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Issue 121 - December 2011 - Page 8

Budweiser Frogs Virus Hoax

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Outline
Message claims that a screensaver featuring the Budweiser Frogs contains a dangerous computer virus.



Brief Analysis
The warning is a hoax and should not be forwarded or reposted. There is no virus like the one described in these messages. This hoax was first distributed as far back as1997 and has been intermittently circulating ever since, first via email and in later incarnations via social networking websites.

Detailed analysis and references below example.
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Last updated: 22nd November 2011
First published: 12th September 2003
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples:
URGENT READ IMMEDIATELY. NOT A JOKE!! READ IMMEDIATELY AND PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW! Someone is sending out a very cute screensaver of the Budweiser Frogs. If you download it, you will lose everything! Your hard drive will crash and someone from the Internet will get your screen name and password! DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! It just went into circulation yesterday. Please distribute this message. This is a new, very malicious virus and not many people know about it. This information was announced yesterday morning from Microsoft. Please share it with everyone that might access the Internet. Once again, Pass This on Please!!!!!!

FB version of Budweiser Frogs Hoax


Subject: READ IMMEDIATLY AND PLEASE CIRCULATE

NO JOKE...

READ AND PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW Someone is sending out a very cute screensaver of the Budweiser Frogs.

If you download it, you will lose everything! Your hard drive will crash and someone from the Internet will get your screen name and password! DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!

It just went into circulation yesterday. Please distribute this message.This is a new, very malicious virus and not many people know about it. This information was announced yesterday morning from Microsoft. Please share it with everyone that might access the Internet.

Press the forward button on your email program and send this notice to EVERYONE you know.

Let's keep our email safe for everyone




Detailed Analysis

A long running hoax email falsely claims that a screensaver featuring the Budweiser Frogs harbours a malicious computer virus
This hoax was first distributed back in 1997 and has been intermittently circulating ever since. In mid 2005 the hoax was resurrected in slightly altered form and began spreading rapidly once again. During 2009, the hoax again enjoyed a resurgence and began hitting inboxes around the world. Then, in late 2011, a social media driven variant of the hoax began circulating, especially on Facebook. The phrasing in the hoax is quite similar to other common virus hoaxes including the Guts to Say Jesus Virus Hoax.

Although there actually was a Budweiser Frogs screensaver, it did not contain a virus. In 1996, Budweiser offered a free "Budweiser Frogs" screensaver download via its website and this screensaver rapidly became popular. In 1997, some unknown prankster launched the first version of the hoax, falsely claiming that the screensaver harboured a malicious virus. However, examination by reputable antivirus companies including Sophos and Symantec found no malicious content in the screensaver.

If you receive a Budweiser Frogs message similar to the examples shown here, do not forward it to others and let the sender know that the message is a hoax

Fake virus warnings are a common subject of hoaxes. False warnings such as this are counterproductive and will help no one. If you receive a virus warning in the form of a forwarded email or shared social media message, always take the time to check its veracity at an anti-hoax or virus information website before you send it on.

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References
Sophos: Budweiser frogs screensaver hoax
Symantec - BUDSAVER.EXE Hoax



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Issue 121 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Bogus Warning - Scammers Asking for Baby Details to Claim Benefits in Your Children's Names
  2. False Claim - Cardiff City Football Club Refused to Donate Club Shirt for Fallen Soldier's Coffin
  3. Summer Chain Email - Blond Hair And Blood Shot Eyes
  4. Facebook Account Reported Phishing Scam
  5. Christmas Tree App Virus Hoax
  6. Sears Supports Reservist Employees Email Forward
  7. False Claim - Colour Photographs of Hitler Taken by American Life Photographer
  8. Budweiser Frogs Virus Hoax
  9. Phone Text Message Lottery Scams
  10. Skype TopUp Payment PayPal Phishing Scam
  11. Hoax - Mark Zuckerberg Blames Facebook Porn Attack on the Philippines
  12. 'DGTFX Virus' Email Account Phishing Scam
  13. Recent Facebook Porn Attack Highlights Dangers of Misleading 'Security' Warnings
  14. False - Send Christmas Cards for Recovering Soldiers to Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  15. Christmas Cards for Recovering American Soldiers
  16. Starbucks Coffee Free Gift Card Survey Scam
  17. Facebook 'Virus' Warning - 'Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds' Video
  18. Advance Fee Scam - British National Lottery Promo Programme
  19. Live Ants In The Brain Hoax
  20. Hoax - Albany Bread Poisoned by Staff
  21. PayPal 'Verify to Resolve Account Limitations' Phishing Scam
  22. Red Bull Car Adverts Money Laundering Scam
  23. Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on March 15
  24. False Warning - Red Dot Inside a Red Square On Chocolate Bars Indicates That Product Contains A Pork Derivative
  25. IT Service Desk 'Scheduled Maintenance & Upgrade' Phishing Scam
  26. Abandoned Two Week Old Sydney Baby Prayer Request
  27. Protest Message - Prison Sentence for Spray Painting Poppy on Mosque
  28. Protest Message - Dog Named 'Parrot' Shot by Police
  29. Inaccurate Protest Message - Poundland and Bodyshop Banning Staff From Wearing Poppies
  30. Apple Store Account Phishing Scam