Fwd: [Fwd: Important !]]]; Reply

On Thu, 24 Apr 1997 19:49:07 PDT, "Parthasarathy Devanathan"
<dpml@hotmail.com> Wrote:

>received from IBM today. A friendly warning.
>          Dear All,
>          Please don't ignore!!!
>          This information was received this morning  from IBM, please
>          with anyone that might access the Internet.
>          Please beware!!
>          If anyone receives mail entitled:  PENPAL GREETINGS please

  The "Penpal greetings!" virus warning is a hoax.  It is a form of chain
letter in E-Mail that has been around for quite a while now in several
different areas.  it crops up again every so often and gets spread around
to new places.  But it is still a HOAX!  One of the original versions of
this hoax purported to be from the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC).  I see this one says it came from IBM.  But it is second or third
hand with no real reference to IBM at all other than the hearsay
reference inserted by the originator.  A few people appear to take some
sort of sick pleasure in composing and sending out these hoaxes.  And
they are then forwarded by well meaning and often frightened recipients.

  A virus by definition, is an executable file and must be executed to do
any damage.  Even if one could be transmitted via a letter, you would
have to save it as an executable file, and then execute it to have it do
any damage to your system.  And executable file can not be sent as text
unless they are somehow encoded.  That adds another layer of action to be
taken (decoding) by the recipient before any damage can be done.

  There is one way a file that can cause damage can be transmitted.  That
is in the form of an attachment to a document such as Macro attachment
files to a MS WORD document or other Word Processor type document files. 
Then it will only damage the MS WORD (or other word processor)
environment on your system.  Even then, you must save the changes it
makes to your environment before it is activated.

  There is a WWW site dedicated to keeping track of virus hoaxes and
such.  I don't have the info at hand right now, but you should be able to
find it by searching on HOAX.

--Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--