This page was written in Spring 1999 as a rough and ready reference for local users when I worked at the Department Of Computer
Science, at The University Of Birmingham
. It will not contain details of the latest viruses, hoaxes, or chain
Internet chain letters are a problem - they waste user time and
network / disk space.
We need a (widely known) standard procedure for dealing with virus
warnings. This should be to:
- Check web sites containing information on viruses, hoaxes and chain letters.
- Forward the warning to the support team, who can then evaluate it further and decide how to deal with it - this may include mailing all users.
We need improved internet education, particularly when new students
join the department. This should include "spamming", chain letters and
general email etiquette.
There ARE real viruses which spread via email and copy themselves
automatically. These cannot exist in text only messages, and generally
exist as Microsoft Word or Excel Macros. These is one ("Melissa")
which is currently (March 1999) spreading fast. There are links to
more details on this page.
Chain letters also can be thought of as a form of virus, whose
reproductive stage requires human intervention, i.e. the copies are
not made automatically, but by a human. Some people would term this a
" or "memetic virus", and extend this intepretation to other
Sources of information on hoaxes
General Virus stuff
-- Andy Pryke
- 16 Jul 2001 (Originally March 1999)