This is not a virus, bot a hoax which was originally distributed on the
April Fools Day in 1996. Ignore it.
Here's the original hoax:
---HOAX MESSAGE STARTS---
A new extremely threatening virus has been discovered. Its key
- it is a hardware based virus
- it can be transmitted over any communications network
- it does not require executable code to travel
- it is a targetable virus i.e. the virus can be set to target a
particular PC or group of PCs
- it is immune to existing anti-virus software
This is a brief paper summarising what is known about the new
virus. Techniques for preventing infection are proposed.
The new virus has become known as the Swamp Virus. Its official
reference number is 01/0496.
The Swamp Virus is a hardware based virus. It attacks the
internal hardware of the PC causing electrical problems. These
in turn cause software problems rendering the PC completely
unusable. In many cases the PC will become usable again once it
has got over the .attack.; in others the PC is effectively
The Swamp Virus can only be transmitted directly over the
Internet or other communications network. It does not have to be
executable code; it can be carried on any data stream
whatsoever. It cannot be conducted from PC to PC via floppy
It works by utilising TCP/IP, the communications and
internetworking protocols, at a very low level. Indeed it is
attached to data streams at the bit level.
Experts in many countries have been working on ways to improve
the carrying capacity, or bandwidth, of existing networks using
techniques such as multiplexing. Scientists from the Avril
Institute in Bern, Switzerland, have developed a technique
whereby a small number of molecules of various substances can be
attached to data at the bit level. Their goal is to cease using
the bit as a data item and to use it merely as a carrier for the
data. The data is physically mapped onto the molecules using
the protons and electrons, the neutrons and neutrinos being used
for control information and parity checking. Use of this
technique will expand the capacity of a network by the data
capacity of the molecules. The data carrying capacity of the
bit will depend on the size of the attached molecules. The only
identified drawback with this development is that a high speed
communications link is required. This is because the molecules
must remain in a gaseous state to stay attached to the bit. To
remain in this state they require the friction - and consequent
heat - developed by the high speed link. As soon as the
friction and heat are removed the molecules condense and lose
their data carrying capacity as well as their attachment to the
This technological advance has been seized upon by an Anarchist
Hacker Group - the April I Group. They have stolen equipment
from the Avril Institute and have been using it to attach water
molecules in a gaseous form to the bit streams generated by
TCP/IP when sending emails. As soon as the email is received by
your PC it loses the friction from the high speed link and the
water molecules condense within the data bus on the motherboard.
This causes electrical problems, and, in the case of large
emails, total destruction of the motherboard due to .swamping..
It is believed that the April I Hacker Group - are planning to
flood the Internet with vast quantities of email messages during
the early part of April with particular emphasis being placed on
the 1st - the anniversary of the day their self-appointed leader
was arrested and charged with breaking out of a secure
Government computer system.
It is strongly recommended that you do not receive any email on
that day. This will provide 100% protection for your PC.
Unfortunately, however, it is thought that many of the hundreds
of mail servers on the Internet may suffer damage as your email
messages are held by them pending retrieval. As your messages
will be held on disk, the absence of friction over the
communications network will cause the water molecules to
condense from their gaseous form, damaging the motherboards on
the mail servers.
Emails received after this date will be quite safe as the
attached water molecules will have already condensed from the
email bit stream.
Further information can be obtained from Professor P. Ranque at
the Avril Institute. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
---HOAX MESSAGE ENDS---
[Analysis: Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure]