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Viruses & Hoaxes

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Several Show-Me Net members have been victims of identity theft attempts called "phishing".  See our special section on this fraud.

(Also see "Virus Alerts", below)

Many Show-Me Net members are concerned about viruses.  There is much information available on the Internet concerning this subject.  Several informative links are listed below.   Most viruses are picked up when a member opens an e-mail attachment.  See our E-Mail Tips page.  Members should be very careful opening attachments from anyone, including trusted sources.   Most new viruses appear to be sent from a trusted source, but they are not.   The virus sends messages and attachments from a computer without the user's knowledge.  If you receive an unexpected message with an attachment from a friend, it is best to ask them if they sent it before opening it.

Until recently, it has been almost impossible to contract  a virus by "surfing" the Web.  Now, members using Internet Explorer version 5.0 can catch a virus just by visiting an infected web site or viewing an e-mail message without even opening the attachment.  In other words, computers running IE 5.0 are now "sitting ducks" for viruses.  Versions 5.5 and later are safer.  Find your version of Internet Explorer by clicking on "Help" and "About..." in the gray bar at the top of the screen.   Upgrade to Internet Explorer 6.0 HERE  

Members should use an up-to-date anti-virus program on their computer (Norton, McAfee, AVG, etc.).  Since new viruses are created daily, anti-virus programs that aren't updated every week or two do not protect your system.  Most good anti-virus programs include 1 year of free updates.  Then, they charge a fee for additional years of updates. 

A tool in the fight against viruses is on-line scanning.  Free services, e.g. HouseCall or Symantec's Security Check , will do a free scan and/or virus removal while you wait.  Symantec provides many removal tools.

McAfee "Stinger"
Removes many of the current viruses with one removal tool.

McAfee Online's Virus Information Library.
HouseCall free online virus scanning/removal.
Panda free online virus scanning/removal.
Symantec (Norton Antivirus).
Symantec free online virus and security scanner
Symantec virus removal tools.

AVG Anti-Virus free anti-virus program

avast! Anti-Virus program--free download for non-commercial home use
Popcorn basic e-mail program that leaves email on the server
ZoneAlarm firewall
Message Headers--Most current viruses fake (or spoof) the "from" and "to" lines of messages.  As a result, you may receive a virus that appears to come from someone you know.  You may also receive "bounce back" messages that indicate you sent a message to someone you don't know.  You can sometimes determine the original sender by examining the header of the message.  See this site for some helpful suggestions for reviewing the header. 


The Internet is constantly being flooded with information about computer viruses. Among real virus notices are computer virus hoaxes. While these hoaxes do not infect systems, they are still time consuming and costly to handle. See the Internet HoaxBuster, Hoax Search Engine, and Urban Legends Reference pages to search for and read about hoaxes.

Virus Alerts

Virus warning !!  2/1/06  This virus will corrupt common user files on computers.  Click here to read about the virus.  Microsoft calls this virus Win32/Mywife.E@mm  You can read the Microsoft description here.

Virus warning !!  8/16/03  Microsoft never sends out program updates by e-mail.  If you receive an official looking e-mail message claiming to be from Microsoft, delete it.  Do not open the attachment or follow the instructions.  These messages carry the W32.Swen.A and W32.Dumaru viruses.

Virus warning !! 8/4/03  Several Show-Me Net members have received a new virus which appears to have been sent by "".  The subject of the message containing the virus is something similar to "your account..."  This virus first appeared on August 1 and has been identified by all the major Anti-Virus sites (Norton, McAfee).  The virus has been given the name W32.Mimail.A@mm

VIRUS ALERT! 6/9/03 A new variation of the Bugbear virus -- W32.Bugbear.B -- has hit Show-Me Net members.  This virus records keystrokes, mails confidential info to hackers, disables antivirus programs, and opens a back door.  More info Symantec, CNN.  A removal tool is available here.

VIRUS ALERT! 5/19/03 The Sobig.b Worm is spreading rapidly.  It always appears to be from  Members should delete this message without opening.  A removal tool is available here.

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This page last updated September 2, 2011

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