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WARNING: Metavirus

Darth Vader <aderj@rpi.edu>

Mon, 28 Oct 1996 22:16:51 -0500

Be warned that there is a new virus circulating on the Internet. This virus infects textual messages (such as email and Usenet news) and will cause itself to be retransmitted to many other sites upon receipt. The virus typically has the subject, "WARNING: Metavirus". Users are advised to ignore any messages with this subject.

Please pass this warning on to others.

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

satan boy <leareth@rpi.edu>

Mon, 28 Oct 1996 23:03:11 -0500 (EST)

> Be warned that there is a new virus circulating on the Internet.

> This virus infects textual messages (such as email and Usenet news)

> and will cause itself to be retransmitted to many other sites upon

> receipt. The virus typically has the subject, "WARNING: Metavirus".

> Users are advised to ignore any messages with this subject.

the virus is called "spam". thank you for spreading the virus to all the members of the sfvr list.

augh. i've been infected too!

### ##### http://www.rpi.edu/~hallm4

######## ##### leareth@rpi.edu

#### ### ######

######## ####### i have stood here before inside the pouring rain

###### #### ### with the world turning circles running 'round my brain,

##### ######## i guess i was hoping that you'd end this reign,

### ##### but it's my destiny to be the king of pain... Police

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

B2 <gentrj>

Tue, 29 Oct 1996 04:15:23 -0400

Oh god. Not another "good times" thing. text can not hurt your machine unless you "execute" it. therefore, as long as you don't run any programs you get in email or off usenet, you're safe.

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

lavalj@rpi.edu (Jean-Etienne LaVallee)

Tue, 29 Oct 1996 10:57:24 GMT

>Oh god. Not another "good times" thing.

>text can not hurt your machine unless you "execute" it.

>therefore, as long as you don't run any programs you get

>in email or off usenet, you're safe.

Put on the Varlex suit (flame proof).

Who wants to give the vitamin complex (B2) a clue?

The posting WAS the virus... a linguistic/communication

virus.

80-N

/__ /\ / ___/ /\ / |\/ __ /\ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

\ / / / /\ / / / /| |/ /\/ / / Jean-Etienne LaVallee /

/ / / __// / / / / / / / / / reply to: lavalj@rpi.edu /

/ / / /\ / / / / / / / / / / lavalle@cat.rpi.edu /

/____/____/_____/_____/_____/ / http://www.rpi.edu/~lavalj /

\ \ \ \ \ \ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"I'm a limitless person, living in a sadly limited world." - H.E.Ellison,

"Levendis"

"All we're waiting for is something worth waiting for" - KMFDM, "DOGMA"

"I beat my machine, it's a part of me, it's inside of me"- NIN, "the

becoming"

"Christmas IS carnage!!!" - Ferdinand the Duck, _Babe_

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

B2 <gentrj>

Tue, 29 Oct 1996 14:11:17 -0400

> who wants to give the the vitamin complex a clue ...

yes yes, the whole thought virus thing. steals resources by stupid people like me responding to it. Of course, you just added to it, and now i'm adding to it a second time. blah blah blah. still, it isn't a computer virus (lathough the original poster never claimed as such), as that is defined as an executable which replicates itself. This is neither executable, nor does it replicate itself - it requires human usage. Perhaps it would be more along the lines of a trojan horse?

j

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

aerin@usa.pipeline.com (elenore garcia)

Tue, 29 Oct 1996 22:19:02 GMT

Guess what folks? That's right! Viruses have been created that

(a) don't self-replicate - they simply destroy (overwrite 00's) in certain key areas, and / or

(b) you don't need to "execute" ... it sounds odd, but essentially it works like this - downloading of a block of text (or file, or whatever) causes your computer to go through several steps. It looks for open space, opens a new file in that space, then it sends all the info into that new file, and finally it puts an EOF (end of file) at, that's right, the end of the file. Well, some smarmy teenage hacks have decided to create viruses which wait for the computer to scan for open space, and that scanning for open space activates the virus. So I'd download the infected file, then if I downloaded something else, I'd be activating the virus. Don't ask me how, I just work here.

I guess what I'm saying is, that definition of "virus" doesn't quite cover all the aspects of things a virus can do. Maybe you need different classes of virus (Kinda like in Ghostbusters - god I'm dating myself) - with a Class II Roaming Vapor, we'd just have something like a Type III Replicating or a Type I Nonreplicating Virus. I dunno.)

Seeing as how I'm just using my fiancee's account, and I have no real reason to post anything, I just thought I'd put in my two cents worth.

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

Dennis Payne <dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu>

Tue, 29 Oct 1996 18:39:04 -0500 (EST)

> (a) don't self-replicate - they simply destroy (overwrite 00's) in certain

> key areas, and / or

They're trojan horses not viruses.

> (b) you don't need to "execute" ...

