Circulating message warns about a damaging computer virus that travels through power lines.
Subj: VIRUS ALERT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGEWarning: There’s a new virus on the loose that’s worse than anything I’ve seen before! It gets in through the power line, riding on the powerline 60 Hz subcarrier. It works by changing the serial port pinouts, and by reversing the direction one’s disks spin. Over 300,000 systems have been hit by it here in Murphy, West Dakota, alone! And that’s just in the last 12 minutes.
It attacks DOS, Unix, TOPS-20, Apple-II, VMS, MVS, Multics, Mac, RSX-11, ITS, TRS-80, and VHS systems.
To prevent the spread of the worm:
1) Don’t use the powerline.
2) Don’t use batteries either, since there are rumours that this virus has invaded most major battery plants, and is infecting the positive poles of the batteries. (You might try hooking up just the negative pole.)
3) Don’t upload or delete or download files.
4) Don’t store files on floppy disks or hard disks.
5) Don’t read messages. No, not even this one!
6) Don’t use serial ports, toasters, modems, or phone lines.
7) Don’t use keyboards, screens, electric toothbrushes, or printers.
8) Don’t use switches, CPUs, memories, microprocessors, or mainframes.
9) Don’t use electric lights, electric or gas heat, or airconditioning, running water, vibrators, writing, fire, clothing, or the wheel.
I’m sure if we are all careful to follow these 9 easy steps, this virus can be eradicated, and the precious electronic fluids of our computers can be kept pure.
This rather harmless message is designed to make fun of the dire virus hoaxes that often circulate. Perhaps if recipients get a laugh out of reading this satirical “Virus Alert” email, they will be less likely to believe and forward the next “serious” virus hoax that crosses their inboxes.
Unfortunately, if past experience is anything to go by, some will afford the email only the most cursory of examinations before forwarding it to all in their address book in the belief that it is a legitimate warning.
Any virus warning that arrives via email should ideally be verified at a reputable anti-virus or anti-hoax website before being forwarded to others.