Ann Arbor, MI - Computer anti-virus experts issued warnings for
the Internet community to be braced for a massive cleanup when a
recently discovered virus, Spinning_Shammy, releases its payload
at 12:01 am on March 18.
For the past several weeks Internet users have received e-mail messages
promising them a coupon for a Shamrock Shake at McDonald's if they
click on the link. Unfortunately, the link is a cleverly disguised
virus which infects the Shamrock Shake hopeful's computer.
"Social engineering, like the promise of a Shamrock Shake,
is very common in viruses and difficult to combat," said Hugh
Greene of the Anti-Virus Research Center (AVRC). "Just when
you've warned everyone not to click a link for pictures of J-Lo's
ass, the clever virus-writers come up with something else. Coupon
for Shamrock Shakes? Ingenious!"
Infected users are warned not to use their computers if they are
inebriated, hung over or until their computers have been disinfected.
Upon activation, the virus paints the screen in a sickly green and
yellow striped pattern. A shamrock then appears in the center of
the screen. A few moments later the shamrock and background begin
rotating in opposite directions at a rate calculated to induce vomiting.
Tee-totalers will feel mildly queasy, but should be able to avoid
"The guy who made this was sick, just sick," said Greene. "Destroying
files is one thing, but do you know how hard it is to get partially
digested pieces of buffalo wings and nachos out from under keys on
The day after St. Patrick's Day ranks highest for most keyboard
vomiting incidents every year, closely followed by National Experience
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