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Budweiser Frogs Virus Hoax

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

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


Older versions of the hoax:
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 Along To EVERYONE in your address book so that this may be stopped. AOL has said that this is a very dangerous virus and that there is NO remedy for it at this time.


DANGER!!! VIRUS ALERT!!! THIS IS A NEW TWIST. SOME CREEPOID SCAM-ARTIST IS SENDING OUT A VERY DESIRABLE SCREEN-SAVER {{THE BUD FROGS}}. IF YOU DOWN-LOAD IT, YOU'LL LOSE EVERYTHING!!!! YOUR HARD DRIVE WILL KERBLAM..CRASH!!

DON'T DOWNLOAD THIS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! IT JUST WENT INTO CIRCULATION ON 05/13/97, AS FAR AS I KNOW!!

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THIS WARNING TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE...