Scammers are once again pushing the "Olympic Torch" e-mail hoax, this time with a Facebook twist. Usually with the subject "Invitation Facebook Virus" the latest spam variant even goes as far as claiming that Snopes, a great reference for stories of uncertain or questionable origin, confirms the claims are true, but if you actually visit the Web page, you'll see it really is a hoax.
It would seem that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London have given this hoax new life, which shouldn't be too big of a surprise. The e-mail in question is identical to what Snopes has featured on its site, plus a small addition at the bottom:
PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS NOTICE TO YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CONTACTS!
In the coming days, you should be aware.....Do not open any message with an attachment called: Invitation FACEBOOK, regardless of who sent it. It is a virus that opens an OlympIc torch that burns the whole hard disc C of your computer.
This virus will be received from someone you had in your address book. That's why you should send this message to all your contacts. It is better to receive this email 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive an email called: Invitation FACEBOOK, though sent by a friend, do not open it and delete it immediately. It is the worst virus announced by CNN.
A new virus has been discovered recently that has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. It is a Trojan Horse that asks you to install an adobe flash plug-in. Once you install it, it's all over. And there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information of their function is saved.
SNOPES SAYS THIS IS TRUE
As Sophos notes, this chain letter includes some small kernels of truth that may cause many users to send it on instead of just deleting it. Some malware does indeed try to trick you into installing a fake Adobe Flash plug-in, and there is malware that writes to the Master Boot Record, although it can of course be removed.
Hoax-Slayer notes that this type of scam has been circulating on Facebook for over a year. Here's how it looks like:
VIRUS : Do not open a message with an attachment called Invitation Fb regardless of who sent it. It is a virus that opens an Olympic torch and will take the whole hard disk C of your computer. This virus has been received from a friend: Delete the invitation immediately. This VIRUS is classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever, and there is no fix for this yet.PLEASE circulate THIS.
As a general word of caution, don't blindly forward e-mails, whether you think they are true or not. Spammers use e-mail chain letters to collect e-mail addresses for sending you junk mail as well as malware.