Once and for all: "Good Times" virus story is COMPLETELY BOGUS

Subject: Once and for all: "Good Times" virus story is COMPLETELY BOGUS
From: Patrick O'Connell <titanide -at- MICRO -dot- ORG>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 1995 10:03:16 -0500

Well, I suppose in a sense it's not, because the *story* about the Good
Times "virus" never, EVER dies. It seems to be able to propagate itself
endlessly because there seems to be an endless supply of people who've
never heard the story before, and who don't know that it's 100% B.S.

I am amazed that any part of AT&T, where you would think that because of
their sheer size they would have seen *every* bit of by-now folkloric
computer-industry hoaxery (word exist?), was not clued in to the Good
Times thing.

FOR THE RECORD: You can't transmit any true PC or Macintosh computer virus
via e-mail; there is no way for anything to infect your computer by virtue
of the simple act of you reading a mail message.

It would be possible to: 1) uuencode a .COM (execute-to-infect) version of
some virus and 2) send it to someone in an e-mail message, but to infect
their computer they'd have to 3) save the message, 4) uudecode it, then 5)
run the resulting .COM. I suppose someone really evil could go through
steps 1 and 2, pretending that the uuencoded virus was really something
else, something really cool, but you don't pull this kind of stunt on your
friends because you soon won't have any left. And if you receive a message
from someone you don't know and blithely follow steps 3 through 5, I'm
sorry, but you deserve whatever happens to you. :-)

There is one way to wreak havoc on someone's PC without an executable
program, but it involves ANSI escape sequences, with which it's possible
to reassign keys and (I believe) reprogram a key to type something like
"del *.* <Enter>" The set of those escape sequences also includes the ones
you can use to produce georgeous color text-art; the receiver has to have
ANSI.SYS loaded, and TYPE the file in DOS.

I have only ever seen color text-art in the "ad" files underground
bulletin board systems use to brand the pirated software they have
available for download. Not that I've ever (cough, cough) *downloaded*
such a file, mind you. Not ever, nosirree Bob!

titanide -at- micro -dot- org
Having finally found my copy of FIGLET, I shall soon create a proper
.signature file to supplant the above utilitarian, but unimaginative,

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