Just as the term ‘hoax’ means to deceive or describe something that is not real, the hoax virus (also known as a virus hoax) tricks users by using false warnings about a virus, worm or some other disaster. It is basically a false report, usually in the form of an email, about non-existent viruses intended to cause fear and panic. These messages try to make their claims more convincing by using technical language and bogus reports from famous companies, attempting to persuade recipients to forward the warning message to family and friends and thus spreading themselves. In the most extreme cases, these hoax messages can influence recipients into taking drastic action such as shutting down their mail server or network in anticipation of a widespread virus attack.
Most hoaxes today are spread through chain mails and the message itself contained in email hoaxes is the infection. It can often be quite hard to determine whether to heed the message contained in a hoax email as they are often sent from what appear to be reliable sources.
Although these hoaxes are not harmful per se (as they are not real viruses by definition), they can be quite damaging in a number of ways:
- They suggest that the recipients delete important files from their system or download infected attachments.
- They result in a waste of resources; victims end up wasting valuable time and bandwidth (on the internet and mail servers) sending the message to family, friends and colleagues. What further compounds the problem of wasted resources is that since these emails usually contain long lists of email addresses in the ‘To’ and ‘CC’ sections, spammers have access to an entirely new list of valid email addresses they can exploit.
- They can potentially damage your professional reputation and indicate sheer incompetence regarding internet security.
- Hoaxes can also be used to create a sense of complacency; virus authors try to force computer users to relax their vigilance down by bombarding the internet with virus hoaxes in the hope that people will be so bogged down with fake virus warnings that they won’t pay any attention to legitimate virus threats. When users eventually let their guard down, destructive viruses have a better chance of downloading on an unsuspecting user’s system.
The attackers who initiated the email rumor are successful if they are able to cause panic and get their message seen and spread by millions of people. Email hoaxes can be thought of as a contemporary virus that uses social engineering, or lies and manipulation, rather than programming or hacking.
The ‘bad time’ virus is a famous example of the hoax virus; this virus is claimed to be capable of deleting everything on your hard drive as well as any other disks or magnetic media around your computer.
Hoax Virus Protection
To avoid being victimized by the Hoax virus, users should:
- Never open suspicious email attachments
- Never download anything from potentially untrustworthy websites
- Equip themselves with certified anti-virus/antispyware software such as SpyHunter.
Removing The Hoax Virus Manually
Follow the simple steps given below to remove the Hoax virus using a manual approach:
Step 1 – Click on the Start Menu, type jdbgmgr.exe in the search box type and press enter (make sure you search in your ‘C’ drive)
Step 2 – When the search results are displayed, look for a teddy bear logo with the name jdbgmgr.exe
Step 3 – Right-click the file and delete it
Step 4 – Go to the recycle bin and delete the file from there as well.
Once the Hoax virus has been manually removed, experts recommended thoroughly scanning your PC to ascertain the complete eradication of all traces of the virus using benchmarked anti-malware software.