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December 1994, Week 1


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Ricky Darbonne <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 5 Dec 1994 17:27:17 -0600
text/plain (48 lines)
 Well I hate to be a naysayer, but the chances are this virus is just a
hoax. Recently there was a rumor circulating that e-mail with the subj:
"xxx-1" could infect your computer if read. This is, of course, absurd!
Here are a few words from a non-believer:
From: NEWKID::XMCMAHON "McMahon, Felicia R" 4-DEC-1994 22:06:17.21
Subj: the virus?
Date: 4-DEC-1994 21:02 Expires: 18-DEC-1994 00:00
From: MX%"<[log in to unmask]>"
Description: the virus?
Message sent: Sun, 4 Dec 1994 21:02:42 EST.
    I have to wonder if this virus information is closer to the realm
of folklore. As far as I have seen, there is no "all-purpose" virus.
In other words, to make a virus work it must be written for the
intended computer operating system. A virus written for a Macintosh
will not affect an MS-DOS/Windows machine, and vise-versa.
Additionally, many (not all of course) users read their e-mail from
mainframe computers using their personal computers as a terminal.
Just reading your e-mail does not magically download a virus to your
personal computer. Also, just as a virus must be written for the
personal computer operating system it's intended for, a mainframe
intended virus must be aimed at the "right" mainframe. Just as
there are many flavors of personal computers, there are a variety of
Mainframe and mini systems (CMS/CM, VMS, Unix-stuff, Next-Step, etc).
 A virus intended for VMS won't work on Unix, and so on.
    Avoiding computer infection is something people need to be aware
of, but people should also be spared of needless worry. This is the
third time today I have seen this notice, does anyone have a DIRECT
report of this virus, not a FOAF (friend of a friend) report?
Mark Dawson
*Mark D. Dawson, Dept. of Anthropology, University of South Carolina*
*The opinions contained in this message are representative of all *
*right thinking people.... *