Fact Check

Archive/Windows Live Update Virus

Information about the Windows Live Update virus.

Published Sep 6, 2012


Virus:   Archive/Windows Live Update


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2012]

At your computer and my, circulates this notice to your friends and family
contacts! In the coming days be aware: do not open any message containing
an attached file called "Windows Live Update" regardless of who you send.
It is a virus that burns the whole hard drive. This virus comes from a
known person who has your address list. This is why you should send this
message to all your contacts. If you receive a message with the attachment
"Windows Live Update", even if sent by a friend, do not open it and
immediately turns off your computer. This is the worst virus announced by
CNN, and has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus
ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday. There is no
possibility of repair for this type of virus. He simply destroys Sector
Zero from the hard disk. Remember - you: if you send this information to
your contacts, you will protect us all. Passed on from a friend


Origins:   This September 2012 warning about messages bearing attachments entitled "Windows Live Update" or "Archive (Windows Live)" that harbor a computer virus which will "burn your whole hard drive" if activated is nothing but a recycling of an old hoax that has been circulating in various languages since at least as far back as the year 2000. The verbiage is lifted directly from similarly phony computer virus warnings distributed under names such as "Invitation," "Olympic Torch," "A Card for You," and "Black in the White House." The bottom line is that no such (incurable) computer virus exists, has been identified by McAfee, or was reported on by CNN.

Last updated:   6 September 2012

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.