Friday, December 19, 2008

Computer: Worse Virus Ever WARNING Debunked - No Postcard From Hallmark Yet.

by Bruce Simmons  (BrusSimm)
Tis the time of year where you start receiving well meant, but fraudulent warnings from your friends about viruses that don't exist... again.

I have received yet another well meaning e-mail warning me of the most destructive computer virus ever, coming at me in the form of a fake header saying you have a "Postcard From Hallmark", and other such similar headers.  Whoa be me, but don't open anything like that or more importantly, don't click on the links that show supposed warnings!  That's where the real virus lurks, at the end of the fake link.  Better yet, before you forward this well meaning e-mail to all your friends, do your own research.

Most destructive virus ever??  How much worse can it be than of the three variants already out there:
  • Erase your files
  • Make your Computer a Zombie Bot
  • Collect keystrokes and info like passwords and account numbers.
To calm my nerves, I jump out on Google and verify. 

For instance, when I searched for "Postcard From Hallmark", I found results from Urban Legends and SNOPES declaring it a hoax.  (BTW:  The email declares that Norton Anti-Virus and SNOPES verified the information.)

This brings something else to mind:  Have you ever gotten an email that says if you forward this good luck charm to 10 or more friends, something cool will happen at a link in the email?  How does that "link" know you've sent the email?  How does it know you've sent more than 10 emails?  Hmm.  There have been subtle and unproven rumors that mass forwarding of emails just helps spammers collect email addresses through the same function.

To be more realistic, when someone who doesn't protect their PC as well as they should gets some form of virus or malware infection, the emails that have hundreds of forwarded email addresses are captured and THEN your email address becomes fodder.

Play it smart and though you are thinking of your friends, think smart first and verify the warning, FOR REAL, at
What surprises me is that the same person repeatedly sends these warnings out and no matter how many times I "reply-all" and debunk the warning, they never change their ways.  They do mean well.  I just wish they'd read well!

Folks, verify from the originator before opening things.  That's all you need to do to stay safe.

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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce