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More than 62,000 virus threats exist today. The McAfee AVERT Virus Information Library has detailed information on where viruses come from, how they infect your system, and how to remove them. McAfee AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team), the leading anti-virus research organization, tracks the latest viruses and trojan horses to keep you up-to-date with the many new, and altered, viruses emerging every day via a Newly Discovered Threats page. In addition, the Recently Updated Threats page, gives you current information of all changing viruses and trojan horses. Each updated profile gives you comprehensive details on virus characteristics and indications of infections.

In addition to genuine viruses, the Virus Information Library contains useful information on virus hoaxes, those dire email warnings about disk-eating attachments that sometimes land in your inbox. A Virtual Card For You and SULFNBK are two of the best-known hoaxes, but there are many others. Next time you receive a well-meaning virus warning (unless it's from us, of course!), check our hoax page, along with your system administrator, before you forward a message of this type.

Don't let your guard down!
Remember: Never open an email attachment unless you know what it is--even if it comes from someone you know and trust.

Be aware that the people who create viruses can use known hoaxes to their advantage. A good example is the AOL4FREE hoax. This began as a hoax warning about a nonexistent virus. Once it was known that this was a hoax, somebody began to distribute a destructive trojan horse (a trojan horse differs from a virus in that it does not reproduce itself) in a file named AOL4FREE, attached to the original hoax virus warning! The lessons are clear:

  • Always remain vigilant
  • Never open a suspicious attachment

Before You Forward That Virus Warning ...
... check to make sure that it is legitimate. Propagating hoax email virus warnings can be just as damaging as an actual virus. Our friends at the School of Liberal Arts have put together a good resource on virus hoaxes. Before you ever forward this type of message, check this site and check with your system administrator.