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Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 07:39:29 -0400
Subject: If this had been an actual virus...
Virus tale via e-mail a hoax
by Jim Dillon
Dayton Daily News, April 26, 1995
Computer users, beware. You might be victims of a hoax.
An e-mail message about a new computer virus "unparalled in its destructive
capability" is circulating on the Internet and America Online.
The message says the so-called "Good Times" virus is spread through e-mail
and can cause "severe damage" to the electronic brain of your computer if you
are not careful.
"The bottom line here is -- if you receive a file with the subject line 'Good
Times,' delete it immediately!" the message says. "Do not read it. Warn your
friends and local system users of this newest threat to the Internet."
But the message and the Good Times virus are bogus, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability group. The group
is in the department's computer security response team based at the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA.
Marvin Christensen, a spokesman for CIAC, said the Good Times message is a
good example of a perceived threat of a virus causing more consternation and
dismay than an actual virus.
"The message seems to be enjoying a resurgence lately," Christensen said.
CAIC has received inquiries about it from all over the country, he said.
CAIC first received word of the virus message in December and traced it to an
America Online user and student who meant for it to be a hoax.
CAIC also received word of another virus-laden e-mail message with the
subject line "xxx-1" a the top. It's bogus as well.
One person who received the message panicked because he had been alerted to
it, CAIC said in a Dec. 8 report.
After receiving the message, he checked his PC for viruses, found a
pre-existing virus and incorrectly concluded that the e-mail message infected
his computer. He then told others about his experience and unwittingly spread
The first sign that the message is a hoax is that the virus supposedly
infects computers via e-mail, which is not possible.