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Re: [IGSROBIN] Virus Warning

Hello All,

Joan, thanks for the comment passed on.

There has also been quite a bit of correspondence on the NCCPG List, where
the original "warning" I copied was posted, about the existence of "the

I will avoid such unsubstantiated enclosures in future!

Sites to use to check for the validity of any danger, if you get any
warnings from elsewhere, that have been mentioned so far are

If it had been as new a Virus, as indicated, even the Virus Checker on your
computer wouldn't have helped to save any of your data, if it had formatted
the hard disk! The only way to be absolutely safe is to have back-up copies
of all your programs as well as all your files, including e-mail, every time
before you switch off. A lot of work.


The following is a letter to the NCCPG List (National Council for the
Conservation of Plants and Gardens - UK) which I think puts the whole area
in a new light.

From: Paul Temple <Paultemple@ecologycal.demon.co.uk>
To: NCCPG List

As an IT professional I thought you would appreciate the following fact -
this is intended seriously as understanding this simple fact can save
millions of people time.

Ref the virus discussed here [NCCPG List] earlier, it is of course clear
that the primary, if not sole, intention of a virus is to disrupt.

So, it may surprise to know that the greatest disruption caused is that by
hoaxes which propagate volumes of email purely on the minimal and
unsubstantiated basis that "someone said ...". In the global history of
computing, No single actual virus nor in fact the total disruption caused by
all known real virus attacks comes anywhere near the disruption regularly
caused by hoaxes.

If you receive notification of a virus from anyone or anywhere, the standard
security procedure is to check out any of the WEB pages belonging to a
trusted anti-virus software manufacturer (Dr Solomon's, etc.)  ONLY IF THEY
CONFIRM THE EXISTENCE of such a virus should notification be passed on and
it should include an attachment showing the anti-virus manufacturer's
warning.  All unsubstantiated announcements should otherwise be ignored.
Those who do not follow this procedure are carrying out (unwittingly) the
actions desired by the hoax author and thereby mimicking a real virus and
spreading further disruption.

This is not a criticism of those who have previously warned of viruses with
good intentions.  It is a statement of best practice as recognised in the IT
industry and recommended by all those responsible for the development of
anti-virus procedures.

Hope this is helpful.


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