This hoax was started as a joke sent to the "Joke-A-Day" mailing
list in June 2001. A few on the mailing list members thought is was 'real' and
not a joke (as was intended) and they forwarded on.
The hoax/joke message appears below:
It has been brought to my attention that there's
an insidious new computer virus which has already affected close to 30
Even though I'm running the latest McAfee and
Norton viri scans, neither have picked up this virus as it's a mutating
virus which isn't set to go off until Friday, June 8, 2001.
As many viri are, this one is transmitted by
email. I'm required by law to contact everyone that has received email from
me in the last six months and warn them about this virus.
TO REMOVE THIS VIRUS BEFORE IT BECOMES
** Click your start button. ** Click on
"Find". ** Click on Files / Folders. ** Change the "look
in" input box to "My Computer". ** The named input file
should have: AOL.EXE
Once the find engine has located the file,
highlight it and press the delete button.
Deleting this file will fix a damaged 30
megabyte area of your hard drive and restore it to full functionality.
WARNING: KEEPING THIS FILE ON THE SYSTEM AFTER
JUNE 8 WILL COST YOU $2.90 MORE PER MONTH!
FAILURE TO REMOVE THIS FILE WILL KEEP YOUR
"UPPER MEMORY MANAGEMENT" MODULE OF YOUR INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT (IQ
OVER 85) BLOCKED. DELETING AOL.EXE WILL FREE YOUR IQ TO GO ABOVE 85!!!
DELETING THIS FILE WILL ALLOW YOU TO SPELL
CORRECTLY AND USE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROPERLY.
BADLY INFECTED SYSTEMS (I.E., SYSTEMS THAT HAVE
DESTROYED YOUR ABILITY TO FOLLOW THE SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE) CAN HAVE THE
VIRUS REMOVED BY TELEPHONE. CALL 1-888-265-8008 AND TELL THE OPERATOR TO
CANCEL THE VIRUS. THE OPERATOR WILL DEACTIVATE THE VIRUS FROM THEIR END.
TECHNICAL NOTE: YOU **MUST** EXPLAIN TO THE
OPERATOR YOU'RE ATTEMPTING TO DEACTIVATE THE AOL.EXE VIRUS. THE TECHNICAL
SUPPORT OFFICE YOU'RE TALKING TO IS EXTREMELY PROFESSIONALLY EMBARRASSED BY
UNLEASHING THIS VIRUS ON THE WORLD AND WILL DELAY DEACTIVATING IT. FOR LEGAL
REASONS, THEY MAY EVEN *DENY* THE EXISTENCE OF THE AOL.EXE VIRUS. DON'T FALL
FOR THEIR STORY!