An image being circulated on social networks warns of a virus that “burns the entire hard drive” with an attachment called Archive (Windows Live). Is this a real threat?
Let’s take a look at the rumor itself:
!!!!!!!!! RED ALERT for YOUR COMPUTER
Please circulate this notice to your friends, family and contacts!
In the coming days, warning: do not open any message with an attachment called Archive (Windows live) regardless of who sends you. This is a virus that burns the entire hard disk. This virus comes from a known person you have in your mailing list, which is why you should send this message to all your contacts. If you receive a message called: “UPDATING WINDOWS LIVE”, even if it is sent by a friend, do not open it and stop immediately. This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus that ever existed. The virus was discovered yesterday afternoon by McAfee. and there is no chance of repair for this type of virus. Simply destroys Sector Zero of the hard disk. Just copy and paste.
While the message above sound ominous, there are obvious holes in the story. CNN has not reported this, Microsoft has not classified a “most destructive virus” ever, and there have been no actual reports of such a virus ever occurring. Further, hoaxes such as this have been floating around the internet since the 1990s.
Here is the graphic being circulated with this fake virus alert:
While it is always a good idea to think twice about opening attachments you receive in an email, the one described above simply does not exist.