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Mail Server Report Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax


Outline

Warning message claims that an email with the title "Mail Server Report" contains a virus that will display a message saying "It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful" before destroying everything on the infected computer (Full commentary below).


Brief Analysis

This virus hoax warning should not be confused with a genuine threat that also used the subject line "Mail Server Report". The two are not related. Please review the commentary below for details

Example

Anyone-using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on.

This information arrived this morning, Direct from both Microsoft and Norton.

You may receive an apparently harmless e-mail titled "Mail Server Report"

If you open either 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 Saturday afternoon. AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the anti virus 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 E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS, And ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY!

THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY SNOPES
http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/mailserver.asp


Detailed Analysis

According to this warning message, a dangerous virus is being distributed via emails with the subject line "Mail Server Report". The warning claims that opening attachments that come with the email will first display a message saying "It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful" before destroying all files on the infected computer and stealing personal information.

However these claims are untrue. There is not, nor has there ever been, a virus like the one described in this bogus warning message. The warning is just a rehashed version of the long-running Life is Beautiful virus hoax that has circulated continually since 2002. As the following example shows, the two versions are very similar:
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 Saturday 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.
Unfortunately, this variant of the old email hoax is causing some confusion because the name "Mail Server Report" was used in a real threat that was distributed back in 2006. The real "Mail Server Report" emails carried a variant of the W32.Stration worm that could download and install remote files and send itself to email addresses harvested from the infected machine. However, other than the name, the two threats described have no connection whatsoever.

The real Mail Server Report worm was certainly malicious, but it did not destroy all files on the infected computer. Moreover, the genuine Mail Server Report worm is no longer considered a significant threat and, in spite of the claim in the hoax message, virtually all decent anti-virus scanners can detect and remove it.

This version of the hoax tries to lend itself some credibility by claiming that the information has been confirmed by urban legend site Snopes.com. It includes a link to a write-up on Snopes.com about the genuine Mail Server Report worm and this has fooled some unobservant recipients into believing the claims in the message. Those who actually read the Snopes article rather than just glancing at the title and status indicator will quickly realize that the two warnings are totally unrelated. Furthermore, Snopes exposes the message as untrue in another article about the Life is Beautiful hoax.

Thus, forwarding this pointless virus "warning" will only spread misinformation and clutter inboxes with even more unwanted nonsense. If you receive this email, please do not forward it and take a moment to inform the sender that the information is untrue. Before forwarding any virus warning it is important to check the veracity of the information on a reputable anti-virus or anti-hoax website. If the message contains a link that supposedly confirms its claims, be sure to read the linked article carefully to ensure that the two are really related. Pranksters commonly include links to unrelated articles in hoax emails in the hope of fooling recipients into falling for their foolish claims.


Last updated: 1st April 2008
First published: 1st April 2008 By Brett M. Christensen
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References
a href="http://www.hoax-slayer.com/life-is-beautiful-virus-hoax.html" class="norm" title="Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax">Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax
Fake Mail Server Report Message Carries Worm
W32.Stration worm
Snopes: Mail Server Report
Snopes: Life is Beautiful
Olympic Torch Invitation Virus Hoax






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