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Update: Hoax Circulating About Java File

A hoax circulating around the Internet tells users to delete a legitimate file that is a part of Microsoft's Java middleware.

Anti-virus vendor Sophos has received thousands of inquiries about the hoax in the last week.

The problem was severe enough that Microsoft put up a Knowledge Base article telling users how to repair systems after deleting the file. It can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q322993&.

The hoax e-mail tells users to scan for and delete JDBGMGR.EXE because it allegedly carries a virus that may trigger in 14 days. The file is the Microsoft Debugger Registrar for Java, which has a legitimate function on many systems.

According to Sophos, the confusion is compounded by the W32/Magistr-A virus which is capable of emailing infected copies of JDBGMGR.EXE to innocent users. Protection against W32/Magistr-A has been in the virus libraries of most anti-virus vendors for more than a year.

"If you receive an unsolicited executable file in your email, simply delete the email," said Chris Wraight, technology consultant at Sophos Americas. "This is a confusing hoax, but the message is simple, you should never launch or open unsolicited code on your computer."

Sophos provides more information about the hoax at http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/hoaxes/jdbgmgr.html.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.