This story was first published in 2004
This spoof email claims that just opening an email will automatically launch a nuclear strike.
The information in the email is such an outrageous lie that even the most gullible recipient would surely recognise it as just a joke. The email mirrors the style of typical virus hoaxes, which implies that it is intended as a spoof.
Information about this hoax on the Symantec website states that the “email is not from Symantec, nor was any such message ever sent from Symantec”.
An example of the email:
Hey. I just got this in the mail, from Symantec, so I thought I’d forward it along. It’s a new virus that we should watch out for.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Virus Update, 1/07/02
Symantec Virus Alert Center
As part of our ongoing effort to keep Symantec clients up to date on virus alerts, this e-mail is being sent to all Symantec subscribers. A new, deadly type of virus has been detected in the wild. You should not open any message entitled “LAUNCH NUCLEAR STRIKE NOW,” as this message has been programmed to access NORAD computers in Colorado and launch a full-scale nuclear strike on Russia and the former Soviet states. Apparently, a disgruntled ex-Communist hacker has designed a pernicious vb-script that actually bypasses the U.S. arsenal’s significant security system and takes command of missiles and bombers directly. By opening the e-mail, you may be causing Armageddon. Needless to say, Armageddon will wipe out your hard drive and damage your computer. Again, we warn you, PLEASE, DO NOT OPEN ANY E-MAIL ENTITLED “LAUNCH NUCLEAR STRIKE NOW.” YOU MAY CAUSE A FULL-SCALE NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST. As a precaution, all U.S. nuclear missiles have been set to “Do Not Author!ize Launch Via E-mail” to prevent an accidental Armageddon. However, due to a Y2K bug, the possibility still exists that you may end life as we know it on this planet by opening the aforementioned e-mail.
VIRUS NAME: ArmaGeddyLee, HappyOrMaybeNot00, OopsWrongButton00
TRANSMITTAL METHOD: vb-script attached to e-mail
HAZARD: Extremely Super High
AREA OF INFECTION: Detected in wild
CHARACTERISTICS: Destroys life on earth via nuclear Armageddon
Please forward this warning to everyone you can. Thank you for your attention to this matter,
The Symantec Anti-Virus Team