The SMARTGRRL15 virus hoax lives again

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Users are posting warnings to each other across social networks, email and instant messaging systems to avoid a user called “SMARTGRRL15”.

Unfortunately the alerts are not based on facts, and members of the public are unwittingly perpetuating a hoax in the belief that they are helping their friends, family and online chums avoid a nasty virus infection.

A typical message reads as follows:

DO NOT ADD HER!!! IF SOMEBODY CALLED SMARTGRRL15 ADDS YOU, DONT ACCEPT IT…IT IS A VIRUS. TELL EVERYBODY, BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON UR LIST ADDS THEM, U GET THE VIRUS TOO. COPY AND PASTE AND PLEASE REPOST

The reality is that this is a long-standing hoax, kept alive by well-intentioned individuals who think they’re doing others a favour by posting or forwarding the warning so other users can read it. It’s just the latest example of the many hoaxes we have seen spreading over the internet for some years.

And,…

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.