Media releases are provided as is by companies and have not been edited or checked for accuracy. Any queries should be directed to the company itself.

‘Hard Drive Killer’ Instant Message Virus is a Hoax, Sophos Reports

  • 05 November, 2004 11:06

<p>Experts at Sophos have warned users of a new hoax spreading between users of Yahoo! instant messenger service, warning them of a non-existent virus.</p>
<p>The Yahoo! instant message hoax (also known as ‘Hard drive killer’) warns users of Yahoo!'s instant message service to be wary of a fellow user contacting them. The hoax claims that their computers will be infected by ‘a very horrible’ virus and passed on to instant messenger contacts. Sophos is receiving an increasing number of reports of the hoax from users who are concerned it may be genuine. It has also been seen distributed via email and posted on internet messageboards.</p>
<p>"The warning is clearly nonsense and no such virus exists," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "However, hoaxes and chain letters like this are not harmless – they waste time and bandwidth, and can be a genuine headache for support departments. Users need to consider carefully whether everything they are told can be believed."</p>
<p>A typical version of the hoax message reads as follows:</p>
<p>If somebody by name dvorak@yahoo.com adds you. dont accept it. Its a virus. Tell everyone on ur bulletin because if somebody on ur list adds them, u get the virus too. Tell everyone on your list not to open anything from angell11, tewwtuler, and sassybitch. It is a hard drive killer and a very horrible virus. pass this letter to everyone on your buddy list. We need to find out who is really using these accounts. Sorry for the inconvienience. Sincerely, Director of Yahoo Services, tanwir2001.</p>
<p>Right click on the group name of your buddy list and click Send Message to All
[end of message]</p>
<p>"Hoaxes like this exist because it's so easy to forward an electronic warning to all of your friends and colleagues, and many people who may be suspicious of the veracity of the warning decide it's better to be safe than sorry," continued Cluley. "People should think very carefully before they send a message on to all of their contacts, as they may be perpetuating an irritating hoax. You should always check to see if it is believable, and not a known hoax, before even considering sending it onto other computer users."</p>
<p>Sophos has made available a free, constantly updated information feed for intranets and websites which means users can always find out about the latest viruses and hoaxes.</p>
<p>ends</p>
<p>http://www.sophos.com.au</p>
<p>FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Sean Richmond, Senior Technical Consultant Australia &amp; New Zealand at Sophos (sean.richmond@sophos.com.au) is available for comment:
+61 2 9409 9100 (tel)
+61 2 9409 9191 (fax)</p>
<p>Sophos's press contact at Gotley Nix Evans is:
Michael Henderson (sophos@gne.com.au)
+61 2 9957 5555 (tel)
+61 413 054 738 (mobile)
+61 2 9957 5575 (fax)</p>

Most Popular

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?