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Life is Beautiful Virus Hoax
This "warning" claims that a very destructive virus disguised as a Power Point Presentation called "Life is beautiful" is currently being distributed via email. However, there is not, nor has there ever been a virus like the one described in this message.

There are several variants of the hoax, including versions in Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian and several other languages. The message tries to add authority to its claims by mentioning high-profile companies such as Microsoft and AOL. Incidentally, Microsoft does not send out unsolicited virus warnings. Moreover, "Norton" is the name given to a range of security software products sold by Symantec Corp. Thus, information about virus threats is published by "Symantec", not "Norton". In this case, Symantec has published information about the "Life is beautiful" message - but only to denounce it as a hoax.

This hoax started circulating in early 2002 and it has been passed around ever since. In spite of a great deal of online exposure, the hoax tends to resurge from time to time and its rate of circulation increases dramatically for a few months. As hoax emails go, this is one of the most "successful". Perhaps because of the apparent destructiveness of the "virus" and the urgent tone of the warning, people are apt to forward the message without much forethought. Like many other hoaxes, it capitalizes on the recipient's desire to help other Internet users by warning them of a perceived threat.

Before forwarding a virus warning email, it is always a good idea to check that the information in the message is valid. Virus hoaxes are quite common, and like this one, they tend to circulate for years after they are first launched. In other cases, virus warnings that may have been originally true circulate long after the described virus has ceased to be a significant threat. Virus hoaxes and outdated warnings are no help to anybody. All they do is waste time, cause confusion and needlessly clutter inboxes. Such problems mean that forwarding warning emails may not be the best way to help battle viruses and other computer security threats.

If you receive this email hoax, please help to stop its continued circulation by letting the sender know that it is a hoax and should not be forwarded.

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