Jonathan Robie (
Sat, 14 Dec 1996 14:45:53 -0500

False alarm. This has been verified as a hoax. The original "virus" of this
type was the "Good Times" virus - same story as this one, but the title was
"Good Times" instead of "PENPAL GREETINGS".

Any time you hear rumors of viruses, a good place to check it out is the
McAfee web site:

Take a look at their virus database. For further information on virus
hoaxes, see:



At 02:02 PM 12/14/96 -0500, David J. Rising wrote:
>Subject: Virus Alert
>Importance: High
>If anyone receives mail entitled: PENPAL GREETINGS! please delete it WITHOUT
>reading it. Below is a little explanation of the message, and what it would
>do to your PC if you were to read the message. If you have any questions or
>concerns please contact SAF-IA Info Office on 697-5059.
>This is a warning for all internet users - there is a dangerous virus
>propagating across the internet through an e-mail message entitled "PENPAL
>This message appears to be a friendly letter asking you if you are
>interested in a penpal, but by the time you read this letter, it is too
>late. The "trojan horse" virus will have already infected the boot sector
>of your hard drive, destroying all of the data present. It is a
>self-replicating virus, and once the message is read, it will AUTOMATICALLY
>forward itself to anyone who's e-mail address is present in YOUR mailbox!
>This virus will DESTROY your hard drive, and holds the potential to DESTROY
>the hard drive of anyone whose mail is in your inbox, and who's mail is in
>their inbox, and so on. If this virus remains unchecked, it has the
>potential to do a great deal of DAMAGE to computer networks worldwide!!!!
>Please, delete the message entitled "PENPAL GREETINGS!" as soon as you see
>it! And pass this message along to all of your friends and relatives, and
>the other readers of the newsgroups and mailing lists which you are on, so
>that they are not hurt by this dangerous virus!!!!

Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
email:, <--- shockwave enabled!