21st Challenge No. 24 results

"This is your mom" and other e-mail virus come-ons.

Published July 31, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

How does the author of a computer virus get the unsuspecting victim to open the attachment? We invited readers to create irresistible virus wrappers. Here, we've collected some of the more devious and effective submissions. Our goal is not to aid and abet, but rather to entertain -- and perhaps inoculate. Read at your own risk!


From: Mom

To: [Your name]

Subject: don't bother if you're busy, but ...

Attached file name: recipe.exe

I think I messed this file up -- I just don't understand this computer stuff. Can you help?

-- XOXO, Mom (PS, call soon, OK?)

(Cyd Harrell)


From: irs.ustreas.gov

To: email recipient

Subject: overpayment on tax returns, years 1992 to 1997

Message: Per the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the IRS must inform any taxpayer of a deduction for which he is qualified.

Attached File Name: refund_amount.exe

(Craig Howard)

From: [Sender]

To: [Recipient]

Subject: Hey, just had a chat with a headhunter.

Message: I immediately thought of you. Details attached. Please be discreet.

Filename: prospectus.doc

(Omri Schwarz)

From: Ed McMahon

To: LuckyWinner@aol.com

Subject: You may already have won $10 million!

Attached file name: register.exe

Dear Lucky Winner,

You've been selected to participate in our first-ever E-mail Sweepstakes! Double-click on the enclosed electronic registration form -- everyone wins at least $500!

-- Ed McMahon

American Family Publishers

(Michael Sims)

From: mikewallace@60minutes.com

To: [person's name]

Subject: Clinton's plan

Attached file name: plan.doc

60 Minutes is looking into attitudes toward President Clinton's proposal to provide Microsoft Windows computers to convicted homosexual pederasts who adopt a pregnant juvenile black drug dealer. Whether you agree or not, please examine the proposal details (in the enclosed document) and e-mail, write or call us via the contact information given. We plan to air the segment in two weeks.

(Lucas Gonze)

From: wbuffet@berkshirehathaway.org

To: Charlie Varon

Subject: Small cap, inexpensive IPOs on my purchase list

Attached file name: Millinaminute.exe

Dear Charlie:

This automatic message is being sent to all Berkshire-Hathaway charter member list members. If this has reached you in error, please delete.


(Aaron Adams)


Thought you ought to know: I've been doing your wife. Enclosed please
find a copy of the results of my HIV test.

(Floyd Elliot)

From: Stanley Kubrick

To: Movie Fan

Subject: What "Eyes Wide Shut" is all about

Attached file name: Meaning.exe

Per my will, this attached file will explain what "Eyes Wide Shut" is really about and what I was trying to say.

Cordially, Stanley Kubrick

(Peter Y. Choi)

From: Homer@aegean.co.gr

To: Xena/Hercules fans

Subject: Free Web service for Greek Mythology fans!

Attached file name: Trojan.com

(Mark Rose)

From: Hacker

To: Sucker

Subject: This is a virus

Attached file name: format_c.exe

(Steven Garrity)

From: ted@example.com

To: bob@example.com

Subject: Here ya go

Attached file name: speedview.exe, report7.spv

Hi Bob.

I've attached the specs here. Unfortunately, it's in some weird format (ever hear of SpeedWriter 4.6? Neither have I), so I included a viewer for it. Don't worry ... it's not a virus :)

From: virus_alrt@antivirus.org

To: all_my_frinds

Subjct: Virus Alrt: Silnt '' -- This On is Ral!

If your computr has bn infctd with th Silnt '' virus xcut this program

(Renfield Kuroda)

From: security@hotmail.com

To: you@youraddress.com

Subject: Pending Lawsuit

Attached file name: CT8334B.exe

Now we've tracked you down, you spamming bastard. The attached file gives
details on when you're expected in court. Bring your checkbook.

-- Hotmail Security Team

(Jeremy Sacco)

From: Viper

To: Eve@garden.eden

Subject: Wisdom

The attached file contains all knowledge.

Attached file name: apple.exe

(James Bremner)

From: Mom

To: Pandora

Subject: Please be careful

Do not open the attached.

Attached file name: Box.exe

(James Bremner)

From: Administration

To: Payroll processing

Subject: Payroll calculation spreadsheet

Attached file name: pay.wk1


Column 1-- name

Column 2 -- annual salary

Column 3 -- bonus

(Arthur Stock)

From: julie.swayson@hotmail.com

Subject: Remember me?

Attached file name: julie_at_beach.jpg

Remember me? I got your e-mail address off the web. Maybe the attached photo
will jog your memory. Stay in touch this time.


(Mathew Clayton)

Don't be fooled by hoax virus messages! You'll only look like a fool if you forward a fake virus warning. The following attached file lists the common hoaxes that are currently circulating.

[Attachment: infected Word file]
(Chan Lee Meng)

From: OgdnNsh@BadToVerse.org

To: A Fan of Facetiae

Subject: Scansion Lurks Within

Attached file name: viruscansion.exe


You've caught a new virus

But wait, it gets worse

From now on your e-mails

Will all be in verse

Have a nice day.

(Sue Clark)

From: Michael Ladder

To: Window across street

Subject: I can see in your window

Attached file name: CamVu

Msg.: Thought you would like to know I can see in your window from my office.

(Edith W. Hetherington)

Thanks for taking the 21st Challenge. Check back in two weeks for another contest.

By Charlie Varon

Charlie Varon is a humorist and playwright. His works include "Ralph Nader Is Missing" and "Rush Limbaugh in Night School."

MORE FROM Charlie Varon

By Jim Rosenau

Jim Rosenau is a writer, editor and software designer in Berkeley, Calif. Jim and Charlie are also co-founders of the citizens group Californians for Earthquake Prevention and partners in Mockingbird Media, which offers a full line of comic services.

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