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Virus Hoaxes


There seems to be an endless number of messages floating in cyberspace warning of computer viruses that eat your files, destroy your hard-drive, crash the network...and they get forwarded from concerned friends and colleagues who may not have investigated the accuracy of the warning. Before you forward a message to anyone regarding a computer virus, do your homework! Verify!

Not all virus notifications are hoaxes.  Before jumping to conclusions, you may want to check these sites.

McAfee Virus Pages
Has a free subscription newsletter which notifies you regarding viruses, has a Virus Information Library of thousands of known viruses, and provides information about Virus Hoaxes.

Symantec Antivirus Research Center
Lists Top Threats and has a Virus Information Center and includes information about Virus Hoaxes.

These sites do a nice job of providing background of the best known of virus hoaxes and other web "scares", myths, and spam.

About.com's Urban Legends and Folklore

FTC Consumer Protection: Computers and the Internet

Getting Rid of SPAM

Hoaxbusters
From the U.S. Department of Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC), concentrates on e-mail hoaxes and chain letters. Computer virus hoaxes are given special attention, but urban legends and scams are also covered.

purportal.com
Purportal.com attempts to combat hoaxes and misinformation by allowing users to search five of the most well-known sites dedicated to "setting the record straight".

SEC Internet Fraud: How To Avoid Internet Investment Scams

Sophos' Security Information
Though the intent is to sell you software, the descriptions of spyware, malware and hoaxes are useful.

Stop junk mail, email and phone calls
Junk mail may seem as inevitable as death and taxes, but with a little patience there are effective ways to tackle the problem. This guide provides clear, simple, and proven reduction techniques.

Urban Legends Reference Pages (SNOPES)
Not all Urban Legends are about viruses, but many of them are propagated by email so this is a useful page.

VMyths.com: The Truth Computer Virus Myths and Hoaxes
Includes an extensive listing of hoaxes, how to spot a virus hoax, ways to reduce virus hoaxes, etc.