Can Gordon Brown’s smile infect your computer with a virus?

Graham Cluley

Emails which claim that pictures of Gordon Brown smiling can infect your PC with a virus have been widely distributed via email.

Members of the public are unwittingly forwarding the hoax warning, believing it to be true, warning that the dangerous emails refer to “Gordon Brown smiling or even ‘looking happy'”, and that all computer users should be on their guard.

The warning, however, is bogus. It’s just the latest in a series of email virus hoaxes that we have seen over the last 20 years or so – taking advantage of users’ desire to help their friends, family and colleagues by passing on a warning without properly checking their facts.

A typical version of the email hoax reads as follows:

Emails with pictures of Gordon Brown actually smiling are being sent and the moment that you open these emails your computer will crash and you will not be able to fix it!

If you get an email along the lines of Gordon Brown smiling or Gordon Brown even “looking…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.