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Name: Microsoft Home Page Virus Hoax
Alias: Red Alert

This is a warning on a nasty hoax that has been distributed on several mailing lists and in usenet news. The hoax message is falsely attributed to [email protected] from F-PROT Professional Support.

This false warning urges people to stay off Microsoft's home page and not to use Microsoft Internet Explorer, because the 'Microsoft home page is possibly infected by a virus'. This is nonsense.

If you have seen this warning, please pass on this message, and please do not redistribute the original warning anymore.

The origins on this nasty hoax is as of yet unknown. The original hoax warning is quoted here in full:

   Red Alert for anybody using Microsoft's Internet Explorer as
   their web browser.
   This came in on the virus forum at the University of Hamburg
   from a fairly reliable source: Mikko H. Hypponen
   ([email protected]) in Finland. (datafellows is
   an anti-virus company)
   The first indication that something was amiss was when the computer
   of an MIS professional friend of Mikko's was completely wiped --
   including BIOS and CMOS -- on 11-20-96. It took a great deal of
   arguing with Microsoft until 11-22-96 (logged at 0930 hours) when
   they finally admitted something was wrong and took "their homepage
   into their lab."
   Mikko's first report was at 11:13 on 11-22-96. By 13:17 on 11-22-96
   the following message was received:
   >       Okay, it's official (last conversation with techs at 1200 hrs,
   >       11-22-96, virus confirmed) Western Digital and Microsoft
   >       confirm that a new virus is on the web and they cannot
   >       isolate it. The only thing they know for sure is that it
   >       completely wipes out a computer. As of this time, they cannot
   >       determine how best to get rid of the thing once it is in your
   >       system.
   [irrelevant "in-joke" cut]
   >       They are recommending that until they can isolate it (it appears
   >       to be coming from several locations) you just stay off the web.
   This sounds like a trojan rather than a virus, but it is extremely
   destructive nonetheless.
   Unless you can filter addresses so your webbrowser will not
   go to Microsoft's home page, stay off Microsoft's home page
   until further notice. (As Mikko post updates, I'll forward
   Incidentally, Mikko and his friend *were* frequent users of Microsoft's
   Web browser.
---end hoax---