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VIRUS ALERT (fwd)



I'm sorry, but this kind of irresponsible distribution of a bogus
virus alert makes me really irate.

Computer viruses are programs that propogate by attaching
themselves to other programs.  They are by necessity very
system-specific, and must be executed to propogate themselves.
YOU CAN'T GET A VIRUS FROM DOWNLOADING OR READING A TEXT FILE.
Even if you have some kind of fancy mail program that
automatically decodes and executes programs sent to you by email,
you must have the specific kind of system that the virus is
designed to run on for it to work.  If you have any commonly
available mail program, you can safely look at _any_ mail
message.

I've seen this "virus warning" come around a couple of times, but
it always lacks the critical information that any real virus
warning should have -- information about the specific systems
that the virus is capable of propogating on, and the means by
which the virus propogates.  In fact, it seems specifically
designed to scare the ignorant by using frightening terms without
providing concrete information.

I've also never seen the purported email virus talked about in
the message.

Please feel free to forward this back to whoever might have sent
you the bogus warning.

I don't want to hear any "I have a friend who said he got hit by
this" stories -- they're the classic sign of urban legend.

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