Internet "virus" hoaxes deserve several pages all its own. Here are some:
"Good Times" is a hoax..... http://www.hr.doe.gov/goodtime.html
Pen Pal, Deeyenda, Irina, and Ghost are hoaxes.... http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/bulletins/h-05.shtml
And here is an excellent catalog of virus hoaxes at http://www.Europe.Datafellows.com/news/hoax/index.html.
Melissa, happy99, &  explorezip are NOT hoaxes. They are not viruses either. See Point 1.

 

Two key points:

1) Never open anything INCLUDED,   LINKED OR ATTACHED to an email from someone you don't know. This is only really a problem for users of Microsoft mail programs like Office, Outlook, and Exchange, but it's a good habit for everyone. It IS possible to download a dangerous executable program through e-mail, or through your web browser. For heaven's sake DON'T RUN A PROGRAM FROM A SOURCE YOU DON'T HAVE VERY GOOD REASON TO TRUST! If your browser or e-mail reader does not ask you permission before it runs a downloaded program, THROW THAT BROWSER OR READER AWAY! It's no more useful than a door to your house that can't keep anyone out. IS directors, get a clue and demand that macro and Visual Basic "functionality" be removed from Microsoft mail products!

Internet "virus" hoaxes deserve several pages all its own. Here are some:

  1. "Good Times" is a hoax..... http://www.hr.doe.gov/goodtime.html
  2. Pen Pal, Deeyenda, Irina, and Ghost are hoaxes.... http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/bulletins/h-05.shtml
 

2) Anyway, there is NO WAY** for an email message to infect your computer with a virus just by reading it. "Viruses" in email require you to open the attachments inside the document. Even macro worms like Melissa, and "The Love Bug" operate this way. This "mother of all Junk-mail virus" Has made it into the photocopy room, and is going around again. Note however, that it IS possible to download an executable program through e-mail, or through your web browser. For heaven's sake DON'T RUN A PROGRAM FROM A SOURCE YOU DON'T HAVE VERY GOOD REASON TO TRUST! If your browser or e-mail reader does not ask you permission before it runs a downloaded program, THROW THAT BROWSER OR READER AWAY! It's no more useful than a door to your house that can't keep anyone out. 

Microsoft Outlook, and Outlook Express, running on Microsoft Windows, are the only email programs that are vulnerable to email worms. To completely protect yourself, use a different email program, like Netscape Messenger or Eudora. If you must use Outlook, then follow these instructions to make it safe from Macros and Viruses.

 

 

** Really experienced users know about holes in sendmail, ActiveX vulnerabilities , client buffer attacks, etc, but this message is not for you. While theoretically possible, no worms or viruses exist in the wild that are executed merely by opening the message. If you know differently, show me the link.