Home Archive Revamped ‘Life Owner’ Hoax Uses Name of Real Virus – ‘Here You Have It’ Hoax Version

Revamped ‘Life Owner’ Hoax Uses Name of Real Virus – ‘Here You Have It’ Hoax Version

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Message warns users to watch out for emails with the subject “Here you have it” because they contain a very dangerous computer virus that allows a hacker named “life owner” access to the infected computer. The warning claims that the user will lose everything on the infected computer and that the virus cannot be removed by anti-virus software.

Brief Analysis

It should first be noted that there is a genuine threat that uses emails with the subject line “Here you have”. However, other than the phrase, “Here you have”, the virus described in this warning bears no resemblance whatsoever to the genuine threat. This warning message is nothing more than a revamped version of the old “Life is beautiful” virus hoax. While Internet users would be wise to make themselves aware of the genuine “Here you have” threat, passing on this highly inaccurate and misleading warning is counterproductive and will help no one. 

Example

Subject: Important – read immediately

VERY IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ THIS – These e-mails are floating around currently in HP

Anyone-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 e-mail titled Here you have it 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 originated it 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 softwares 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!

THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY SNOPES.
http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/hereyouhave.asp

Detailed Analysis

This message, purporting to be from Microsoft and Norton, warns Internet users to watch out for emails with the subject line “Here you have it” because they contain a dangerous and destructive computer virus. According to the message, if you open a file that arrives with the email, a message will be displayed on your screen that says “It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful”. Supposedly, once launched, this virus will not only give a hacker named “life owner” access to the computer, but will also cause the unfortunate recipient to “lose everything” on the infected PC. The warning also claims that the virus is so severe that no anti-virus programs are capable of dealing with it.

Firstly, I wish to make very clear that there is indeed a computer malware that has infected computers via emails with the subject line “Here you have”. However, this genuine threat bears no resemblance to the one described in the warning above. The message in the above example is in no way an accurate or valid warning about this real virus threat. In fact, except for the “Here you have” reference, the above warning is nothing more than a revamped version of the old Life is beautiful virus hoax, which first began circulating back in 2002. As the following example reveals, the two versions are virtually identical:

VERY IMPORTANT WARNING

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.

Thus it seems that some foolish prankster has simply altered the old “Life is Beautiful” hoax or one of its later clones so that it includes a reference to the genuine threat before relaunching it anew. In an attempt to add legitimacy to the claims in the message, the prankster has included a link to an article on urban legends website Snopes.com. A quick glance at the Snopes article might fool the visitor into believing that the warning is valid. However, the Snopes article actually discusses the genuine “Here you have” virus threat, not this spurious warning.

The genuine threat began being distributed to a large number or Internet users in early September, 2009 via emails similar to the following:

Subject: Here you have

This is The Document I told you about, you can find it here. [link removed]

Please check it and reply as soon as possible.

The message also came with other subject lines, including “Just for you”, “This is the Free Dowload Sex Movies” and “Here You Have”. Clicking the link installed malware on the user’s computer that could disrupt some security software on the infected computer and spread itself to other users via email and other means. The malware could also download further malicious software that could steal sensitive information such as passwords from the infected computer. Symantec, makers of Norton anti-virus software and other major security vendors quickly released updates that detected and dealt with the threat.

While the immediate threat posed by this particular attack has now passed, similar attacks may follow. Such ruses are a very common ploy used by Internet criminals intent on distributing malware. Users should remain vigilant and be very cautious of following links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails.

And, certainly, users would be wise to make themselves aware of genuine threats like the September “Here you have” malware attack and others like it. However, this fact does nothing whatsoever to validate the above hoax warning. Spreading highly misleading and inaccurate security warnings such as this serves no good purpose and will help nobody.

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