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computer issue

Dec 20, 1999 05:51 AM
by Maureen T Fitzgerald

FYI ..... We get strange stuff all the time.  You may have the same.  This memo
has been circulated throughout our organization.

Subject:  Computer Issues

Good morning everybody,

     It seems like I've been the disapproving parent recently asking you not to
do a lot of things, but this is pretty important.  Recently there have been some
rumors regarding some fun computer programs which have been getting passed
around via e-mail, namely Elfbowling.  Some people remarked that it contains a
virus that will damage computers on Christmas day.  At first I dismissed it as
Y2K hysteria until several of my computer instructors received warnings from
very reliable sources.  We tried to view the code to determine if there is a
virus present but the program was encrypted, which is strange for a little game
program like this.  We decided to make a class project out of it, loaded it onto
a classroom computer, and set the Windows date/time to December 24 at 11:59PM.
Sure enough, a minute later the computers' operating system was corrupted and
nothing could be recovered.  We reloaded Windows and were able to start the
computer.  We were not, however, able to recover anything in the My Documents
folder.  We're also unsure if there are any dates in the future when this might
happen again or what other damage was done to the system.  The only thing we
could do was format the hard-drive and reload everything on the computer;

     Elfbowling originated at a website called  About the same
time, a game called Frogapult was also being distributed on that website so we
tested it on a different machine.  The result was identical.  I can't possibly
know of every program that has come from NVision, but each one advertises the
website when the program is run.  If you see a program from NVision, I think
it's safe to assume it was created by the same sick mind that created Elfbowling
with the same malicious intent.

     I am not pointing fingers!!!  At no time did I say the folks at NVision are
the ones who created the program, they are just the ones distributing it and,
apparently, don't get their programs from a reliable source.  They may have been
unwittingly distributing the virus just like the person who sent it to you.
Please do not e-mail NVision and say, "Jeff said you made a virus".

     I will be conducting further testing of the more commonly distributed
programs but, in the meantime, it might be a good idea to get rid of them.  The
following is only a partial list (as I said, I can't possibly know them all) of
cute computer things that have been circulated recently, and, although I'm
unsure of their safety, I think it's probably a good idea to get rid of them if
they're on your computer:

  Felix2 (the original came from a fairly reliable source and is probably OK)
                          Who Want to be a Millionaire
                              XMAS Light or Lights
                               XMAS Tree or Tree

     There are no fancy tricks to get rid of them.  Delete them as you would any
file; either drag them to your Recycle Bin or right click on the file and choose
delete from the drop down menu (if you put them in your Recycle Bin remember to
empty it).

     I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news and I'm especially sorry to report
that there are people in this world who would use Christmas as a tool to
distribute such a hostile virus.  The good news is, Christmas is in just a few
days and, for a little while, we can forget such people exist and enjoy the
company of those who mean the most to us.

     Have a great holiday,


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