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The Good Samaritan Worm

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

We've received quite a few notices from our readers and customers informing us of a new worm. These virus alerts instruct users to delete a file, jdbgmgr.exe, from their computer. This is a virus hoax. Do not delete the file.

The proliferation of viruses over the past several months apparently has everyone on edge. Combine this with a general unfamiliarity with the system files on our computers, and we've got a full fledged virus hoax on our hands.

We don't alert our users of every virus hoax that comes along because most tend to be harmless or regionalized. That is to say we never hear of the hoax through the grapevine or "in the wild" so to speak. However, since this hoax seems to be gaining momentum and actually instructs users to delete a file, we thought we'd post a warning here.

On a slightly more universal note, I think most of us have falsely alerted someone to a problem, if not a virus, at some point. We thought we were being good samaritans at the time, only to find out we caused more problems than we solved. This tends to result in a "once bitten, twice shy" response.

However, that need not be the case with virus warnings or hoaxes. If you receive a virus alert or read about it on a Web site, you can confirm it by doing a little research using some reliable resources.

Specifically, visit Symantec's Security Response site for a list of the latest viruses and hoaxes. A search for the file "jdbgmgr.exe" using Symantec's Threat List and Virus Encyclopedia returns 3 results. The first describes the hoax.

Optionally, you can do a search using your favorite search engine. For instance, a search at Google for "jdbgmgr.exe" also returns a reference to the hoax as the first result. Coincidentally, it is pointing to Symantec's site.

As always, with so much information available on the Internet, the trick to surviving the experience is figuring out how to find and use the appropriate resources, a problem our poor librarians have been struggling with for years. :) Luckily, the tools (e.g. the search engines, directories, etc.) seem to be getting better with time.

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