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Myth Information
December 19, 1997

Odds are, you've encountered warnings about one computer-virus peril or another. The good news is that these messages are mostly bogus. The bad news is that all these fake alerts still waste everybody's time, since we all end up broadcasting, reading, deleting and rebroadcasting these messages for months. The next time you get one of these world-to-end-tomorrow messages, check out Rob Rosenberger's "Computer Virus Myths" page, www.kumite.com/myths. Rosenberger, a network-security consultant and author, gives background information on past and present "threats," often explaining the grain of truth distorted into a world-threatening menace. He describes one alleged password-stealing virus warning as equivalent to shouting "Fire! Fire!!! There was a fire, somewhere, a few days ago. The family lost everything. Be careful! Don't fall victim to a fire!!! Send this message to everyone you know!" The site is nicely structured with quotes, examples (newest hoaxes, latest chain-letter flare-ups, most recent misconceptions), and the author's own credentials (under the heading "Learn about Rob before you start taking his advice").

- Gabriel Goldberg
gabe@acm.org

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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