration resulting in a complete format and reinstall.

DON'T FORGET THE REGULAR BACK-UPS OF YOUR DATA, just in case.

Pam Downes
02-03-2010, 6:10 AM
I don't know whether it annoys me more, or makes me want to laugh more, when people who use computers at work, and who I therefore think should be fairly computer-savvy, send me these virus warnings. Me, the computer dimbo, who knows to treat such messages with the contempt they deserve and therefore bins them asap.
I sent rather a scathing reply to one such person asking how they could believe such rubbish. The message had been literally 'forwarded' every time, so there were about 15 copies of it, all complete with the email addresses they'd been sent to, the original message having been sent out on a company computer. I was strongly tempted to forward the message to the chairman/MD of the company suggesting that they made sure their employees were more gainfully employed in the future!
Pam
(who needs to find that gizmo-thingy and the lead so she can do a back-up. Think it's under one of the pile of papers :biggrin5:)

mfwebb
03-03-2010, 4:46 AM
. . . . .
(who needs to find that gizmo-thingy and the lead so she can do a back-up. Think it's under one of the pile of papers :biggrin5:)

FIND IT NOW!!! :yesnod: You may need an up-to-date backup tomorrow.

If your computer crashes for any reason you can easily reinstall your software or buy some more -- but how would you replace your precious information that has maybe taken years to create and accumulate??

As a friend of mine says -- JUST DO IT. And don't just do it once and think "That's it, done". Backups need to be done regularly -- at least weekly. But you already know that, don't you? :smile5: :smile5:

Pam Downes
03-03-2010, 5:02 AM
FIND IT NOW!!! :yesnod: You may need an up-to-date backup tomorrow.

If your computer crashes for any reason you can easily reinstall your software or buy some more -- but how would you replace your precious information that has maybe taken years to create and accumulate??

As a friend of mine says -- JUST DO IT. And don't just do it once and think "That's it, done". Backups need to be done regularly -- at least weekly. But you already know that, don't you? :smile5: :smile5:

Sure do, Malcolm. |hug|
The good news is that I've found them. :smile5: The other good news is that, apart from yet more bookmarks :yikes: , I've not added that much stuff to the computer since the last back-up. When I am adding 'quantities', then I do make regular backups.
Pam

busyglen
03-03-2010, 4:15 PM
I've been using a pc for the past ten years, and because everything was new to me then (regarding the internet anyway) I became almost obsessive in making sure I wasn't going to let any `bugs' in. After a friend had her address book attacked, I decided to delete all my contacts, and now just have an address book. Ok it takes a couple of minutes to look one up, but if it saves someone from getting a virus from my book, then it's worth it.

I NEVER, open anything suspicious, even if I think it might be from a friend. If it is from a legitimate person, they can always write again to see if I got their message. On a couple of occasions, I got interested in something that went to my spambox, and was `almost' tempted to open it up, but then my common sense kicked in and I deleted it. I know there is always going to be something, somewhere, some day, that will catch me out, but I hope by keeping my VP updated each day, and daily scans, that they will do the job for me. After all, we are all human, and can make a slip up at any time.....we are not perfect! Well I'm not anyway. ;) In fact, I've just remembered that I also need to do a backup of some work I did the other day, so thanks for the reminder. :)

Glenys