Miss Freya and the Taliban Virus

Today, in the “more proof that there’s nothing new under the sun” category, we’re going to discuss the Taliban Virus.

The so-called “Taliban Virus” is a MANUAL virus. A manual virus requires you to voluntarily damage your computer because the virus is not sophisticated enough to do it by itself.

Yes, this is a joke.

It’s actually an old joke. The “honor system virus” as Wikipedia explains has been around for a while. Over the years, the idea of the low tech virus has been attributed to the Amish, the Irish, blondes and Mac users just to name a few. So, as jokes go, this is nothing new.

(We think it would be funnier if they included a tech support contact so that recipients who can’t figure out how to wreck their computers could call in for help. Maybe they could post an instructable or something . . . )

Anyway, here’s an example of what we’ve been seeing:

Subject: Dear Internet User

From: “Miss Freya” <wed.90867@gmail.com>

Hi,

You have just received a Taliban virus. Since we are not so technologicaly advanced in Afghanistan, this is a MANUAL virus. Please delete all the files on your hard disk yourself and send this mail to everyone you know.

Thank you very much for helping us.

Thanks & Regards

Miss Freya

There are several variations of the message above. All of them are from “Miss Freya” but there are a few different subjects:

Dear Internet User

DEAR RECEIVER

Dear User

Internet User

There are also a number of different “From:” addresses:

wed.90867@gmail.com

asdasdsafs@gmail.com

dsfsdg.sdgsd@gmail.com

dse.erty123@gmail.com

jnn.davies1@gmail.com

saketfull@gmail.com

sade.jkiuy@gmail.com

ericbrml917@gmail.com

marisa.smith390@gmail.com

artzgale@gmail.com

karyn.okon@gmail.com

asdsaf.34463534@gmail.com

Some of the addresses look like somebody typing test addresses randomly (e.g. asdasdsafs@gmail.com) while some of them look like they actually belong to somebody (e.g. marisa.smith390@gmail.com). But all of them are Gmail addresses.

If you received this “virus” you might be tempted to reply and ask who was so thoughtful as to send you this really funny joke from an address you don’t recognize.

This would be a bad idea. Here’s why:

From our point of view, having seen lots of these pass through our spam filtering service, it looks like someone is using this joke as a test payload for spam messages. They’re either testing Gmail’s tolerance for spam or using it to clean their email address lists by purging addresses that don’t answer, or more likely, marking the ones that do answer as a “live one”.

The “virus” itself is harmless and even kind of funny but the email containing it is highly suspicious and should be treated as spam.

What’s really funny about this is that it appears that the sender is actually quite sophisticated and might even be a botnet. We love the idea of using a botnet to send a manual virus.

What will they think of next?

BTW, if you see any other variations feel free to let us know in the comments.

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OnlyMyEmail is an award winning hosted spam filtering service and business email hosting provider. Our enterprise cloud computing anti-spam solution, the MX-Defender, has the highest capture rate of any spam filter ever tested in the VBSpam Challenge, blocking a record setting 99.9993% of all malicious and junk email.

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7 Responses to “Miss Freya and the Taliban Virus”

  1. Deva says:

    I received an email from Miss Freya reminding me of 1 PM meeting next week. I just deleted completely.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I also got an email from Miss Freya regarding a meeting next week, she didn’t say what time though. I deleted it entirely before I found this site, otherwise would have updated with the email address it came from. I dont think it’s any in this list.

  3. Heather says:

    I just received one just a minute ago that said this:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to remind you about the meeting we have scheduled next week. Do let me know if you have any questions!

    Best wishes,

    Miss Freya

    The email address is : llnglbrt@gmail.com

  4. Curtis Jackson says:

    I just got the same one Heather got. The return address was dave.logeman452 at the usual Googly source. I don’t want to type the address directly; if it was stolen from a real person I’d just be compounding their troubles by allowing more spambots to scrape it from here.

  5. Richard says:

    These are now coming from a ‘Miss Aileen’, lsezikey At google mail.

    DEAR RECEIVER,

    You have just received a Taliban virus. Since we are not so technologicaly advanced in Afghanistan, this is a MANUAL virus. Please delete all the files on your hard disk yourself and send this mail to everyone you know.

    Thank you very much for helping us.

    Thanks & Regards

    Miss Aileen

  6. OnlyMyEmail Anti-Spam Team says:

    Richard,

    Thanks for the update. Apparently Miss Freya is scheduling meetings these days. Miss Aileen must be her replacement:)

  7. Chris says:

    I just received an email from Mr. Roger reminding me of a meeting next week. It is from saketfull@gmail.com