This story was first published on June 23rd, 2006
This “virus warning” combines two earlier email forwards that have circulated widely as completely separate messages.
The first part of the message claims that an email about the supposed capture and hanging of Osama Bin Laden contains a dangerous virus that will seriously damage your computer. While the Bin Laden tactic has actually been used in the past to distribute malware, the warning is highly exaggerated and significantly outdated.
The second part of the message claims that an email with the subject line “Invitation” carries a virus that can open an “Olympic Torch” that will destroy the hard-drive of the infected computer. However, this claim is totally unfounded. There is not, nor has there ever been, a virus like the one described in the second part of the message. This part of the message is simply a reworking of an even older virus hoax.
The message contains false and misleading information and it should not be forwarded. Before forwarding any virus warning email, always take the time to check the veracity of the claims in the message at a reputable anti-virus or anti-hoax website. Sending warning messages about non-existent viruses or messages that distort the truth about real viruses is entirely counterproductive and only adds to the ongoing problems caused by computer security threats.
An example of the hoax:
Emails with pictures of Osama Bin-Laden hanged are being sent and the moment that you open these emails your computer will crash and you will not be able to fix it!
This e-mail is being distributed through countries around the globe, but mainly in the US and Israel.
Don’t be inconsiderate; send this warning to whomever you know.
If you get an email along the lines of “Osama Bin Laden Captured” or “Osama Hanged” don’t open the attachment.
Please read the attached warning issued today.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS:
You should be alert during the next days:
Do not open any message with an attached filed called “Invitation” regardless of who sent it .
It is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch 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, that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive a mail called “invitation”, though sent by a friend, do not open it and 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.
SEND THIS E-MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW, COPY THIS E-MAIL AND SEND IT TO YOUR FRIENDS AND REMEMBER: IF YOU SEND IT TO THEM, YOU WILL BENEFIT ALL OF US.