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First Addressbook Entry Virus Control Hoax (***Note***)

Although not really a hoax, this arrives as an email suggesting that by adding AAAAAAA@a.aaa as the first entry in your email address book, it will help users control viruses.

Here is an example email, with a typical subject line:

----- Begin Example Email -----


I learned a computer trick today that's really ingenious in its simplicity. I received it from a friend. As you may know, when/if a worm virus gets into your computer it heads straight for your e-mail address book, and sends itself to everyone in there, thus infecting all your friends and associates. This trick won't keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact, that the worm has gotten into your system. Here's what you do; first, open your address book and click on "new contact", just as you would do if you were adding a new friend to your list of e-mail addresses. In the window where you would type your friend's first name, type in "AAAAAAA", Also use address AAAAAAA@a.aaa.

Now, Here's what you've done and why it works: The name AAAAAAA will be placed at the top of your address book as entry #1. This will be where the worm will start in an effort to send itself to all your friends. But, when it tries to send itself to AAAAAAA, it will be undeliverable because of the phony e-mail address you entered. If the first attempt fails (which it will because of the phony address), the worm goes no further and your friends will not be infected. Here's the second great advantage of this method: If an e-mail cannot be delivered, you will be notified of this in your IN BOX almost immediately. Hence, if you ever get an e-mail telling you that an e-mail addressed to AAAAAAA could not be delivered, you know right away that you have the worm virus in your system. You can then take steps to get rid of it! Pretty slick, huh?

If everybody you know does this then you need not ever worry about opening mail from family or friends.

----- End Example Email -----

While this is in part true (it might block a very few worms from using your address book as mailing list), most of today's viruses are more complex then this and get around any such simple tricks. This method provides a very weak protection. You are far better served having active, updated antivirus software on your computer.