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KEITHBD
6th November 2008, 05:01 PM
Have just received this from a friend -

All, this has been checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus! and it is for real!!
Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS!
You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message
with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of
who sent it to you.. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which
'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be
received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact
list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your
contacts It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive a mail called' POSTCARD,' even though sent to you by a
friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer immediately.
This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by
Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was
discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this
kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard
Disc, where the vital information is kept.

Take care, Keith.

Gazza_DJ
6th November 2008, 05:13 PM
Its a hoax mate.

Nick Temple-Fry
6th November 2008, 05:16 PM
Oh Dear.

This has all the characteristics of a hoax.

I think everyone can relax just a little, this kind of e-mail is regretably common.

Nick

Ian
6th November 2008, 05:19 PM
As long as you have a reputable anti-virus solution installed and it's kept up to date, you don't have to worry about viruses in general.

Ian

theMusicMan
6th November 2008, 07:01 PM
Virus'.... what are they then...? hehehe

On a more serious note: I have had my Mac for 18 months now, and not a single virus has occurred. I appreciate that in time I am sure there will be virus' on Macs, but at the present time, they are in fact, absolutely nothing to be concerned about on Macs.

I don't run any anti-virus software on my Mac as there's simply no need to.

What also makes me laugh on times is the PC/MS brigade who, when they hear of reports of someone coming up with a virus on OSx, they say... 'there, see... even Macs get Viruses'. Sorry, phah! One report of a virus compared to tens of thousands of actual viruses and immeasurable damage done on Windows based systems, makes me laff eh.

Sure, maybe Mac's are not for everyone [aka Ian!! :) ], but this is one area where there is no comparison between OSx and XP/Vista.

Gazza_DJ
6th November 2008, 07:12 PM
John, I have been running my Windows laptop for over 3 years now and have never got any sort of virus or malware, and for the past year or so I havent been running an active AntiVirus at all simply because its not needed. My system is 100% secure without it.
In a worldwide security conference held this year or last year, they hosted a challenge. Three laptops - a MB Air, a Windows machine and an Ubuntu machine. The challenge was to compromise a machine - the first person to compromise a machine won a cash prize and the machine they hacked, and the MB Air was first to fall.
Now, im not saying that every OS X machine is vulnerable across a network (far from it, the people entering this contest are extremely skilled) and to be fair the competition did not represent every day situations. However, my point is that OS X is NOT the impenetrable fortress Apple's marketing division would lead you to believe, same as Windows is not a virus magnet like Apple and others may lead you to believe.

theMusicMan
6th November 2008, 07:23 PM
I appreciate what you say Gazza, and the fact that you have been running safely and virus secure for 3 years is testament to your expertise and willingness to set up your machine correctly.

All I am saying is that fanboys of MS delight at the fact that there is a whisper of a report that viruses are able to be applied to Mac machines... when in fact, there are tens of thousands of viruses already out there that have already done the damage to countless windows based machines.

Sure, on any system, if you set up your machine securely, with the correct firewall preventions etc, then you are going to be relatively safe. However, we're not talking of hacking here Gazz, we're talking of viruses... and it is a fact that there are massively more virus attacks on windows based systems than there are on OSx machines.

No-one is saying Macs are impenetrable fortresses, but where viruses are concerned, there are none whereas on windows machines there are... many too!

Gazza_DJ
6th November 2008, 07:27 PM
There have been a couple in the past, although you could argue they count more as malware - the last one altered OS X's DNS to redirect your browser to a site that bombarded you with popups - of course the 'flaw' with that one was it required a greater level of user interaction than a similar attack on a unprotected Windows machine.
The exploits for OS X are there, just not 'in the wild', also, to Apples credit they are generally very quick at releasing patches for any vulnerabilities.

E-P1 fan
6th November 2008, 08:23 PM
A REAL alert will never say "PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS!" It's a hoax.

Ian
6th November 2008, 08:24 PM
Virus'.... what are they then...? hehehe

On a more serious note: I have had my Mac for 18 months now, and not a single virus has occurred. I appreciate that in time I am sure there will be virus' on Macs, but at the present time, they are in fact, absolutely nothing to be concerned about on Macs.

