An old e-mail hoax featuring the Budweiser Frogs has recently re-surfaced with a slightly re-tooled message of digital destruction.
The original version of the e-mail, which I last remember seeing when the Budweiser Frogs were still popular (about 1999) just promised to destroy your hard drive. But in keeping with the times, the new version also claims the virus will also steal your screen name and password and send it to “someone” on the net. That’s last bit is a real tactic that some viruses try, but it doesn’t make this hoax any more true.
Here’s the latest version of the hoax message:
Date Collected: 2/25/2004
READ IMMEDIATELY AND PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW !
Someone is sending out a very cute screensaver of the Budweiser Frogs.
If you download it, you will lose everything! Your hard drive will crash and someone from the Internet will get your screen name and password!
DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!
It just went into circulation yesterday
Please distribute this message. This is a new, very malicious virus! and not many people know about it. This information was announced yesterday morning from Microsoft. Please share it with everyone that might access the Internet.
Once again, Pass This Along To EVERYONE in your address book so that this may be stopped. AOL has said that this is a very dangerous virus and that there is NO remedy for it at this time.
This is VERY important. If you receive a screen saver from a friend or anyone you may not know with the Budweiser Frogs in it, DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT OR OPEN THE FILE!
Press the forward button on your email program and send this notice to EVERYONE you know. Let’s keep our email safe for everyone.
All of the major anti-virus companies have declared that this e-mail is a hoax, but it does contain some information that people should pay attention to. While there is no “Bud Frogs” virus, other viruses have replicated by tricking people into opening attachments such as screensavers. Some viruses (and worms, which are like viruses, but spread via networks) also attempt to glean personal information and send that info to crackers who in turn use it for all manner of nefarious deeds. But none of this changes the fact that this particular e-mail is a hoax, as you can verify by visiting these sources:
- McAfee: Bud Frogs Screen Saver Hoax: A debunking of this hoax, with examples of earlier versions.
- Symantec: Bud Frogs Screen Saver Hoax: A debunking of a related hoax regarding the “budsaver.exe” screensaver file.