Good Times!

I don't know how many times I had to explain to people that reading text on their screen could not harm their PC, way back when. Those sure were the good ol'days! Ironicly, Microsoft later made exactly this possible through a combination of misguided features and software flaws.

To: jsexton 
Date: Tuesday, August 20, 1996 6:49AM

Hello everyone,

I just received the following email about a virus that seems to be able
to come through any email system (such as Juno) and others.  Please read
it carefully and pass it on to others.  TIA

Date: Thursday, 15-Aug-96 11:31 PM

From: xxxxxxx          \ America On-Line: (xxxx)
To:   Corporate Partners       \ PRODIGY:     (PNRN56A)


Subject: FW: Extremely Destructive Virus (fwd)

There is a computer virus that is being sent across the Internet. If you
receive an email message with the subject line "Good  Times", DO NOT
read the message, DELETE it immediately.  Please read the messages

Some miscreant is sending  email under the title "Good Times" nationwide,
if you get anything like this, DON'T DOWN LOAD THE FILE!  It has a virus
that rewrites your hard drive, obliterating anything on it. Please be
careful and forward this mail to anyone you care about.

              WARNING!!!!!!!  INTERNET VIRUS

The FCC released a warning last Wednesday concerning a matter of
major importance to any regular user  of the Internet. Apparently a new
computer virus has been engineered by a user of AMERICA ON LINE that  is
unparalleled in its destructive capability. What makes this  virus so
terrifying, said the FCC, is the fact that no program needs to be
exchanged for a new computer to be infected. It can be spread through
the existing email systems of the Internet. Once a Computer is infected,
one of  several things can  happen. If the computer contains a hard
drive, that  will most likely be destroyed. If the  program is not stopped,
the computer's processor will be placed in an nth-complexity infinite
binary loop -which can severely damage the processor if left running that
way too long.  Luckily, there is one sure means of detecting what is now
known as the "Good Times" virus. It always travels to new computers the
same way in a text email message with the subject line reading "Good Times".
Avoiding infection is easy once the file has been received simply by NOT
READING IT! The act of loading the file into the mail server's ASCII
buffer causes the "Good Times" mainline program to initialize and execute. The
program is highly intelligent- it will  send copies of itself to everyone
whose email address is contained in a receive-mail file or a sent-mail
file, if it can find one. It will then proceed to trash the computer it is
running on.

The bottom line is:  - if you receive a file with the subject line
"Good Times", delete it  immediately! Do not read it"  Rest assured that
 whoever's name was on the  "From" line was surely struck by the
virus. Warn your friends and  local system users of this newest threat to
the Internet! It could save them a lot of time and money. Could you pass
this along to your global mailing list as well?


The Museum of eMail

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