I don't run any anti-virus software on my Mac as there's simply no need to.

What also makes me laugh on times is the PC/MS brigade who, when they hear of reports of someone coming up with a virus on OSx, they say... 'there, see... even Macs get Viruses'. Sorry, phah! One report of a virus compared to tens of thousands of actual viruses and immeasurable damage done on Windows based systems, makes me laff eh.

Sure, maybe Mac's are not for everyone [aka Ian!! :) ], but this is one area where there is no comparison between OSx and XP/Vista.

I'm quite serious about this - all joking aside - I find Apple's marketing of the Mac as a platform that is immune to viruses as astonishing. I perfectly understand that it's technically far more difficult for a Mac to be infected by virus software, but it's not impossible. That's why you can get antivirus software for the Mac. But as so few people bother with it, you can bet that when someone devises an effective virus for the Mac, it will be disaster.

Everyone connects their computers to the Interent, sends and collects mail, downloads and installs software from various sources. The very fact that the Mac is declared a virus-free platform simply makes it the focus of attention for malicious programmers.

I'm much happier knowing that there is effective protection available for PCs. I see the occasional status pop-up saying that some malware has been detected and it's being dealt with, and that's that.

Ian

theMusicMan
6th November 2008, 08:36 PM
I am serious too Ian, make no bones about it!

This is just one of the reasons as to why I choose to use Macs and OSx, over PC/Windows based systems - there's simply a significantly reduced virus threat for Mac based users.

Just as you find Apples marketing of the Mac as a platform that is immune to viruses - astonishing, I too find PC users' delight in reporting of the handful (literally) of viruses that have been discovered for Macs - astonishing. It is also somewhat hypocritical of PC users to report this when there are tens of thousands of different viruses out there that threaten windows based machines and only a handful on OSx.

I am not sure what the issue is here. It is a fact that most windows based systems are prone to dangerous virus attacks whereas this threat on Mac OSx based systems is significantly reduced. I am not suggesting that there are no viruses for OSx, but as Gazza points out, Apple are always quick to release security updates. Don't you wish there was such a low risk of virus damage on PC's...?

Nick Temple-Fry
6th November 2008, 08:51 PM
I appreciate what you say Gazza, and the fact that you have been running safely and virus secure for 3 years is testament to your expertise and willingness to set up your machine correctly.

All I am saying is that fanboys of MS delight at the fact that there is a whisper of a report that viruses are able to be applied to Mac machines... when in fact, there are tens of thousands of viruses already out there that have already done the damage to countless windows based machines.

Sure, on any system, if you set up your machine securely, with the correct firewall preventions etc, then you are going to be relatively safe. However, we're not talking of hacking here Gazz, we're talking of viruses... and it is a fact that there are massively more virus attacks on windows based systems than there are on OSx machines.

No-one is saying Macs are impenetrable fortresses, but where viruses are concerned, there are none whereas on windows machines there are... many too!

Never having been a fan boy of either micropox or crackle can I just suggest that the reason apple machines haven't been targeted is that the aim of virus writers is to infect large populations of machines. Apple (who on a very good 1'st quarter in 2008 only shipped 3.26% of the worldwide market for 'personal computers') scarcely representing a major target. I suspect their percentage in large corporate networks (the big target for virus writers - lots of file sharing - relatively light security within the network) is even lower.

Nick

art frames
6th November 2008, 10:02 PM
I'm a user of both systems. And I look after quite a few PCs and Macs.

I would say that a helpful difference is that the Apple system needs the admin password in order to make changes to the system and download any software (including any unwanted malware, spyware etc). This is so much better than MS who automatically make you an admin and thereafter your system does what it wants without asking, when you are logged in. Casual users have very little idea what they have downloaded to the system, by tricks and spoofs.

I have a friends windows laptop sitting downstairs waiting for me to spend a few happy hours removing the very aggressive spyware that has infected it. It is a fairly well known and relatively stubborn, self restoring piece of code. That is annoying but it has terrified her with the stupid, pop-up messages.

