Times- An urgent email warns against opening any message with an attachment called "Black Muslim in the
We've received one of these warning emails ourselves. There are many false "virus warnings" that are passed around via email. Some, like this one, are outright hoaxes, according to Snopes.com, the fact-finding website that confirms or debunks rumors and urban legends; Hoax-slayer.com; and
Others overstate the risks of the threat, or are outdated.
Now, be aware that there are viruses that can enter your computer through attachments, web links and such. They can do nasty things. But according to computer experts, there is not, nor has there ever been, a virus that fits the drastic characteristics like those described in this email.
The "Black Muslim" email claims that if you open the attachment, it will simply destroy the zero sector of the hard disk, where vital information functions are stored. It also states that this was reported by CNN and that
The fact-finders say the "Black Muslim in the
The original was most commonly seen as the "Virtual Card for You" hoax, Snopes.com reports. Then, in time for the 2006 Winter Olympics, someone reintroduced it as an "Olympic Torch" virus warning (also known as the "Invitation Virus"). Others were the Merry Christmas Virus and the Hallmark Postcard Virus.
Clicking on links in these emails opened a website that would download and install malware. A hacker might get access to the infected computer - bad enough - but the malware did not destroy the computer's hard drive, Hoax-slayer reports. The malware campaign, however, was totally unrelated to the original "virtual card" hoax.
After the inauguration of
The bottom line is that no matter what the title of a warning email might be, this "killer" warning is a hoax: No such disk- destroying virus like the one described in "Black Muslim in
Here's a real warning, though: Maintain up-to-date antivirus software, and be careful about which attachments you open, which files you download and which links you click.
An urgent email warns against opening any message with an attachment called "Black Muslim in the