Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
AOL IM Trojan/virusCATEGORY: Hoax virus alerts
A July 1997 chain letter warned malicious users can steal AOL passwords or erase hard disks if a user merely responds to an "instant message" (IM). And like most hysterical alerts, it urges you to "pass this on to every one you know!!!"
The simple act of responding to an IM will not divulge your password or erase your precious data. Someone might try to con you into disclosing your AOL password, but they can't automagically steal it from you.
The July 1997 chain letter shows subtle signs of a hoax:
Last updated: 2000/9/19