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08 Dec 1999

Sophos campaigns to save Christmas elves from cruelty

Elf Bowling game is not infected with a computer virus

The game which stars Santa Claus trying to knock down a pack of elves with a bowling ball, is causing panic amongst companies terrified of computer viruses.

Elf Bowling game

Sophos, one of the world's leading anti-virus companies, has been deluged with requests for information on a "new computer virus" called ELFBOWL.EXE. Companies have received email warnings and are naturally concerned that the computer game is genuinely infected with a virus, designed to trigger on December 25th.

All copies of the game, ELFBOWL.EXE, examined so far by Sophos Anti-Virus researchers have been found to be uninfected.

"The warning message seems to be spreading rapidly between companies," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus, "However, all the versions we have seen to date have been completely harmless and uninfected. Games like this spread rapidly at Christmas time between workers - although this game presents no current danger, companies should explain to their workers the danger of distributing executable files."

Sophos points out that although all samples of ELFBOWL.EXE they have examined to date have proven to be virus-free, it is possible for someone to deliberately infect the program at a later date.

Sophos has posted more information about the Elf Bowling hoax here.

See also:

* Don't fall for a virus hoax 
* Sophos describes hoaxes and scares 

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at