Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

DividerDivider
Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
DividerDivider


Site Navigation

Divider









Nuclear Strike Email Hoax

Summary:
Outrageous spoof email claims that just opening an email will automatically launch a nuclear strike (Full commentary below).



Status:
Spoof

Example:(Collected via email, 2003)
Hey. I just got this in the mail, from Symantec, so I thought I'd forward it along. It's a new virus that we should watch out for. PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Virus Update, 1/07/02

Symantec Virus Alert Center

Hello Subscriber, As part of our ongoing effort to keep Symantec clients up to date on virus alerts, this e-mail is being sent to all Symantec subscribers. A new, deadly type of virus has been detected in the wild. You should not open any message entitled "LAUNCH NUCLEAR STRIKE NOW," as this message has been programmed to access NORAD computers in Colorado and launch a full-scale nuclear strike on Russia and the former Soviet states. Apparently, a disgruntled ex-Communist hacker has designed a pernicious vb-script that actually bypasses the U.S. arsenal's significant security system and takes command of missiles and bombers directly. By opening the e-mail, you may be causing Armageddon. Needless to say, Armageddon will wipe out your hard drive and damage your computer.  Again, we warn you, PLEASE, DO NOT OPEN ANY E-MAIL ENTITLED "LAUNCH NUCLEAR STRIKE NOW." YOU MAY CAUSE A FULL-SCALE NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST.  As a precaution, all U.S. nuclear missiles have been set to "Do Not Author!ize Launch Via E-mail" to prevent an accidental Armageddon. However, due to a Y2K bug, the possibility still exists that you may end life as we know it on this planet by opening the aforementioned e-mail.

VIRUS NAME: ArmaGeddyLee, HappyOrMaybeNot00, OopsWrongButton00
TRANSMITTAL METHOD: vb-script attached to e-mail
HAZARD: Extremely Super High
AREA OF INFECTION: Detected in wild
CHARACTERISTICS: Destroys life on earth via nuclear Armageddon

Please forward this warning to everyone you can. Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Sincerely,

The Symantec Anti-Virus Team




Commentary:
The information in this email is such an outrageous lie that even the most gullible recipient would surely recognize it as a joke. The email mirrors the style of typical virus hoaxes, which implies that it is intended as a spoof. Information about this hoax on the Symantec website states that the "email is not from Symantec, nor was any such message ever sent from Symantec".


Write-up by Brett M. Christensen