The Good Times email virus is a hoax!
If anyone repeats the hoax, please show them the FAQ.
by Les Jones
February 6, 1996
This information can be freely reproduced in any medium, as long as the information is unmodified.
A FAQ, if you're new to the Internet, is a document that answers Frequently Asked Questions. This Mini FAQ is a summary of, and a reference to, the full FAQ, which has much more information about this and other hoaxes. Instructions for retrieving the full FAQ are at the end of this message. The Mini FAQ is short enough for faxes, message boards, company memos, and people with short attention spans.
Yes. It's a hoax.
America Online, government computer security agencies, and makers of anti-virus software have declared Good Times a hoax. See Online References at the end of the FAQ.
The hoax has been around since at least November of 1994. Since that time, no copy of the alleged virus has ever been found, nor has there been a single verified case of a viral attack.
The story is that a virus called Good Times is being carried by email. Just reading a message with "Good Times" in the subject line will erase your hard drive, or even destroy your computer's processor. Needless to say, it's a hoax, but a lot of people believed it.
Some of the companies that have reportedly fallen for the hoax include AT&T, CitiBank, NBC, Hughes Aircraft, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and dozens or hundreds of others. There have been outbreaks at numerous colleges.
The U.S. government has not been immune. Some of the government agencies that have reportedly fallen victim to the hoax include the Department of Defense, the FCC, and NASA.
The full Good Times Virus Hoax FAQ has more information about the origins of the hoax, and variations on the text of the hoax.
On December 6, 1994, the U.S. Department of Energy's CIAC (Computer Incident Advisory Capability) issued a bulletin declaring the Good Times virus a hoax and an urban legend. The bulletin was widely quoted as an antidote to the hoax. The original document can be found at the address in Online References at the end of the mini FAQ, and is included verbatim in the full FAQ. CIAC issued another bulletin on April 24, 1995 to reiterate that Good Times is a hoax.
CIAC Notes 94-05, 95-09, and especially 94-04
Data Fellows' description of Good Times
Australian Cert Note
The Good Times Virus Hoax FAQ and Mini FAQ
The mini FAQ is a greatly simplified version of this FAQ. At two pages, it's short enough for message boards, faxes, mailing lists, and people with short attention spans.
On America Online:
In the file libraries at keyword VIRUS.
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