Virus Hoax Spreads by E-Mail
Symantec's security response staff have been dealing with calls all week, senior researcher Andre Post says Friday. Many say they have deleted the file "just to be cautious" and have to be told how to reinstall it, Post says.
"And capitalization rules. In this one for example, the final appeal is all in capitals," he says.
If in doubt, Post says, people should check the list of hoaxes on
"These e-mails are very successful. Generally as soon as it starts, you see it spread and get translated into different languages," Post says.
However, Symantec only discovers around one hoax a week, which is minimal in comparison to the 10 to 20 real viruses discovered, Post says.
It is hard to identify who starts this type of e-mail, but they are presumably non-technical, or would create their own virus instead, Post says. "And a high proportion appear to be Dutch! I don't know why," he says.