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Mail Server Report Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Warning message claims that an email with the title “Mail Server Report” contains a virus that will display a message saying “It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful” before destroying everything on the infected computer.

Brief Analysis:
The supposed warning is a hoax and it should not be taken seriously.  The hoax has circulated since at least 2008. In fact, the “Mail Server Report” message is just a revamped version of the even older “Life is Beautiful” virus hoax, which has circulated since 2002.  Note that, back in 2006, there was a genuine virus threat that was distributed via emails with the subject line “Mail Server Report”.  However, other than the name, the two threats described have no connection whatsoever.  Moreover,  while the hoax warning continues to circulate, the genuine Mail Server Report worm has not been considered a significant threat for many years.

Example:
Anyone-using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on.This information arrived this morning, Direct from both Microsoft and Norton.You may receive an apparently harmless e-mail titled “Mail Server Report”If you open either file, a message will appear on your screen saying: ‘It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful.’Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC, And the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail and password.

This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the anti virus software’s are not capable of destroying it.

The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself ‘life owner’.

PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS, And ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY!



Detailed Analysis:
According to this warning message, a dangerous virus is being distributed via emails with the subject line “Mail Server Report”. The warning claims that opening attachments that come with the email will first display a message saying “It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful” before destroying all files on the infected computer and stealing personal information.

However, these claims are untrue. There is not, nor has there ever been, a virus like the one described in this bogus warning message. The warning is just a rehashed version of the long-running Life is Beautiful virus hoax that has circulated continually since 2002. As the following example shows, the two versions are very similar:

Please Be Extremely Careful especially if using internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on. This information arrived this morning direct from both Microsoft and Norton. Please send it to everybody you know who has access to the Internet.

You may receive an apparently harmless email with a Power Point presentation “Life is beautiful.”

If you receive it DO NOT OPEN THE FILE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, and delete it immediately. If you open this file, a message will appear on your screen saying: “It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful.” Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC and the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the antivirus software’s are not capable of destroying it. The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself “life owner.”

PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS and ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY.

Unfortunately, this variant of the old email hoax caused some confusion in the past because the name “Mail Server Report” was used in a real threat that was distributed back in 2006. The real “Mail Server Report” emails carried a variant of the W32.Stration worm that could download and install remote files and send itself to email addresses harvested from the infected machine. However, other than the name, the two threats described had no connection whatsoever.

The real Mail Server Report worm was certainly malicious, but it did not destroy all files on the infected computer. Moreover, the genuine Mail Server Report worm is no longer considered a significant threat and, in spite of the claim in the hoax message, virtually all decent anti-virus scanners were able to detect and remove it.

Thus, forwarding this pointless virus “warning” will only spread misinformation and clutter inboxes with even more unwanted nonsense. If you receive this email, please do not forward it and take a moment to inform the sender that the information is untrue. Before forwarding any virus warning it is important to check the veracity of the information on a reputable anti-virus or anti-hoax website.


Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer