Warnings about Bin Ladin e-mail virus

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Although it's been almost five years since its surfacing onto the World Wide Web, an Osama Bin Laden (Terrorist) -themed computer virus continues to find its way into e-mail inboxes.
So far there have been no reports of an infection in the area, but a few people have received e-mails warning them not to open anything with a subject line saying "Osama Bin Laden (Terrorist) Captured"

"A couple of guys around here have heard of it," said Aaron Williams, assistant manager at EC Computers. "One said they received an e-mail saying not to open it. Hopefully we won't have anyone coming in with the virus problem."

The virus began in 2004, according to Snopes.com, when e-mails referring to the terrorist leader's capture or suicide began circulating on the Internet. With such a tempting e-mail subject, many would open the e-mail and download the attachment which claimed to be a video or picture, but was actually a file for the Backdoor.Hacarmy.D Trojan horse.

In 2005, a similar e-mail made the rounds again, but with a version of the Psyme Trojan.
A hoax virus followed in mid-2006, with subject such as "Invitation," "Merry Christmas" or "Olympic Torch," said the site.

Another e-mail has been passed around the Internet as well, warning computer users of the legit and bogus e-mails.
"E-mails with pictures of Osama Bin Laden hanged are being sent and the moment that you open these e-mails your computer will crash and you will not be able to fix it," said one such message.

In 2006, the site said both Trojan viruses easily can be found and removed from a computer with updated virus removal software, but computer technicians said it's better to avoid opening e-mails with the suspect subject lines.

"We try to educate people not to open attachments and things like that," said Williams. "We haven't had a problem yet, and even though repairs are a big part of our business, we want people to be safe on the Net and not get into trouble."

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