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48 Hours Virus Hoax

Summary:
Forwarded virus-warning claims that a virus that arrives via email will erase the hard disk and BIOS of the infected computer unless the recipient waits 48 hours before attempting to deal with the infection (Full commentary below.).



Status:
False

Example:(Received via email, 2002)
A virus will be spreading in 48 hours from now!!!!

PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL: This message arrived today, Microsoft just announced it.

The information said: If you receive an e-mail with the subject Help, don't open it, don't even move your mouse over it or clean it because with only that action a virus will be activated without the necessity to download any file, it is a cyber-terrorism!!

Wait 48 hours after you receive the virus in order to clean it, otherwise it will erase your hard disk and BIOS. This action doesn't have a cure because the computer startup system is affected and you are not to be able to get in the operating system.

Note: It can arrive with an unknown name or with one of your contacts' name. VERY URGENT, PASS THIS TO EVERY PERSON WHO HAS YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS!!!!




Commentary:
The information in this supposed virus warning is completely untrue. There is not, nor has there ever been a virus like the one described in the message. The hoax has been circulating since 2001 and may arrive in languages other than English, including Spanish, Italian and German. According to a write-up about this hoax on the Symantec website, the Spanish language version was the original.

It seems apparent that the entire purpose of this silly prank email is to cause unnecessary alarm among inexperienced computer users.

Forwarding false virus warnings such as this one is a waste of bandwidth and can be counterproductive. The dissemination of fake virus warnings can result in recipients ignoring or overlooking legitimate warnings. In some cases, such as the Teddy Bear Virus Hoax, fake warnings can trick people into deleting legitimate files from their computers.

If you receive a virus warning via email, always check the veracity of the warning on an anti-virus or anti-hoax website before forwarding the email or acting upon any instructions the email may contain.

Spanish Version:
OJO en 48 horas se prevee empezará a circular!!

PRESTEN MUCHO CUIDADO: Este mensaje llegó el día de hoy, Microsoft lo acaba de anunciar. La información dice así: Si te llega un mail con el asunto HELP , ni se te ocurra abrirlo, ni pasar tu mouse o borrarlo ya que sólo con ese simple hecho se activará el virus sin necesidad de descargarlo.

Espera 48 horas después de que te llegó el virus para borrarlo de lo contrario te borrará el disco duro y el bios y no tiene cura ya que te afecta el sistema de arranque y ni siquiera te deja entrar al sistema operativo. Nota: Te puede llegar a Nombre de un desconocido o bien a nombre de tus contactos.

MUY URGENTE, PASALO A CUALQUIER PERSONA QUE TENGA TU Direccion DE CORREO ELECTRONICO!!!!


German Version:
Betreff: Viruswarnung Achtung!!! Voraussicht, in voraussichtlich 48 Stunden fangt ein neuer Virus an, sein Unwesen zu treiben!
GUT AUFPASSEN: Diese Nachricht ist heute angekommen, Microsoft hat sie soeben bekanntgegeben. Die offizielle Information lautet: Wenn Ihr eine e-mail mit dem Betreff Help bekommt, unbedingt nicht offnen, nicht mit der Mouse anklicken und nicht loschen denn mit diesen einfachen Mouse- und Tastatur-Bewegungen wird der Virus ohne das man ihn runterladt aktiviert. Warte 48 Stunden nachdem er angekommen ist um ihn zu loschen. Wenn Du dies nicht tust und den Virus sofort loschst wird er sich aktivieren und wird damit anfangen, Dir alle Daten von der Festplatte wegzuloschen und wird Dich nicht ins Betriebssystem lassen. Anmerkung: Das Mail kann von einem Unbekannten oder von einem Deiner Kontakte kommen. ES IST SEHR WICHTIG, LEITE DIESES MAIL AN ALLE WEITER, DIE DEINE E-MAIL ADRESSE HABEN!


References:
Symantec: Wait 48 hours hoax
McAfee: 48 Hours Hoax

Last updated: 29th October 2009
First published: 2nd April 2005

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen