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'Dance of The Pope' Phone Virus Hoax


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Outline

An 'urgent' message circulating via SMS and social media posts warns users not to accept a video called 'The Dance of The Pope' because it is a very dangerous virus that will format your mobile phone.

False Information



Brief Analysis

The message is a hoax. There are no credible reports about a virus or malware threat like the one described. Sending on this false warning will help nobody.

   

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Example

URGENT: Tell all contacts from your list not to accept a video called the dance of the Pope. It is a virus that formats your mobile. Beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on the radio. Pass on to as many as you can. It was announced on the radio in USA. Copy n paste


Detailed Analysis

Message Warns of 'The Dance of The Pope' Phone Virus

According to this 'warning', which is circulating via SMS and social media, you should be careful not to accept a video called 'The Dance of The Pope'.

The message claims that the video is in fact a very dangerous virus that will format your mobile phone, thereby presumably wiping all of the infected phone's data. Supposedly, the warning was announced on the radio.

The message asks you to pass on the information to as many people as possible.

No Reports About Such a Virus - Message is a Hoax

However, the would-be warning has no credibility. I could find no legitimate security warnings about a mobile phone based malware threat like the one described.

Malware threats to mobile phones are increasing and are likely to continue to increase. However, there is no credible information about any sort of phone malware that will actually format a mobile phone in the way suggested in the 'warning'.

The hoax message is strongly reminiscent of much earlier virus hoax messages that claimed a particular email contained a virus that would destroy or wipe a computer's hard drive.

Passing on false or misleading security warnings only serves to cause confusion. If you receive this hoax message, please do not pass it on to others. And please let the sender know that the warning is not valid.

Hoax Message

Last updated: October 29, 2015
First published: April 7, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
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References
Olympic Torch Invitation Virus Hoax