Updated: February 13, 2007 11:33:37 AM
Baby News Year is not a virus; it is a hoax.
The message includes the following "warning":
IMPORTANT!!! YOUR COMPUTER IS PROBABLY INFECTED WITH A VIRUS. IN TURN, YOU HAVE SPREAD THIS VIRUS TO FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND CO-WORKERS JUST BY SENDING THEM EMAIL.
PLEASE READ AND PASS ON TO ANYONE TO WHOM YOU HAVE SENT EMAIL SINCE SEPTEMBER 11.
The latest run of the Center for Internet Security's most advanced virus detection software has revealed a new security threat, Baby New Year Virus, which, by CIS estimates, has already infected up to 42 million computers worldwide. If you have received any email since September 11, your computer has most likely already been infected. The BNY virus apparently originated in Washington State on or around September 7th of this year. It made its initial appearance at the Internet's central server on September 11 through an email message.
Simply by passing through, the email message infected the server, which in turn passed the virus on to every message that it has sent since September 11. Low estimates on the number of infected messages hover around 460 million.
The lifecycle of the virus will prove to be one of the most devastating since the Michaelangelo scare. It begins by attaching itself to email files. If your computer is infected, the virus will then attach itself to word processing documents, spreadsheets, and virtually anything else that may in turn be opened on other computers. After infecting a computer, the virus will lay dormant until 11:59 and 30 seconds pm on Dec 31 of this year. At that point, it will reset the year on your computer's internal clock to 1999. Half a minute later, the year on your clock will flip to 2000 rather than 1998 - unleashing the wrath of the millenium bug two years early.
So how does this affect you? The millenium bug is a great example of how programmers let seemingly minor issues slip through the cracks. Computers keep track of the year only in double digit intervals - 97, 98, 99 - rather than 1997, 1998, 1999. The problem is that "19" is the default for the first two digits. As a result, at the dawn of the new millenium, the year on computers worldwide will switch to 00 and your computer, and your bank's computer, and the IRS, and everyone else will think it's 1900! Difficulties will run the gamut from a personal computer freezing no longer allowing installations or document editing to the interest rates controlled by Wall Street giants plummeting to 1900's rates. Luckily, an antidote to this potentially devastating virus has been written.
You can disinfect your computer directly from the web at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/7466 . You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the latest update.
It is CRUCIAL that you send this email to EVERYONE you have sent mail to since September 11. This bug can be squashed ONLY if everyone who has received email from the infected server is notified and downloads the antidote. Everyone the initial infectants sent mail to must then be notified, and everyone THEY sent mail to, etc., etc. This is the only BENEFICIAL chain letter you will ever receive. Recipients will be thanking you come January 1. We promise.
Please ignore any messages regarding this hoax and do not pass on messages. Passing on messages about the hoax only serves to further propagate it.