Talk:Virus hoax

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When I get an email about a virus, I google a bit of the message text which purports to 'describe' the behavior and risks of the virus. Then I click on any search results from a reputable anti-virus website like Symantec.

Nine times out of 10, it's a virus hoax.

Sometimes I take the trouble to email the sender, and a few people in the chain, and let him know he was hoaxed. I usually get a thank you and sometimes an "oh I see now".

I don't think people generally have enough knowledge about software to evaluate these "threats". Fry your hard drive? Endorsed by Microsoft? Send to everyone you know?

  • Software is not a literal virus that can "infect" anything physical. It just runs a program of instructions. And if a virus appears that deletes all your comptur files, it would be detected so fast and bona fide warnings would be sent out via regular channels. Why would you think a stranger would warn you? Or an unsophisticated friend?
  • Microsoft, Symantec and other corporations use standard means to inform computer users of virus problems. They post information on their websites, and typically provide automatic updates to your operating system or anti-virus software. You're not going to hear about it third-hand from an acquaintance or stranger.
  • The thing about sending the "warning" to everyone you know is a red flag indicating that the story is bogus. The most common effect of a virus is to send itself by email to everyone in your contact list. Telling you to do the same thing makes you propagete the hoax, just as if you were a computer running a virus.

Let's not be dupes or fools. Check out virus "warnings" and don't pass any on unless you verify it.

I'm a computer professional with 25 years experience. The guy who works down the hall from me at my Fortune 500 company is in charge of all anti-virus software for 5,000 employees. I think I can assert that I know what I'm talking about here. --Uncle Ed 15:21, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

It would make sense if List of computer virus hoaxes were merged into Virus hoax, as this article is quite small and is unlikely to increase much, and List of computer virus hoaxes is not huge, so they would complement each other.

Or merge the other way round. Either way, they would be better in the same article. Croxley 20:30, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree completely. It makes little sense to have two separate articles for this. --Mjjohansen 18:19, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree as well. Zainub 12:41, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, I've completed the merge now. Croxley 01:23, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
For the record, there still is some talk left behind here --DanielPharos (talk) 19:19, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

See also Virus Alert, a song...[edit]

Someone added an internal link to Virus Alert, which is a song by "Weird Al" Yankovic, to the "See Also" section and put it on top of the list. I think this item is highly irrelevant, so I put it down to the bottom of the See Also list. But actually, it is totally legitimate to remove this link at all. What do you think? Tonyngkh (talk) 22:20, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I missed that "see also" entry when I was working on this article recently, so thanks for pointing it out. I agree with you, it isn't needed and the link just leads to the article on the album rather than the song. I removed it from "see also" and put in a direct reference to the album in the text section. See if you think that is more appropriete, instead.
Originally the song itself was listed as a virus hoax on the table in the article, so I moved it into the culture section instead. I am convinced that some of the other entries on the list belong there, like the Amish Virus. These are jokes making fun of hoaxes, not true hoaxes themselves. - Ahunt (talk) 23:01, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I made those changes that I mentioned above, see if you think that is an improvement! - Ahunt (talk) 23:18, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Windows Technical Department calls[edit]

I've done a redirect from Windows Technical Department and Windows Technical Department phone scam to Telemarketing fraud, but wonder if this article is a more appropriate destination. For those unfamiliar with this scam, it basically goes as follows. Someone (usually from the Indian subcontinent) calls, giving a Western name and claiming to be from the Windows Technical Department. After informing the recipient that he/she has downloaded a virus, they offer to remove it for a small fee, then ask to connect to the recipient's PC. Agreeing to this would cause all manner of problems. Paul MacDermott (talk) 14:22, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

This used to be part of this article, but was removed as part of this edit I would suggest if you want to redirect here then we should restore it. It really is more of a virus hoax than anything else. - Ahunt (talk) 14:24, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I'll put it back as this looks like it's a widespread thing. Paul MacDermott (talk) 14:27, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Looks good! - Ahunt (talk) 14:33, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Paul MacDermott (talk) 14:37, 8 January 2013 (UTC)