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!
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?)
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
Subject: Hey, just had a chat with a headhunter.
Message: I immediately thought of you. Details attached. Please be discreet.
From: Ed McMahon
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
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.
To: Charlie Varon
Subject: Small cap, inexpensive IPOs on my purchase list
Attached file name: Millinaminute.exe
This automatic message is being sent to all Berkshire-Hathaway charter member list members. If this has reached you in error, please delete.
Thought you ought to know: I've been doing your wife. Enclosed please
find a copy of the results of my HIV test.
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)
To: Xena/Hercules fans
Subject: Free Web service for Greek Mythology fans!
Attached file name: Trojan.com
Subject: This is a virus
Attached file name: format_c.exe
Subject: Here ya go
Attached file name: speedview.exe, report7.spv
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 :)
Subjct: Virus Alrt: Silnt '' -- This On is Ral!
If your computr has bn infctd with th Silnt '' virus xcut this program
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
The attached file contains all knowledge.
Attached file name: apple.exe
Subject: Please be careful
Do not open the attached.
Attached file name: Box.exe
To: Payroll processing
Subject: Payroll calculation spreadsheet
Attached file name: pay.wk1
Column 1-- name
Column 2 -- annual salary
Column 3 -- bonus
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.
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)
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.
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.