break that chain …

As usual, the day begins with checking email, visiting slashdot, and skimming through various RSS feeds. In the middle of all that yesterday, received one mail too many about some new hard disk killer virus that can affect you if you add some particular ID on orkut. So dashed off a quick reprisal and a little bit of advice to Mr. Friendly-neighbourhood-fanatic.

A mail, which:

1) is forwarded by friends “just out of care”, especially those that are not really “computer-masters”
2) asks you to “tell everyone”
3) makes vague claims such as “hard drive killer” and “very horrible virus” without mentioning useful technical details
4) says that this was found “last Saturday”, which does not mean any particular date
5) gives no reference to an actual (real, verifiable) security warning by some reliable agency such as one of the anti-virus vendors or the affected site itself

is guaranteed to be a stupid hoax.

Starting from the first characteristic, if the answer is yes, then you can assume its a hoax, without checking further characteristics.