Virus Warnings an easy test

Neil Jones neil at
Mon Dec 17 17:01:22 EST 2001

If you get a virus warning there is an easy test you can perform to test if
it is valid.
Go to the Google search engine and type in a salient
of the warning. Something like the name of the virus or the file name at the
of the problem
 In the recent case it would be "sulfnbk.exe" without the quotes.

This will lead you to a web site confirming or denying the veracity of the

It is interesting that Virus warnings seem to be acting as viruses with in
the collective human conciousness. In fact they are acting rather as if they
are subject to the rules of natural selection. They have to be believeable
to be passed on. Many of them take the form of appeals to authority. "IBM
announced today" is a common component. This is often followed by the phrase
"please pass this on to all your friends". An idea which increases  the
infection rate. I suspect that many hoaxes don't make it
around if they do not contain certain vital parts. This recent one is clever
in that, like real viruses, it doesn't incapacitate
its host to badly and thus spreads. The 'sulfnbk.exe'  file is not
absolutely and immediately vital. So removing it does not
prevent this idea virus or "meme" from spreading.

Neil Jones- Neil at
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve


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