Virus Message (Always up to a Challenge, Right?)
Mike Walton ("Settummanque)
Sat, 18 Nov 1995 03:29:17 -0600
The following came from today's Help Desk News, a weekly that the President
of the firm I work for gets. Anything relating to the Internet, he clips
places on the desk here. Please note that I am sharing this with you
without the publication's permission (with no email address, or fax number,
I don't see any way to get their permission before the information become
stale); I do have and can fax you a copy of the clipped article for
verification if you like:
*HACKERS DISTRIBUTE DESTRUCTIVE ON-LINE TROJAN HORSE-TYPE VIRUS*
"Anonymous hackers are distributing a destructive computer virus that, once
installed, erases the contents of any computer hard drive on the Internet
and the commercial on-line services.
"The virus -- nicknamed "AOLGold" or "install.exe" -- has been spotted on
the Internet and the American Online commercial on-line service this week,
according to Kathy Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Vienna, Va.-based service.
" "This is not AOL specific", said Johnson. "But we were notified by a
member late Tuesday, and we moved quickly to keep our members informed so
that they can protect themselves."
"Wednesday, America Online officials issued a bulletin to its 4 million
members about the virus.
"The AOLGold virus works quite simply. It arrives as a file attached to an
e-mail message, usually labled AOLGold or "install.exe," company officials
said. Because it is a Trojan horse-type virus, meaning it will only work if
it is installed into a computer, AOLGold is only activated if the file is
"Once the virus is activated, it will restart the computer and rename the
program that controls the monitor. Then the next time the computer is
restarted, the program begins deleting all of the files on the computer's
hard drive in alphabetical and numerical order.
"AOL officials stressed that no damage can occur from reading e-mail, which
is the most popular usage of computers on commercial on-line services and
"Unlike the "Good Times" virus --which was proved to be a hoax earlier this
year-- the AOLGold virus can be damaging. Earlier this week, the company's
service department tested the virus and found that it was actually capable
of erasing data as threatened. "
What we are advising our clients:
* If you receive a file attachment from someone in which you do NOT know,
have not requested it from, or which contains the file "install.exe", DO NOT
DOWNLOAD the attachment. Leave it in your "in box", and contact us as soon
as possible by phone, fax or email.
* If you get mailings from someone you do NOT want mailings from (junk mail,
nag mail), again please let us know and forward us a copy of the mailings
* DO NOT receive commercial programs via the Internet. This is piracy and
can land you in jail, subject you to fines, or at the very least, force you
to pay the FULL CURRENT price for the software that you thought you can "get
for the cost of the call" to a pirate BBS or site. America Online's
communications program is available as freeware from a variety of sources,
* When all possible, download ALL of your received file attachments to floppies.
Then unzip/unarchive them to the floppy drive if it will fit.
File attachment is a great way in which to share information quickly,
because you don't need to snail-mail a diskette or two, and the other party
can quickly receive and use the information with little delay. Just be careful!
Internet Operations Center Coordinator
CLR Technologies, Evansville, IN
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City