virus: [Fwd: MISC> DDWR: Irina Virus Is A Publisher Hoax (fwd)]

Kevin O'Connor (
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 12:59:31 -0800

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Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 12:05:13 -0800
From: Glenn Fleishman <>
Subject: MISC> DDWR: Irina Virus Is A Publisher Hoax (fwd)
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Note: This an application of the GOOD TIMES VIRUS type scheme.

From: Gleason Sackman <>
To: Multiple recipients of list NET-HAPPENINGS
From: "'Doc' Don Taylor" <>

> > For today's reading leisure in Doctor Don's Waiting Room < <
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Apparently people haven't noticed the press articles about a
publisher creating a virus hoax, and the rumor of a virus is again
spreading on the net. So here is one disclaimer that I picked off
another list.

Panic at Penguin publicity hoax
By Robert Uhlig - The Electronic Telegraph

PENGUIN Books has apologised after a publicity stunt
concerning a hoax computer virus called "Irina" backfired
and panicked Internet users worldwide.

Guy Gadney, the former head of electronic publishing at
Penguin, sent out a bogus letter to newspapers and
television stations claiming to be from Prof Edward Prideaux
at the College of Slavonic Studies in London.

"Some miscreant is sending e-mail and files under the title
'Irina'," the letters said. They claimed that the virus
could erase the entire contents of any infected computer's
disks and would "severely damage" the processor chip.

Penguin is planning to launch an interactive book called
Irina, in which one of the main characters is a Prof
Prideaux, but the letters did not mention Penguin books.

Within hours of the letter being sent out, news of the virus
had spread to America and Europe. The Daily Telegraph
received six copies of the bogus letter, which is not
clearly identified as a publicity campaign or a PR stunt.
Anti-virus experts said Penguin's publicity campaign was
"highly irresponsible and dangerous".

Although the College of Slavonic Studies does not exist,
London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies said
it had been inundated with calls to the fictitious Prof

Mr Gadney said: "We had hoped that [the bogus letter] would
be caught by a second letter to explain that the hoax letter
was a teaser campaign for an interactive book. It is very
unfortunate that we have created a scare - it was not our


Doctor Don -- Internetist
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Specializing in the diagnosis, prevention and
treatment of Internet diseases and maladies. +1.757.877.4992
*** Member Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce ***

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