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Updated July 30, 2000: I'm afraid that thanks to Microsoft, GoodTimes is now a real possibility--if you use Microsoft's operating system, web browser, and email program, an emailed virus can infect your system without you even reading the email message, much less opening an attachment.

"Microsoft and other software sellers and security organizations have long warned people that they should protect themselves against email viruses by not opening attachments they are not expecting.

But under a potential exploit Microsoft described today, email recipients wouldn't even have to open booby-trapped attachments or the email message. Simply receiving the message from the email server would be enough to trigger the damage.

A component distributed with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser and common to both the Outlook email software and Outlook Express productivity software suite is vulnerable to a buffer overflow exploit."

I sent this e-mail (originally written February 1, 1998) to anyone who sent me that awful Good Times warning, in the interest of public education, and because I try to refrain from violence when a more pacific solution may be achieved. (Yes, I am using "pacific" correctly.)

This notice was copied from the CIAC, the agency in the US Federal Government which tracks and certifies computer security, including viruses and virus hoaxes.

Their web site is at:

and you can see more info on fake virus warnings spreading around the net at:

and more on chain e-mails at:

-Dan Becker

The "Good Times" virus warnings are a hoax. There is no virus by that name in existence today. These warnings have been circulating the Internet for years. The user community must become aware that it is unlikely that a virus can be constructed to behave in the manner ascribed in the "Good Times" virus warning.

Good Times Spoof

The following spoof of the good times hoax is too well done not to include here. The author of this spoof is unknown, but we will gladly give him credit if he will only contact us.


Goodtimes will re-write your hard drive. Not only that, but it will scramble any disks that are even close to your computer. It will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice cream goes melty. It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, screw up the tracking on your television and use subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you try to play.

It will give your ex-girlfriend your new phone number. It will mix Kool-aid into your fishtank. It will drink all your beer and leave its socks out on the coffee table when there's company coming over. It will put a dead kitten in the back pocket of your good suit pants and hide your car keys when you are late for work.

Goodtimes will make you fall in love with a penguin. It will give you nightmares about circus midgets. It will pour sugar in your gas tank and shave off both your eyebrows while dating your girlfriend behind your back and billing the dinner and hotel room to your Discover card.

It will seduce your grandmother. It does not matter if she is dead, such is the power of Goodtimes, it reaches out beyond the grave to sully those things we hold most dear.

It moves your car randomly around parking lots so you can't find it. It will kick your dog. It will leave libidinous messages on your boss's voice mail in your voice! It is insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve.

Goodtimes will give you Dutch Elm disease. It will leave the toilet seat up. It will make a batch of Methanphedime in your bathtub and then leave bacon cooking on the stove while it goes out to chase gradeschoolers with your new snowblower.

Listen to me. Goodtimes does not exist.

It cannot do anything to you. But I can. I am sending this message to everyone in the world. Tell your friends, tell your family. If anyone else sends me another E-mail about this fake Goodtimes Virus, I will turn hating them into a religion. I will do things to them that would make a horsehead in your bed look like Easter Sunday brunch.

So there, take that Good Times.

That's it. What do you think? Let me know; send me email at! - online since April 1999
This page posted May 13, 2000

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