ELFBOWLING and other possible viruses

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Just wanted to start a new thread with that headline to hopefully alert those of you who are prone to jump on a link and start downloading stuff. BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!

I posted a response to the thread below this one concerning elfbowling. I received e-mails from several different places concerning elfbowling:

Did any of you guys see anything about this game carrying a virus that will be released on Dec. 25? I didn't, but was just told that it was there. If this is true . . . .

Here's the word by word statement, as it was forwarded to me: > > "I wanted to let you know the Free ELFBOWLING Computer game will release a > Virus into your computer on Dec. 25th. The Virus will be similar to the > "Lump of Coal Virus". > Also: Warning on December 25, 1999 you may receive an email called, Lump of > Coal--do not open it, it contains a deadly virus--it will erase your windows > along with many other program files. Pass this on as soon as you can to get > the WORD out!!! This is not a hoax--this was reported on the CBS morning > news August 20, 19999. Watch out for this one." Tammy, CA.

Personally, I am trying to be extremely careful about these kinds of things at this time.

I have no idea if this forwarded e-mail is true....just passin' along info.

Merry Christmas Ya'll

-- pizzaman (pizza@your.door), December 25, 1999


The Experts Prove It Is Just a Hoax! Norton Antivirus Releases a Hoax Report

Please click this link to read for yourself http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/y2kgame.hoax.html.

Newspaper Article Falsely Implies Elf Bowling Sends Information Over the Internet, Raises Privacy Concerns

Our NStorm games do NOT collect and send your information over the Internet. Click here for more info.

False Elf Bowling and Frogapult Virus Rumor

As you know, Frogapult and Elf Bowling are extremely popular games. Unfortunately, riding on the coattails of this success, someone has circulated a defamatory e-mail that these games contain viruses or Trojan horses. This has lead to many inquiries from our customers and fans.

This e-mail is slanderous and false. No games we release contain any virus or Trojan horse. NVision Design, the maker of NStorm games, is a successful, profitable web design company with a very good reputation in the industry. Our good name and reputation is associated with these games, and we have nothing to gain whatsoever in any malicious act, other than some possible jail time.

Virus Hoaxes are as prevalent as viruses themselves. Go straight to the experts to read some interesting information about these hoaxes:


Further, we have submitted the Elf Bowling and Frogapult games contained on our site to the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) for evaluation. Please see below for the confirmation we received. If you are still concerned that you might have picked up a virus from some unknown source, please download the games directly from this site.

Thank you for your interest in our NStorm games. We will continue to provide many more entertaining games in the months to come, and we are sorry for any inconvenience that this virus hoax may have caused you.

Sincerely, Michael Bielinski CEO / NVision Design, Inc.

This message is an automatically generated reply. This system is designed to analyze and process virus submissions into the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) and cannot accept correspondence or inquiries. Please contact your Technical Support representative if more detailed information about your submission is required. Do not reply to this message.

Below is a status update on your virus submission:

Date: Tue Dec 7 08:54:08 PST 1999 Dan Ferguson 1400 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 209 Dallas, TX 75207

Dear Dan Ferguson

We have analyzed your submission. The following is a report of our findings for each file you have submitted:

filename: E:\ElfBowl.exe machine: result: This file is clean

We have determined that no virus exists on the samples provided.

Developer notes: E:\ElfBowl.exe does not appear to be infected.

Should you have any questions about your submission, please contact technical support at the appropriate number listed below and give them the tracking number in the subject of this message.

Our NStorm games do NOT collect and send your information over the Internet.

Playing off the country's hysteria about the Elf Bowling virus hoax, an irresponsible and inaccurate news story was published suggesting that Elf Bowling, Frogpult, and other "innocent looking" NStorm Games "set up a secret Internet connection" to collect and send private information from your computer to our NStorm server. Unfortunately, this story was picked up by Knight Ridder news service, and has appeared in many reputable newspapers across the country. .

This has raised numerous privacy concerns which we would like to address here.

Absolutely no information is collected from your computer and transmitted over the Internet by Elf Bowling or other games. At the beginning of each game, Elf Bowling tests to see if the computer has a live Internet connection since registering scores online is one of the functions of the games. To determine if there is a live Internet connection, it sends an HTTP request command to nstorm.com, requesting nstorm.com to send it a blank HTML page. If it receives the blank HTML page, it sets a variable for Internet connectivity to TRUE.

In the future, we had hoped to develop technology to also include "live update" information in the HTML page sent to the game, such as the current top 5 scores, to enhance the users experience. At this time, with information sent FROM our server TO the game, we would not just disclose it, but advertise the feature and encourage people to play on-line.

We understand your concerns for privacy. Once again, we assure you that at no time does any NStorm game collect and send ANY information from your computer. We hope this clearly lets you know what is going on, and, with this information, hope you do not feel that we have violated your trust. In the future, we will include a privacy statement in our games that disclose this Internet activity.

If you have concerns, or would like to comment on this, we would appreciate an e-mail sent to studio@nvisiondesign.com.

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), December 25, 1999.

Its called rumor mongoring! This is what will happen on New Years Eve and in days to come. Check out your story before passing it along.

-- Rumor (control@com.com), December 25, 1999.

I don't have the time or the desire to check out all of the rumors, snippets of information, or even supposed 'facts' I encounter daily. I truly wish I did, as that would make me a very educated person. I do, however, scrutinise everything I can with the best of my capabilities if it is something that may impact me or someone I love or care for. I didn't post my response to the elf-bowling thread because I am an idiot. I did it because I saw something that sparked a memory of the warning I had received from several people who care about me. Considering the fact that I hadn't yet verified this rumor (because, until now, it didn't matter to me), I didn't post it as a fact at all. All I did was give a heads-up to those I care about on this forum. At the time I responded that thread was the top thread and there were no responses yet. Therefore, I figured a timely response was the best course of action.

Those of us who have ever lost data, software, or even entire systems to viruses, I think, are very sensitive to the reality of viruses.

How the hell do you use an elf for bowling, anyway? 8-)

-- pizzaman (pizza@your.door), December 25, 1999.

pizzaman, To answer your question, the elves are set up and used as pins. It was a very fun game, with lots of challenge. I'm sure sorry I responded to the rumor and deleted it before it was proven to be a hoax.


-- Jane Wolf (LWolf@dsicomputers.com), December 25, 1999.

Jane; Don't curve the blowing ball and hit the deer, it will kill it,and it just lays there almost on the lanes, poor thing ! Too bad about the elf that has it's head pulled off from the pinretractor,ouch !!!

-- Furie (furieart@dnet.net), December 25, 1999.

This threat is not as hoax as you may think! Whilst there is no virus attached to this download the latest version of elfbowling (Bocce Style) does contain Spyware called NHUpdater.exe. Which can compromise your security. Download a suitable spyware remover to check for it such as Adaware SE or Webroot Spysweeper.

-- Alan Brian Connely (ABC@123.com), December 25, 2004.

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