No. The only way a virus can do anything is to be executed. Granted the virus may not be explicitly run by the user for example macros in Word were (and perhaps still are (I don't know)) able to be run just by loading the file.

Dennis Payne

dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu

payned@rpi.edu

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

sick boy <boothj>

Tue, 29 Oct 1996 18:42:28 -0500 (EST)

> (b) you don't need to "execute" ... it sounds odd, but essentially it works

> like this - downloading of a block of text (or file, or whatever) causes

> your computer to go through several steps. It looks for open space, opens

> a new file in that space, then it sends all the info into that new file,

> and finally it puts an EOF (end of file) at, that's right, the end of the

> file. Well, some smarmy teenage hacks have decided to create viruses which

> wait for the computer to scan for open space, and that scanning for open

> space activates the virus. So I'd download the infected file, then if I

> downloaded something else, I'd be activating the virus. Don't ask me how,

> I just work here.

hey Jeff, can you please translate this into techie-speak? I can't understand something on such a high level. ;]

The distinction that needs to be made is between a thrasher-type programs and an actual virus. A virus is often a misnomer these days with all the media hype about so-called "viruses." I have never been infected by a virus nor seen the aftermath of such a virus. the threat is bogus - propaganda generated by the virus scanner makers like symantec, mcafee, IBM, etc. looking to sell more useless software to stupid CIS managers will nothing better to do with their money. it would be interesting if there was a real threat propagated over the internet. i'm waiting. many so-called viruses don't actually replicate, they just format your hard drive, write random bits, etc. - stupid stuff. If the infection was propagated then we'd have some neat hysteria on our hands.

Jesse

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

B2 <gentrj>

Tue, 29 Oct 1996 21:15:32 -0400

etienne ... i too am on a bad connection, but the things you described are not technically viruses. On first glance, they both seem to be trojan horses, although that might not be the case either. if this isn't the case, i'll write back later.

And as far as various classes of viruses, there kind of are: virus, bacteria, etc ... but the media and thus the new computing world has also lumped things like worms and trojans in there as well.

But part of being a virus, by technical specs, is self replication. One does not get replication (automatically) without execution. Thus, at an intellectual level, all viruses are exectuable. However, yeah, by pop media definitions, (and by extension, norton and his crew), you're right.

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Re: WARNING: Metavirus

lavalj@rpi.edu (Jean-Eteinne LaVallee)

Wed, 30 Oct 1996 04:51:04 GMT

jeff,

>etienne ... i too am on a bad connection, but the things you described are

>not technically viruses. On first glance, they both seem to be trojan

>horses, although that might not be the case either. if this isn't the

>case, i'll write back later.

Um, I didn't describe them 8^)

>And as far as various classes of viruses, there kind of are: virus, bacteria,

>etc ... but the media and thus the new computing world has also lumped

>things like worms and trojans in there as well.

Umm, you didn't read my other post did you? Their is only one type of virus in the biological sense. There are many pathogens which include viri, bacteria, and other chemicals (e.g. carcinogens). In the computer world the term virus has become synonymous with pathogen. Therein lies the broken metaphor. There really should be a term called "computer pathogens." Let's make it... there it exists, spread it like the common cold to your friends. Computer pathogens are all the uglies that can be written to break a computer; viri, bootsector eaters, trojanhorses, worms, forkbombs...

>But part of being a virus, by technical specs, is self replication. One does

>not get replication (automatically) without execution. Thus, at an intellectual

>level, all viruses are exectuable. However, yeah, by pop media definitions,

>(and by extension, norton and his crew), you're right.

Actually the virus refered to in the original post was a textual virus which was replicated at the point of dispersal to the mailing list. In that sense, as long as people keep sending the little pup around, it will replicate and eat bandwidth. So what Joe/Darth dumped on us was really a networking virus which used the macro-iteration(read my other post) NatLan of the svr3 class list to replicate and spread itself.

So as to add to its final demise, I will stop posting on this thread. Call me an meta-oncogene-kinase pairing.

wigging,

<cough>,

death to the carriers,

Etienne

/__ /\ / ___/ /\ / |\/ __ /\ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

\ / / / /\ / / / /| |/ /\/ / / Jean-Etienne LaVallee /

/ / / __// / / / / / / / / / reply to: lavalj@rpi.edu /

/ / / /\ / / / / / / / / / / lavalle@cat.rpi.edu /

/____/____/_____/_____/_____/ / http://www.rpi.edu/~lavalj /

\ \ \ \ \ \ -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"I'm a limitless person living in a sadly limited world." - H.E.Ellison, "Levendis"

"All we are waiting for is something worth waiting for." - KMFDM, "DOGMA"

"I beat my machine, it's a part of me, it's inside of me." - NIN, "the becoming"

"Christmas IS carnage!!!" - Ferdinand the Duck, _Babe_

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