Click and Hack warn of a computer virus hoax | SummitDaily.com
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Click and Hack warn of a computer virus hoax

Computer viruses are the No. 1 fear of all computer owners. You may have recently received an e-mail that stated something like the following:

“Dear all: The objective of this e-mail is to warn all users about a new virus that is spreading by e-mail. The name of this virus is jdbgmgr.exe, and it is sent automatically by the messenger and by the address book, too. The virus is not detected by McAfee or Norton, and it stays quiet for 14 days before damaging the system.”

The e-mail goes on to instruct readers on how to remove the virus and asks them to inform everybody in their address book of this warning. There are many different versions of the letter, even several in other languages.



Would you follow the instructions? A number of people in Summit County have received this e-mail in the last month and have chosen to follow the instructions.

What the recipients of this e-mail don’t realize is that the whole thing is a hoax. The e-mail advises customers to delete a valid Windows file named jdbgmgr.exe. This file is the Microsoft debugger registrar for Java. Click and Hack advise users who receive the e-mail to delete the message and not pass it on, since this is how e-mail hoaxes propagate.



If you received this e-mail and you deleted the referenced file, don’t despair. According to the Symantec Web site, “If you have already deleted the jdbgmgr.exe file, in most cases, you do not need to re-install it.”

The Microsoft Knowledge Base article, “Virus hoax: Microsoft debugger registrar for Java (jdbgmgr.exe) is not a virus (Q322993)” states the following:

“The Microsoft debugger registrar for Java (Jdbgmgr.exe) is only used by Microsoft Visual J++ 1.1 developers. If you follow the e-mail message instructions and delete this file, you do not have to recover it unless you use Microsoft Visual J++ 1.1 to develop Java programs on Windows P, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows 98, or Windows 95.”

In the case of this hoax, the damage caused by blindly following the instructions is minimal. There are, however, other viruses that use similar techniques to dupe users into deleting truly necessary system files. Remember, most viruses that arrive by e-mail come from someone you know who sends them unintentionally.

Correction

Last week we included a reference to a utility called RegClean and its availability on the Microsoft Web site. An astute reader e-mailed to let us know that it is no longer available directly form Microsoft. It is, however, still available at download.com. Don’t worry about its age – the description says it is for Windows 95. The current version 4.1a of RegClean works on Windows 95, 98, NT 3.51, NT 4, and 2000. It is not compatible with Windows ME or P. Read the instructions carefully, as fiddling with the registry is often a risky business.

All of our past columns are now available on our Web site:

http://www.friscocomputerstore.com.

E-mail questions or comments to clickandhack@friscocomputerstore.com.


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