On Virus Hoaxes...SULFNBK.EXE

Look, the next mindless drone/Saint Forwarder that sends me one of these is gonna get an iron pot with a rabid wolverine in it strapped to their belly. Or perhaps staked out in a clearing, with bacon grease on their vital parts.

Don’t you useless sacks of skin do any critical thinking? Do you do any thinking at all?

Let me guess, you also believe everything in the Weekly World News and the National Enquirer. How’s the search for Elvis?

I know I’m supposed to be grateful you care enough about me and mine to send these to me, but I’m not. They are stupid, mindless, and inane.

Please, if you ever get one of these excrescent pustules, check here first: http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html. ESPECIALLY IF YOU FEEL COMPELLED TO INCLUDE ME!

More clues: Neither the FCC, FAA, CIA, FBI, nor the ATF do virus warnings. Neither does IBM or Microsoft. The virus cannot spread from the computer to you, or from you to the computer. It cannot eat your peripherals. It can, apparently, eat your brain.

Token nod to fighting ignorance over, back on topic.

I have been telling you to check that site since the “Join the Crew” bullshit. And you still can’t be bothered. Let me be a little more clear.

YOU ARE THE VIRUS IN THESE CASES, AND IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A PATHETIC DWEEB!! Not even high enough on the jerk hierarchy to make it to asshole. You have just demonstrated what a weenie you are to everybody you know. I hope you’re proud of it, because you sure as hell don’t have anything else to be proud of, including a life.


Hey, maybe I’ll just stake 'em out in a spruce bog in blackfly season…muahhahahaha…flay them slowly with a dull ulu…bwaahaahaaahaaa…rub them with raw salmon and toss them to the sled dogs…sew them up tight in fresh rawhide and leave 'em in the sun…

Aaaah. That’s better.


As part of my job, I work with a rep from the US Postal Service. A couple of months back, she sent an e-mail to me (along with around 50 other folks, including her district manager) saying that Microsoft was tracking the e-mail to determine a new program’s effectiveness. If we forwarded the e-mail (sayeth she) to X number of people, we’d get a check from Bill Gates and a week’s vacation at DisneyWorld.

Well. I took enormous pleasure in hitting the trusty “Reply to All” button and telling her (and 50 other folks) that this was a UL. I even included the appropriate snopes.com link.

I got a thank-you e-mail from her district supervisor, and an unsolicited promise that his employees wouldn’t be sending any more glurge out via e-mail.

You might want to clarify that SULFNBK.EXE is, in fact, a legitimate Windows file- It helps manage large file names.

The real problem with this hoax, from what I’ve read, is that people are getting the e-mail, believing it, and searching their systems for that file. When they find it, they assume it’s the virus exe, and then delete it.

That’s not a good move.

I did tell my business users and the people that I actually care about. I have two versions of a standard reply - one polite and one aaah, less so.

The rest of 'em finally get what they deserve, for being mindless idiotic dweebs. And I ain’t gonna help them fix it either. There’s no cure for stupidity…

I’m a sysadmin. I get jillions of these. Everybody in the company sends them to me. I have been telling my cow-orkers about that site for five freakin’ (hey, this is the Pit) FUCKIN’ years. AND THEY WOULD STILL RATHER ASK ME THAN TAKE FIVE SECONDS TO GO CHECK!!! AND THEN THEY PASS MY NAME/EMAIL TO THEIR EVEN MORE STUPID FRIENDS!!!

On the other hand…I’m glad I didn’t have to try to repair 300 machines as 300 cow-orkers mindlessly followed the latest e-mail revelation.

D’ya want a copy of the “It Must Be True” e-mail? It’s a pretty good parody of all the UL/virus hoax type e-mails. I’ve gotten to the point of attaching it to the bottom of my replies to the more pathetic.

:wanders off, singing Weird Al’s “Midnight Star”:

I share your pain.

A technician (who didn’t stay long) in our School’s computer department sent all staff an e-mail saying that you shouldn’t open e-mails with certain titles, since they would give you a virus!

