Hoaxes, myths,
urban legends




About us


Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

New twist on the Gulf War 'printer virus'

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Monday, 17 August 1998

JAMES ADAMS, CEO of United Press International, tells the tale of the Gulf War printer virus in his new book on cyber-warfare. Too bad he didn't do more research — InfoWorld concocted the whole thing in 1991 as an April Fool's story.

Adams gave the story an interesting twist. The virus didn't get a chance to do its job... because the U.S. Air Force accidentally bombed the building where Iraq stored the printers! "One of the most successful intelligence operations of the Gulf War was buried beneath the rubble," his new book alleges.

Rubble, indeed. Some "defense officials" now sing a slightly different tune. They claim the U.S. didn't plant a computer virus in those printers — rather, they planted homing beacons. Sounds more plausible, doesn't it?

Sadly, these "variations on a theme" fail to account for the most important fact of all. InfoWorld concocted the whole thing in 1991 as an April Fool's story! The "Gulf War printer virus/homing beacon" story carries no credibility, no matter how highly placed the source.

James Adams now joins the ranks of U.S. News & World Report and Nightline anchor Ted Koppel...