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CHAT: * cybercrime-alerts * E-mail virus hoax makes users do the dirty work

From:Patrick Jarrett <seraph@...>
Date:Thursday, May 31, 2001, 22:58
Thought you all should put to rest your fears and read this....

----- Original Message -----
From: "cybercrime-alerts" <majordomo@...>
To: <cybercrime-alerts@...>
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 4:57 PM
Subject: * cybercrime-alerts * E-mail virus hoax makes users do the dirty

* subscribe at

E-mail virus hoax makes users do the dirty work
By George A. Chidi Jr.

IN THE LATEST perverse trickery pulled off by someone taking pleasure in
computer users' pain, a fake virus warning is circulating by e-mail asking
people to delete an innocuous and uninfected executable Microsoft Windows
file and then to pass the warning on to others.

The warning tells users to delete the sulfnbk.exe file, a utility used to
restore long file names. The file is not usually infected, and running a
virus check on it will prove fruitless ... which just adds to the hoax's
credibility. The message warns people that it is a virus undetectable by
anti-virus software. Diligent users who search for the file and find it may
presume the warning was accurate and delete it.

Standard anti-virus screens will not detect the warning e-mail itself,
because it too is not a virus. But if users comply with the message by
deleting the file and forwarding the e-mail to others, the effect is

The message begins, "FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS, I HAD IT!!!!! ...," according
to Avert Labs, the anti-virus response division of anti-virus firm McAfee,
which itself is a division of Network Associates. "I received this message
from a friend and today it is true. I searched for the file following the
next instruction and I found it, I had it without knowing," the warning
continues, providing instructions for finding and deleting the file.

"We actually received this one two weeks ago, in Portuguese," said Joe
Hartmann, director of North American virus research at Trend Micro. "A
couple of days ago we received a version in English with some more text,
adding a date to it: June 1."

An earlier, real threat -- the Magistr worm -- infected the sulfnbk.exe
file, adding to user confusion. This e-mail hoax is unrelated to the earlier
worm, which can be detected and destroyed by updated anti-virus software.

Instructions for restoring the deleted file may be found at

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daniel andreasson <daniel.andreasson@...>