Baby New Year



This is not a virus but a hoax. This supposed "virus" does not exist. There is currently no virus that has the characteristics ascribed to "Baby New Year." It is a hoax only meant to panic new or inexperienced computer and internet users.

The message includes the following "warning":
    IMPORTANT!!! YOUR COMPUTER IS PROBABLY INFECTED WITH A VIRUS. IN TURN, YOU HAVE SPREAD THIS VIRUS TO FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND CO-WORKERS JUST BY SENDING THEM EMAIL.

    PLEASE READ AND PASS ON TO ANYONE TO WHOM YOU HAVE SENT EMAIL SINCE SEPTEMBER 11.

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    The latest run of the Center for Internet Security's most advanced virus detection software has revealed a new security threat, Baby New Year Virus, which, by CIS estimates, has already infected up to 42 million computers worldwide. If you have received any email since September 11, your computer has most likely already been infected. The BNY virus apparently originated in Washington State on or around September 7th of this year. It made its initial appearance at the Internet's central server on September 11 through an email message.

    Simply by passing through, the email message infected the server, which in turn passed the virus on to every message that it has sent since September 11. Low estimates on the number of infected messages hover around 460 million.

    The lifecycle of the virus will prove to be one of the most devastating since the Michaelangelo scare. It begins by attaching itself to email files. If your computer is infected, the virus will then attach itself to word processing documents, spreadsheets, and virtually anything else that may in turn be opened on other computers. After infecting a computer, the virus will lay dormant until 11:59 and 30 seconds pm on Dec 31 of this year. At that point, it will reset the year on your computer's internal clock to 1999. Half a minute later, the year on your clock will flip to 2000 rather than 1998 - unleashing the wrath of the millenium bug two years early.

    So how does this affect you? The millenium bug is a great example of how programmers let seemingly minor issues slip through the cracks. Computers keep track of the year only in double digit intervals - 97, 98, 99 - rather than 1997, 1998, 1999. The problem is that "19" is the default for the first two digits. As a result, at the dawn of the new millenium, the year on computers worldwide will switch to 00 and your computer, and your bank's computer, and the IRS, and everyone else will think it's 1900! Difficulties will run the gamut from a personal computer freezing no longer allowing installations or document editing to the interest rates controlled by Wall Street giants plummeting to 1900's rates. Luckily, an antidote to this potentially devastating virus has been written.

    You can disinfect your computer directly from the web at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/7466. You can also email babynewyear@geocities.com to receive the latest update.

    It is CRUCIAL that you send this email to EVERYONE you have sent mail to since September 11. This bug can be squashed ONLY if everyone who has received email from the infected server is notified and downloads the antidote. Everyone the initial infectants sent mail to must then be notified, and everyone THEY sent mail to, etc., etc. This is the only BENEFICIAL chain letter you will ever receive. Recipients will be thanking you come January 1. We promise.


GeoCities worked with Symantec on this issue. GeoCities issued the following statement regarding this hoax:
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    Dear Internet Community Members,

    GeoCities guidelines have been carefully crafted to promote the free flowing exchange of ideas about your interests, activities and hobbies and at the same time maintain standards consistent with the Online community and the societies of the world at large.

    In this case, our former community member whose homepage was at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/7466 was involved in spreading malicious e-mail about a Baby New Year Virus. Fortunately, the virus turned out to be a hoax but the effects felt because of this mass e-mail were not.

    GeoCities acted swiftly when alerted of this situation. After a thorough investigation was completed, we promptly removed the member's homepage, which was being used as part of this virus hoax, as well as their GeoCitites e-mail account to prevent further such abuse.

    If you'd like to review our guidelines, you'll find them at http://www.geocities.com/members/info/guidelines.html.

    Thank You,
    GeoCities Management
    www.geocities.com



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