Virus Alert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim McDaniel tmcd at
Wed Dec 11 21:42:28 PST 1996

On Wed, 11 Dec 1996, J.A. Williams <eadrick at> sent out a
"virus alert".  (The "alert" calls it a "Trojan Horse", but that term
is usually used for non-infectious nasties.)

It's a form of the "Good Times" hoax.  I haven't seen the "Penpal
Greetings" mutation before.  The "blow out the entire mail directory"
is certainly a nasty addition to the rumor.

    ... the pernicious `Good Times' hoax, which falsely warns of an
    e-mail virus so hideous that merely reading a message headed `Good
    Times' will erase your hard disk, damage the computer processor by
    placing it in `an nth-complexity infinite binary loop',
    automatically e-mail the fatal message to all your friends,
    etc. As has been noted, this thing doesn't infect computers but
    people, who are urged to spread the false meme by warning everyone
    they know: it propagates like a chain letter. -- Dave Langford
    (ansible at, perhaps?)

Yes, there are computer viruses out there.  Yes, it's good to warn
friends about real ones.  However, viruses require that the virus code
be run.  Looking at a simple text file doesn't run it.  (Word and Word
Perfect viruses do exist, but do you read mail in those programs?)

                     THERE ARE NO E-MAIL VIRUSES.
                          Not "Good Times".
                             Not "Irina".
                       Not "Penpal Greetings".

For more information on these hoaxes ... *drat*, at the moment I can't
find my saved file on the subject.  For more information, may I
suggest Richard Bainter <pug at>?  IIRC, he has a good
document on the subject.

                             Tim McDaniel
                        Reply-To: tmcd at
      tmcd at is wrong tool.  Never use this.

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