A little off topic, sorry...
The hoaxes are "meme" viruses living in the world of ideas, using up
"thought cycles" in their human hosts and propagating through email.
Damage is bandwidth (here I am contributing to that one), machine
resources (during propagation, and stored on disk, backups etc
somewhere for ever more), and man hours (can amount to a few when one
of these gets loose in a big gullible organisation).
Similar to win95 really ;>
ING Bank International
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Microsoft Explorer
Author: owner-firewalls-outgoing @
COM at INET-1
Date: 4/18/97 2:54 AM
Sorry this might be a little off-topic.
Just a few words about email hoaxes... Aren't these some kind of a new
What is the main property of a computer virus?
- it spreads using the computer files (not necesarely executabile ones as
we can see in the case of a Microsoft Word macro virus for instance)
A computer virus can:
- cause damages or not
- be detected or not
A hoax can spread using email files. It spreads using human error.
A hoax do not directly cause damages to the computer. For instance if
such an email have some influence on a system administrator then the
human can make mistakes that might lead to security leaks.
A hoax can be detected or not. This depends on the person who receive it.
Let's take the case of "Microsoft Explorer":
Din't it spread? It did!
Can this cause damages? I think it can making some people not to trust
any of the Microsoft's service pack for Explorer.
Let's take the case of the "Penpal Greetings".
Didn't "Penpal Greetings" spread? It did!
Some viruses cause damages others are harmless. This one was harmless.
I think a serious aproach is needed.