I prefer Macs, I do not currently have to waste so much time on sorting out the issues. They are more user friendly and I believe they have a better core operating system. But I really don't think they need to boast about it too much... that way is asking for trouble.

Peter

shenstone
6th November 2008, 10:03 PM
Definitely a hoax - it's been around a long time - since 2001 in variants

http://www.hoax-slayer.com/postcard-virus-hoax.shtml

I have to say that the hoaxslayer is one of my favorite (excepting present company of course) websites. I've finally got most of the people at work to reference it before sending out these warnings and it's had a noticeable effect on some people who had reached just about paranoid levels

Regards
Andy

Gazza_DJ
6th November 2008, 10:12 PM
I would say that a helpful difference is that the Apple system needs the admin password in order to make changes to the system and download any software (including any unwanted malware, spyware etc). This is so much better than MS who automatically make you an admin and thereafter your system does what it wants without asking, when you are logged in. Casual users have very little idea what they have downloaded to the system, by tricks and spoofs.

Windows 7 will address this effectively. UAC has been made much more user friendly and customiseable, and standard users are essentially installed into a virtual environment, meaning that a standard user gets all the functionality of an Admin user with regards to creating and installing stuff, yet is in essence detached from the OS.

art frames
6th November 2008, 10:30 PM
Windows 7 will address this effectively. UAC has been made much more user friendly and customiseable, and standard users are essentially installed into a virtual environment, meaning that a standard user gets all the functionality of an Admin user with regards to creating and installing stuff, yet is in essence detached from the OS.

Good, just a couple of years to wait then? I just hope they also take a load of rubbish out of the core system so it goes a little faster too.

In the meantime I would still say the Mac system is safer for many.

Peter

Gazza_DJ
6th November 2008, 10:45 PM
XP and Vista are both plenty fast enough tbh, what rubbish are you referring to?

Zuiko
6th November 2008, 11:52 PM
I've followed this thread with bemusement. To me computers are a neccessary evil, certainly nothing to get excited about. Not like cameras! I know next to nothing about either, but with the camera I enjoy learning. With the computer I don't.

As for Viruses, I'm not quite sure how you know when you've got one, but the idea scares me. Hopefully Norton keeps me relatively safe and I do see the odd message confirming that an attack by "Bloodhound" or something similar has been blocked.

Nevertheless, I've had one or two scary moments when my computer hasn't behaved as it should but generally I've come to the conclusion that my computer knows I don't like it and delights in giving me scary moments. Also it's lazy and tends to object when I try to make it work a little harder with new software. Or is it Vista that doesn't like new software? :confused:

But what really puzzles me is what's with these mean b******s who try to cripple other people's machines (people they don't even know) just for the sheer fun of being spiteful. Are they really so sad that they haven't got a life? :mad:

PetePassword
7th November 2008, 09:13 AM
I've followed this thread with bemusement. To me computers are a neccessary evil, certainly nothing to get excited about. Not like cameras! I know next to nothing about either, but with the camera I enjoy learning. With the computer I don't.

As for Viruses, I'm not quite sure how you know when you've got one, but the idea scares me. Hopefully Norton keeps me relatively safe and I do see the odd message confirming that an attack by "Bloodhound" or something similar has been blocked.

Nevertheless, I've had one or two scary moments when my computer hasn't behaved as it should but generally I've come to the conclusion that my computer knows I don't like it and delights in giving me scary moments. Also it's lazy and tends to object when I try to make it work a little harder with new software. Or is it Vista that doesn't like new software? :confused:

But what really puzzles me is what's with these mean b******s who try to cripple other people's machines (people they don't even know) just for the sheer fun of being spiteful. Are they really so sad that they haven't got a life? :mad:

Yes, computers can sense when you really need to work, and find something trivial to delay you. I've always found threatening to throw it out the window helps it concentrate.*yes
Virus writers are teenagers with a grudge, it's the power it gives them replacing their powerlessness. Mum tells them to go tidy their room, so they go and screw up some computers across the world. Makes sense.
Avoiding dodgy sites cuts out most viruses, and a good email scanner stops any that way, plus a firewall of course. Been years since I had a problem. I did wonder at times if the anti-virus people might occasionally release something to boost sales...

timg
7th November 2008, 11:26 AM
I've just received one of these messages on my work email account, the email was formatted as per Hallmark emails but the link pointed to an exe file...

