Create an entry in your address book to avoid spreading viruses-Fiction!

Add An Entry Named !0000 or AAAAAA to Your Address book To Avoid Spreading Viruses-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

This message includes a tip to help avoid spreading viruses.  Since many viruses automatically email themselves to people in your address book, create a new entry that will foil the attempt.  Give the new entry the name of !0000 or AAAAAA and do not put any email address in the entry.   That way it will be the first in the address book. When a virus tries to send itself to every address, it won’t get very far because the familiar error message will appear that says it could not be sent because of either a missing email address or a bad address.

The Truth:
The virus experts we have checked with say this piece of simplistic advice did not come from anyone who knows about viruses and that it should not be relied upon.  Many viruses will send themselves to any valid email addresses that are found in the address book regardless of whether there are also invalid entries.
Many computer owners have tested the “!0000” suggestion by creating an email that is addressed to several recipients, including the “!0000” entry.  The progress of the email will be halted because one of the intended recipients does not have a valid address.  Self-propagating viruses, however, do not normally create a single email to a group of recipients that is halted if one of the email addresses is invalid.  They create individual emails that are sent to one recipient at a time…therefore all the valid email addresses do receive the virus.
Also, some viruses such as the “SirCam” virus have their own email software included so they will not be using your email program or hindered by any of it’s error detection or messages.

Last updated 10/30/01