Once again, the Christmas Tree App virus / Trojan hoax has risen from the grave to spread Christmas cheer fear by threatening to destroy the computer of anyone who wants to explore the wonders of virtual Christmas Tree ownership.
Originally starting out as a chain email in November 2010, the hoax is now thriving on Facebook via Wall posts and direct messages similar to this one:
WARNING!!!!!! ..... Do not use the Christmas tree app. on Facebook. Please be advised it will crash your computer. Geek squad ( like they really know how to fix your computer without replacing every part) says its one of the WORST trojan-viruses there is and it is spreading quickly... Re-post and let your friends know!!!!!!
By the way, Geek Squad posted a blog entry when this hoax first started circulating, labeling the threat as a hoax and shooting down claims that they had discovered any Trojans or viruses hiding in a Christmas Tree app. It’s kind of hard to label a non-existent Trojan or virus as the “worst” one there is.
Searching for “Christmas Tree App” on Google will pull up a laundry list of websites – including Snopes, MSNBC, Sophos, among others – all stating that the Christmas Tree App virus is nothing but a hoax.
Perhaps the original email was inspired by a worm called “Christmas Tree EXEC” that, when executed, would draw a Christmas tree using text characters and forward copies of itself to everyone in the victim’s email contacts list. There’s no need to panic, though, as the Christmas Tree EXEC worm had it’s fun way back in December of 1987 (yes, you read the year right) when it crippled BITNET, EARN & IBM’s internal network.
If you see a friend or family member posting a warning about the Christmas Tree App virus / Trojan, feel free to let them know it’s just a hoax.
Keep your PC safe from legitimate virus and Trojan threats by running up-to-date antivirus software that offers real-time scanning. And stay away from suspicious looking apps. ;)
Photo Credit: steve p2008
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