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Issue 108 - November 2010 - Page 8

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Muslims Praying Every Friday in Streets of New York Protest Message
  2. Unfounded Facebook Rumour - Thierry Mairot Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  3. Security Warning Message - Black Device Connected to Keyboard
  4. Got a pencil? - Amazing Pencil Tip Sculptures by Dalton Ghetti
  5. 'New' Italian Police Car - Lamborghini Crash
  6. 'Interesting Fact' About October 2010 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  7. Jean Paul Garang Advance Fee Scam
  8. Revamped 'Life Owner' Hoax Uses Name of Real Virus - 'Here You Have It' Hoax Version
  9. Free Blackberry Storm for Forwarding Hoax
  10. Floating Rock 'Miracle' - Surprising Rock in Saudi Arabia
  11. Photographs of Monster Croc Caught at Borroloola
  12. Feeding the Eagles
  13. Corpus Christi - Gay Jesus Movie Hoax
  14. Rejected Federal Tax Payment Phishing Scam Email
  15. 'Bighorn Sheep' On Dam Wall Photographs
  16. Bogus Facebook Rumour - Thomas Cowling Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  17. Fake iTunes Receipt Email
  18. 809 Area Code Scam Warning Email
  19. Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request
  20. Internet Rumour - UNESCO Chooses Indian National Anthem as Best In The World
  21. Pen PC - Pen Shaped Miniature Personal Computer

Issue 108 Start Menu

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Revamped 'Life Owner' Hoax Uses Name of Real Virus - 'Here You Have It' Hoax Version

Outline
Message warns users to watch out for emails with the subject "Here you have it" because they contain a very dangerous computer virus that allows a hacker named "life owner" access to the infected computer. The warning claims that the user will lose everything on the infected computer and that the virus cannot be removed by anti-virus software.



Brief Analysis
It should first be noted that there is a genuine threat that uses emails with the subject line "Here you have". However, other than the phrase, "Here you have", the virus described in this warning bears no resemblance whatsoever to the genuine threat. This warning message is nothing more than a revamped version of the old "Life is beautiful" virus hoax. While Internet users would be wise to make themselves aware of the genuine "Here you have" threat, passing on this highly inaccurate and misleading warning is counterproductive and will help no one.

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For more detailed information, please read the analysis below the following example.



Last updated: 15th October 2010
First published: 15th October 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Important - read immediately

VERY IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ THIS - These e-mails are floating around currently in HP

Anyone-using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on. This information arrived this morning, Direct from both Microsoft and Norton Please send it to everybody you know who has Access to the Internet. You may receive an apparently harmless e-mail titled Here you have it If you open either file, a message will appear on your screen saying: 'It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful....'

Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC, And the person who originated it will gain access to your Name, e-mail and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon.

AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the anti virus softwares are not capable of destroying it.
The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself 'life owner'.

PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS, And ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY!

THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY SNOPES.
http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/hereyouhave.asp




Detailed Analysis
This message, purporting to be from Microsoft and Norton, warns Internet users to watch out for emails with the subject line "Here you have it" because they contain a dangerous and destructive computer virus. According to the message, if you open a file that arrives with the email, a message will be displayed on your screen that says "It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful". Supposedly, once launched, this virus will not only give a hacker named "life owner" access to the computer, but will also cause the unfortunate recipient to "lose everything" on the infected PC. The warning also claims that the virus is so severe that no anti-virus programs are capable of dealing with it.

Firstly, I wish to make very clear that there is indeed a computer malware that has infected computers via emails with the subject line "Here you have". However, this genuine threat bears no resemblance to the one described in the warning above. The message in the above example is in no way an accurate or valid warning about this real virus threat. In fact, except for the "Here you have" reference, the above warning is nothing more than a revamped version of the old Life is beautiful virus hoax, which first began circulating back in 2002. As the following example reveals, the two versions are virtually identical:
VERY IMPORTANT WARNING

Please Be Extremely Careful especially if using internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on. This information arrived this morning direct from both Microsoft and Norton. Please send it to everybody you know who has access to the Internet.

You may receive an apparently harmless email with a Power Point presentation "Life is beautiful."

If you receive it DO NOT OPEN THE FILE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, and delete it immediately. If you open this file, a message will appear on your screen saying: "It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful." Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC and the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the antivirus software's are not capable of destroying it. The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself "life owner."

PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS and ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY.
Thus it seems that some foolish prankster has simply altered the old "Life is Beautiful" hoax or one of its later clones so that it includes a reference to the genuine threat before relaunching it anew. In an attempt to add legitimacy to the claims in the message, the prankster has included a link to an article on urban legends website Snopes.com. A quick glance at the Snopes article might fool the visitor into believing that the warning is valid. However, the Snopes article actually discusses the genuine "Here you have" virus threat, not this spurious warning.

The genuine threat began being distributed to a large number or Internet users in early September, 2009 via emails similar to the following:
Subject: Here you have

This is The Document I told you about, you can find it here. [link removed]

Please check it and reply as soon as possible.
The message also came with other subject lines, including "Just for you", "This is the Free Dowload Sex Movies" and "Here You Have". Clicking the link installed malware on the user's computer that could disrupt some security software on the infected computer and spread itself to other users via email and other means. The malware could also download further malicious software that could steal sensitive information such as passwords from the infected computer. Symantec, makers of Norton anti-virus software and other major security vendors quickly released updates that detected and dealt with the threat.

While the immediate threat posed by this particular attack has now passed, similar attacks may follow. Such ruses are a very common ploy used by Internet criminals intent on distributing malware. Users should remain vigilant and be very cautious of following links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails.

And, certainly, users would be wise to make themselves aware of genuine threats like the September "Here you have" malware attack and others like it. However, this fact does nothing whatsoever to validate the above hoax warning. Spreading highly misleading and inaccurate security warnings such as this serves no good purpose and will help nobody.

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References
Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax
Mail Server Report Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax
Snopes - Here You Have
Mass-mailing 'Here you have' worm hits in-boxes
'Here You Have' Virus E-Mail Spreads Online

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Issue 108 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Muslims Praying Every Friday in Streets of New York Protest Message
  2. Unfounded Facebook Rumour - Thierry Mairot Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  3. Security Warning Message - Black Device Connected to Keyboard
  4. Got a pencil? - Amazing Pencil Tip Sculptures by Dalton Ghetti
  5. 'New' Italian Police Car - Lamborghini Crash
  6. 'Interesting Fact' About October 2010 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  7. Jean Paul Garang Advance Fee Scam
  8. Revamped 'Life Owner' Hoax Uses Name of Real Virus - 'Here You Have It' Hoax Version
  9. Free Blackberry Storm for Forwarding Hoax
  10. Floating Rock 'Miracle' - Surprising Rock in Saudi Arabia
  11. Photographs of Monster Croc Caught at Borroloola
  12. Feeding the Eagles
  13. Corpus Christi - Gay Jesus Movie Hoax
  14. Rejected Federal Tax Payment Phishing Scam Email
  15. 'Bighorn Sheep' On Dam Wall Photographs
  16. Bogus Facebook Rumour - Thomas Cowling Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  17. Fake iTunes Receipt Email
  18. 809 Area Code Scam Warning Email
  19. Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request
  20. Internet Rumour - UNESCO Chooses Indian National Anthem as Best In The World
  21. Pen PC - Pen Shaped Miniature Personal Computer