This story was first published in late 2003
This email, which first began circulating back in 2003, mocks the “Good Times” virus hoax by detailing the outrageous effects of an imaginary virus named “Badtimes”. The email makes fun of the old Good Times virus hoax that filled inboxes that started back around the year 2000.
Possibly, its writer penned it in an effort to debunk the original hoax in a humorous way. Unfortunately, the spoof itself has spawned many versions, some of which have been abridged to the point that people once again believe they are legitimate warnings.
I think there is some irony in there somewhere (grin).
In another strange twist, pop group, Laika, have used the words from this hoax email as the lyrics to one of their singles, a move that may help to educate the general public about virus hoaxes. In any case, Laika’s musical version of the hoax makes for an interesting and rather catchy song.
An example of the spoof email:
If you receive an e-mail with a subject line of “Badtimes,” delete it immediately WITHOUT reading it. This is the most dangerous Email virus yet.
It will re-write your hard drive. Not only that, but it will s cramble any disks that are even close to your computer. It will recalibrate your refrigerator’s coolness setting so all your ice cream melts and milk curdles.
It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, reprogram your ATM access code, screw up the tracking on your VCR and use subspace field harmonics to scratch any CDs you try to play.
It will give your ex-boy/girlfriend your new phone number. It will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. It will drink all your beer and leave its dirty socks on the coffee table when there’s company coming over.
It will hide your car keys when you are late for work and interfere with your car radio so that you hear only static while stuck in traffic.
Badtimes will make you fall in love with a hardened pedophile. It will give you nightmares about circus midgets. It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all while dating your current boy/girlfriend behind your back and billing their hotel rendezvous to your Visa card.
It will seduce your grandmother. It does not matter if she is dead, such is the power of Badtimes, it reaches out beyond the grave to sully those things we hold most dear.
Badtimes will give you Dutch Elm disease. It will leave the toilet seat up and leave the hairdryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will wantonly remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, and refill your skim milk with whole. It is insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve.
Be very, very afraid. PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!
An example of the original Good Times Virus hoax email:
There was never a virus threat like the one described.
PLEASE READ THE MESSAGE BELOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some miscreant is sending email under the title “Good Times” nationwide, if you get anything like this, DON’T DOWN LOAD THE FILE!
It has a virus that rewrites your hard drive, obliterating anything t. Please be careful and forward this mail to anyone you care about. Te FCC released a warning last Wednesday concerning a matter of major importance to any regular user of the Internet. Apparently a new computer virus has been engineered by a user of AMERICA ON LINE that is unparalleled in its destructive capability. Other more well-known viruses such as “Stoned”, “Airwolf” and “Michaelangelo” pale in comparison to the prospects of this newest creation by a warped mentality. What makes this virus so terrifying, said the FCC, is the fact that no program needs to be exchanged for a new computer to be infected. It can be spread through the existing email systems of the Internet.
Once a Computer is infected, one of several things can happen. If the computer contains a hard drive, that will most likely be destroyed. If the program is not stopped, the computer’s processor will be placed in an nth-complexity infinite binary loop -which can severely damage the processor if left running that way too long. Unfortunately, most novice computer users will not realize what is happening until it is far too late. Luckily, there is one sure means of detecting what is now known as the “Good Times” virus. It always travels to new computers the same way in a text email message with the subject line reading “Good Times”. Avoiding infection is easy once the file has been received simply by NOT READING IT! The act of loading the file into the mail server’s ASCII buffer causes the “Good Times” mainline program to initialize and execute.
The program is highly intelligent – it will send copies of itself to everyone whose email address is contained in a receive-mail file or a sent-mail file, if it can find one. It will then proceed to trash the computer it is running on.
The bottom line is: – if you receive a file with the subject line “Good Times”, delete it immediately! Do not read it” Rest assured that whoever’s name was on the “From” line was surely struck by the virus. Warn your friends and local system users of this newest threat to the Internet! It could save them a lot of time and money.
Could you pass this along to your global mailing list as well?
PLEASE SEND TO PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT OR JUST PEOPLE ONLINE
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!