StephenL
7th November 2008, 11:47 AM
The amount of "interest" generated by the original, albeit well-meaning, poster means that the hoax warning has served its purpose by provoking panic and dismay.

Whenever I get one of these "round robin" messages, I simply delete and ignore.

And no, I'm not going to enter into the argument about which operating system is best/worst for viruses.

timg
7th November 2008, 12:01 PM
The amount of "interest" generated by the original, albeit well-meaning, poster means that the hoax warning has served its purpose by provoking panic and dismay.

Whenever I get one of these "round robin" messages, I simply delete and ignore.

Most virus checkers are good enough to pick on unusual activity, the weak link in the chain is the human aspect, as such social engineering is the most common form of virus deployment days.

This virus is no different to others, it's just a different carrot that's being dangled in front of the operator... just make sure you look at where a link is pointing before you click on it!

Anything link that ends in .exe like this one is bound to be bad, but any email client worth it's salt should warn you as such.

E-P1 fan
7th November 2008, 02:12 PM
The thing is - these things can get you when your guard is down - early morning, late at night, not feeling too good, family hassles etc - just not concentrating the way we usually do.

Writing viruses for Macs must be akin to making left-handed items for a right-handed customer base ;)

My family think I'm sort of paranoid about online security - ie won't have Wi-Fi (though I'd LOVE it) - but I firmly believe that you need to adjust your security level depending where you are - online - or anywhere else.

It's a bit like Cold War politics - threat theory etc

Or is it just that boring Mr Common Sense again doh! :p

Makonde
7th November 2008, 02:29 PM
1. If you get one of these 'snowball' emails it is a good idea to Google it before blithely forwarding it to your email chums. At worst, some of them contain dodgy links or scripting embedded in them. At best, they are a waste of time. If they carry atachments it is inadvisable to open the attachments. Verify by googling first.

2. There are security vulnerabilities in any OS - check the current list of 'top ten' security flaws on CERT. For various reasons, two being the prevalence of windows (as Nick points out) and the wrath that Microsoft's business practices have aroused among coders/hackers, Windows has borne the brunt of attempts to subvert the OS. However with XP and now Vista I see steady improvements in protection and philosophy. The quality of user is also important. It is most likely that a dummy will be using Windows. But that does not make all Windows users dummies.

donmcmahan
9th April 2009, 10:48 AM
if i were trying to spread a virus in a very effecient manner i would embed the virus in an email warning of the virus. shouldn't we all be concerned when ever we get one of these email alerts that say "send this to all of your contacts"?:confused:

StephenL
9th April 2009, 11:30 AM
Yes we should and yes I am. As an ex-IT Security Manager, whenever I get one of these warnings from one of my friends, I immediately lecture them, at some length :D of the perils of chain emails.

shouldn't we all be concerned when ever we get one of these email alerts that say "send this to all of your contacts"?:confused:

photo_owl
9th April 2009, 12:04 PM
Me too but it's always my father and he gets really frustrated because he gets them from people he trusts and believes know better (than him - which is true for 99% of the user population...).

Anyway - back to cameras...

PetePassword
31st May 2009, 09:59 AM
Surely the main reason for the difference between the two systems and viruse attacks is that PCs occupy 95% of the market, so to write a virus for a PC is going to result in much easier dissemination and much more harm in sheer numbers. Also, most likely virus writers [teenagers?] are going to have PCs for the same reason. Writing a virus for a Mac would be arguably more difficult and would affect so few systems it wouldn't raise a chuckle in the deranged teen mind.
I haven't had a virus for years now, anti virus software seems to do the trick, along with not clicking on dodgy links or opening suspicious email attachments. They spread among the newly online newbies mostly.