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Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax

Outline
Warning message claims that an email with an attached Power Point presentation called "Life is beautiful" is a virus that will destroy all files on the infected computer.



Brief Analysis
The information in the message is false. There is not, nor has there ever been a virus like the one described in this message. The email is a hoax and should not be forwarded to others.

Detailed analysis and references below example.
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Last updated: 27th December 2010
First published: 11th March 2005
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example (Submitted, December 2010)
Subject: FW: Fwd: FW: Fwd: READ IMMEDIATELY AND INFORM ALL

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 Tuesday 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




Detailed Analysis
This "warning" claims that a very destructive virus disguised as a Power Point Presentation called "Life is beautiful" is currently being distributed via email. However, there is not, nor has there ever been a virus like the one described in this message.

There are several variants of the hoax, including versions in Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian and several other languages. The message tries to add authority to its claims by mentioning high-profile companies such as Microsoft and AOL. Incidentally, Microsoft does not send out unsolicited virus warnings. Moreover, "Norton" is the name given to a range of security software products sold by Symantec Corp. Thus, information about virus threats is published by "Symantec", not "Norton". In this case, Symantec has published information about the "Life is beautiful" message - but only to denounce it as a hoax.

This hoax started circulating in early 2002 and it has been passed around ever since. In spite of a great deal of online exposure, the hoax tends to resurge from time to time and its rate of circulation increases dramatically for a few months. As hoax emails go, this is one of the most "successful". Perhaps because of the apparent destructiveness of the "virus" and the urgent tone of the warning, people are apt to forward the message without much forethought. Like many other hoaxes, it capitalizes on the recipient's desire to help other Internet users by warning them of a perceived threat.

Before forwarding a virus warning email, it is always a good idea to check that the information in the message is valid. Virus hoaxes are quite common, and like this one, they tend to circulate for years after they are first launched. In other cases, virus warnings that may have been originally true circulate long after the described virus has ceased to be a significant threat. Virus hoaxes and outdated warnings are no help to anybody. All they do is waste time, cause confusion and needlessly clutter inboxes. Such problems mean that forwarding warning emails may not be the best way to help battle viruses and other computer security threats.

If you receive this email hoax, please help to stop its continued circulation by letting the sender know that it is a hoax and should not be forwarded.

Older versions of the hoax:
This information arrived this morning, from Microsoft and Norton. Please send it to everybody you know who accesses the Internet. You may receive an apparently harmless email with a PowerPoint presentation called "Life is beautiful.pps."

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, email and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO STOP THIS VIRUS. UOL has already confirmed its dangerousness, and the antivirus Softs are not capable of destroying it. The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself "life owner", and who aims to destroying domestic PCs and who also fights Microsoft in court! That's why it comes disguised with extension pps. He fights in court for the Windows- XP patent.

MAKE A COPY OF THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS


A new virus is circulating!!!!

This information came from Microsoft, and Norton.

Please, transmit it to anybody that you know that has access to the Internet.

You may receive an e-mail about an offensive Powerpoint Presentation, entitled "Life is beautiful.pps".
If you get it, DO NOT OPEN THE FILE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE and delete it immediately.
If you open that file a message will appear on your screen, "Now it is late, your life is no longer beautiful" after that you'll lose EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC and the person who sent it will have access to your name, e-mail address, and password.
It is a new virus started to run Saturday night. We need TO DO ALL THAT is POSSIBLE TO DETAIN THAT VIRUS. UOL already confirmed its danger and antivirus software cannot destroyed it. The Virus was created by a hacker that denominates himself as the owner of life and wants to destroy PCs domestic, and fight against Microsoft in justice! Because of this it comes disguised with a .PPS extension. He fights in justice by the patent of the Windows-XP. SEND THIS E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS

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References
Symantec Security Response: Life is beautiful Hoax
McAfee AVERT: Life is beautiful Hoax
Should Virus Warning Emails be Forwarded?

Last updated: 27th December 2010
First published: 11th March 2005
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer