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Subject:AOL Says "Good Time" Virus Not Found... From:Laurie Rubin <lmr -at- SYL -dot- NJ -dot- NEC -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 7 Dec 1994 09:48:51 -0500
I got this posting internally, today, thought it might allay some fears...
------- Forwarded Message
> ****AOL Says "Good Times" Virus Not Found 12/06/94
> VIENNA, VIRGINIA, U.S.A., 1994 DEC 06 (NB) -- America Online (AOL)
> says it has investigated and found no instances of a "Good Times"
> virus being spread in the on-line service's electronic-mail. But it
> says if anyone receives suspect messages, contact AOL's customer
> service department for advice on how to proceed.
> Reports of the virus surfaced December 2 in e-mail messages between
> members, and rapidly got forwarded to other members. The initial
> sender in the message found by Newsbytes came into the service from
> another location on the Internet.
> It read: "I am sending this to everyone I know!!! BEWARE!!!
> I just got this, please take it seriously, especially if you're
> at an [sic] university."
> It also read: "There is a virus on America Online being sent by
> E-Mail. If you get anything called "Good Times", DON'T read it or
> download it. It is a virus that will erase your hard drive.
> Forward this to all your friends. It may help them a lot."
> The portion in quotes, above, was preceded by the conventional
> Internet ">" quoting character.
> AOL spokesperson Pam McGraw told Newsbytes the service is aware of
> the rumor and has investigated it, but has not succeeded at finding
> any instances of the virus. However, she declined to deny its
> "I don't want to say that it doesn't exist," she explained, "but we
> have looked into the reports and we haven't found any instances of
> it yet."
> She added: "We take these things seriously and we do look into them."
> Contacted for comment, a McAfee Associates spokesperson said the
> antivirus software firm knew about the rumor but had not yet turned
> up any examples.
> "It doesn't sound like a virus to me," said Phil Talsky, McAfee's
> product manager for antivirus products. "It's probably more a
> Trojan, what we call a bomb, assuming it actually exists."
> A Trojan program, or bomb, is one that does something unexpected
> (often destructive) when you activate it. They can cause damage but
> lack the virus ability attach themselves to other programs and
> hitch-hike that way from one system to another.
> Talsky added: "As far as I know there's really no way to activate
> such a bomb just by downloading or reading a message. For it to work
> at all, you'd have to do something to the file, such as execute a
> Trojan program attached to the message. There's no way that a
> downloaded message could do that under any of the operating
> systems that AOL runs -- at least, none that I'm aware of."
> He said he had heard about the rumored virus from two sources, one
> on AOL and the other through a BBS Internet address, but despite
> having broadcast a request, no one has actually sent an example of
> the "Good Times" message or program to McAfee Associates.
> "If someone has this thing I hope they'll send it to us," declared
> Talsky, adding: "If it exists at all."
> Asked if AOL was screening for "Good Times" e-mail headers, AOL's
> spokesperson McGraw explained that e-mail is covered by the
> Electronic Privacy Act, so AOL cannot look in headers for the "Good
> Times" subject tag. She said that persons who receive suspect mail
> can report it on-line to the customer support department or call
> (Craig Menefee/19941206/Press Contact: Pam McGraw, AOL,
> 703-556-3746, Internet e-mail pammcgraw -at- aol -dot- com; Phil Talsky,
> McAfee, 408-988-3832, Internet e-mail phil_talsky -at- cc -dot- mcafee -dot- com;
> Reader Contact AOL, 800-827-6364, AOLe-mail PamMcGraw,
> Internet e-mail pammcgraw -at- aol -dot- com)