Myth Blaster: "Life is Beautiful" E-Mail Virus


Chain Email transcribed warning [edited] …

Anyone using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and so on. This information arrived this morning, Direct from both Microsoft and Norton. …
You may receive an apparently harmless e-mail with a Power Point presentation “Life is Beautiful”. If you receive it DO NOT OPEN THE FILE under any circumstances, and delete it immediately. If you open this file, a message will appear on your screen saying: “It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful.” Subsequently you will lose everything in your PC, and the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. AOL has already confirmed the severity and the anti-virus software are not capable of destroying it. The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself “life owner”. … This has been confirmed by SNOPES.

Myth Blaster Verdict: HOAX
The part of being confirmed by “Snopes” is a lie. In fact, this particular e-mail is an updated version of a Portuguese email hoax in the e-mail chain system. Urban Legends (Snopes) writes:

This warning about a Microsoft PowerPoint file named “Life is Beautiful” carrying a computer-destroying virus is a hoax, one that has been with us since at least January 2002. It originally circulated in Portuguese but was later translated into English and a host of other languages. Although this particular example is a hoax, PowerPoint presentations can contain viruses, so prudent computer users should always check downloaded or e-mailed PowerPoint presentations (and all other non-text attachments) before opening them.

See McAfee and Symantec (Norton) links.  
Avast! – a the security program I use would have caught this virus attempt immediately. Avast, an appropriate name for a security program for Lighthouse Journal use has never failed me – not like Symantec software that caused a major breakdown in my wife’s computer awhile back because it failed to do its job. And we paid for the software and an annual fee, while home versions are free via Avast.
I don’t know which is worse – hoaxers or the evil hackers (not to be confused with the good guys who check software for bugs, et cetera) who create destructive virus programs. Don’t be part of the problem – check out such e-mail you receive and then reply with the facts – or just email me (lpj_editor@earthlink.net) and I will check it out for you.
Further Sources:
Thanks Tara for sending this for verification.
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