The First Recorded Virus Hoax

as it appeared on the Calon Net

Well, the original to this has been found! You can read the original version, the modified original, the story behind them and a Latin translation at: http://www.plaidder.com/trojan.htm (seems to be down currently, archived at: The Internet Wayback Machine

The version here is what happened when the "virus" got posted to the CalonNet. Andrixos (Steve Boyd) added the part about Aeneas relocating the headquarters of Troy Inc, and Kirk (Kirk Poore) wrote about Constantine's conversion and spinning off of a new company.


FROM: laocoon@doomgloom.edu
TO: hector@studmuffin.com
CC: Trojan Army Listserv <Trojans-L@troy.org>
RE: WARNING!! BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS! (fwd)

Hey Hector,

This was forwarded to me by Cassandra--it looks legit. Please distribute to Priam, Hecuba, and your 99 siblings.

Thanks,

Laocoon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

> WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
>
> IF YOU RECEIVE A GIFT IN THE SHAPE OF A LARGE
> WOODEN HORSE DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT!!!!
> It is EXTREMELY DESTRUCTIVE and will overwrite your
> ENTIRE CITY!
>
> The "gift" is disguised as a large wooden horse about two stories tall.
> It tends to show up outside the city gates and appears to be abandoned.
> DO NOT let it through the gates! It contains hardware that is
> incompatible with Trojan programming, including a crowd of heavily armed
> Greek warriors that will destroy your army, sack your town, and kill
> your women and children. If you have already received such a gift, DO
> NOT OPEN IT! Take it back out of the city unopened and set fire to it
> by the beach.
>
> FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
>
> Poseidon

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FROM: hector@studmuffin.com
TO: laocoon@doomgloom.edu
RE: Greeks bearing gifts

Laocoon,

I hate to break to you, but this is one of the oldest hoaxes there is. I've seen variants on this warning come through on other listservs, one involving some kind of fruit that was supposed to kill the people who ate it and one having to do with something called the "Midas Touch."

Here are a few tipoffs that this is a hoax:

  1. This "Forward this message to everyone you know" crap. If it were really meant as a warning about the Greek army, why tell anyone to post it to the Phonecians, Sumerians, and Cretans?

  2. Use of exclamation points. Always a giveaway.

  3. It's signed "from Poseidon." Granted he's had his problems with Odysseus, but he's one of their guys, isn't he? Besides, the lack of a real header with a detailed address makes me suspicious.

  4. Technically speaking, there is no way for a horse to overwrite your entire city. A horse is just an animal, after all.

Next time you get a message like this, just delete it. I appreciate your concern, but once you've been around the block a couple times you'll realize how annoying this kind of stuff is.

Bye now,

Hector

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Please pass this on. Apparently Laocoon did not and look what happened to him. He and his kids, eaten by snakes.

If on the otherhand, you have implemented this program, try my response:

  1. Retrieve source codes (father Anchises, Penates{household gods})

  2. Retrieve viable projects in progress (son Iulus)

  3. Abandon co-workers if they can't keep up (wife Creusa)

  4. Follow directives from upper management (Venus)

  5. Seek new location for start-up firm, preparing to merge with pre-existing company, but be ready to sacrifice corporate identity in process

  6. Acquire source of original program in hostile takeover

Signed,
Pius Aeneas

PA:pvm

************************************************************

News Release (AP):

In a startling move, James R. Constantine, CEO of Rome, Inc, announced a complete reorganization of the corporation. The most dramatic change will be the transfer of corporate headquarters from Rome to the provincial town of Byzantium. Constantine stated the move was to reduce cost and improve efficiency, and that significant downsizing would occur. Analysts expect that that several hundred thousand jobs would be cut, though some offices will be moved to the new headquarters. Constantine also said that several divisions, including the Britain, Gaul, and Italy divisions, will be reorganzied into a wholly owned subsidiary, tentatively named "Western Rome". He denied rumors that the German firm of Frank, Angle, and Saxon Ltd had made an offer to take control of Western Rome by assuming the debt of the subsidiary.

Other sources indicate that Constantine would be making a large charitable donation to the Catholic Church in the person of the Bishop of Rome. Constantine denied the rumors, saying no decision had been reached at this time in regards to changes in Rome, Inc's charitable projects.

Reported by George Eusebius, Appian Press News Service

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