Did he ever think that if this were possible, virus senders would simply change the titles? :wally

Recently an otherwise intelligent colleague sent all staff an e-mail with the usual cr*p (Bill Gates … Microsoft … unstoppable virus … tell everyone now … deletes your hard drive … don’t open unknown attachments).
He rather set himself up for a :wally award by saying ‘I enclose full details in this … attachment!’.

Try responding to all emails as such in bright yellow colors:)

I was “alerted” to this virus the other day. Luckily, my users don’t forward this shit anymore because our company policy (written by me) states that no employee except the Systems Administrator is allowed to send out virus alerts. Their instructions are to forward any suspicious e-mails to me immediately. I took great joy the other day in sending a very nasty letter to a forwarder (from outside the company) informing her that non work related e-mails were prohibited and further correspondence from her was being blocked. I’ve already cleaned several viruses off of our company computers and I’m not doing it ever again.

The sulfnbk.exe hoax is pretty insideous. It’s hard to convince someone that it is indeed a hoax, as that particular file can become corrupted from any .exe flavor virus. In any case, randomly deleting files is a very stupid move, even when infected by a virus. It’s amazing how fast people freak out and want their machines cleaned, even when it isn’t affecting their work or spreading.

Ah, well. Virus hoaxes are a pain right in the ass, but not as bad as when some asshole opens an attachment that they have been specifically instructed not to. Duh!


Ooooh, with blink tags! Yet another reason to promote upgrading our mail client…

Our version of that idiot used one of the offending titles as the subject of his…

And that’s why I’ll trust a resume over certification. But that’s a whole 'nother rant, and I don’t want to confuse the issue.

Technician, my ass. Wretched wannabe technoweenie, more like.

I (and a number of others) got this “warning” from a friend the other day. I sent him (and all who received the e-mail) back the McAfee response that somebody else had sent to me about it being a hoax and how you should NOT delete the file – or if you have, how to get it back.

He replied back to me that it was “too late” – that he and his parents and in-laws had already deleted that file and had not had any problems. I responded that he should do what the note I’d sent said and reinstall. I was tempted to just let him find out on his own what problems would happen, but decided to point out once more that the directions for reinstalling were there. I haven’t heard back from him (maybe his computer crashed and he can’t access his e-mail, for all I know).

But I have to say, I was amazed that he would respond and say what he said. He spread glurge and I replied to point out it was right. He doesn’t apologize, but instead says he hasn’t had a problem. Geez, some people.

This virus showed up at work, but thanks to the heaps of scorn I’ve piled outside the cubicle of everyone who’s ever set off a virus or forwarded a warning to the whole company (instead of to me for verification), the recipient checked with me first. It took three tries to explain to her that there was no virus, that the email was an attempt to trick people into deleting a useful file. The recipient starting calling back up the chain of recipients. Everyone she reached had deleted the file.

Friend of mine managed to get an actual virus attached to an unrelated virus hoax. That brightened my day.

I wonder when Chas.E is going to come in here and spout about how great Macs are and that they don’t get viruses…

Anyways, whenever my friends recieve e-mails like this, they always consult me. Recently, I signed on, and had 31 new e-mails in less than an hour. At first I thought I had been spammed majorly, but when I opened my inbox, it was all people asking for my advice.

My advice was to ignore this virus “warning”, because it was a hoax. All my friends listened to me. I guess I have smart friends.

So, one of my coworkers got this e-mail and he actually went ahead and deleted the “sulfnbk.exe” file on his computer BEFORE he found out it was a hoax! He actually admitted it to me this morning… but he says his comp seems to still work fine!

Any possible side-effects from this that I can pass on to him?

(and it really WAS a coworker! Not me!)


I got this one from my stepmother, who works in the Icelandic Embassy in Beijing. She got the e-mail from the head of all techincal matter for the entire foreign service, and argued against my objections that this could thus not be a hoax.

I was not convinced, but she showed me an e-mail stating that he had actually delayed a vacation to stay behind and make sure every man woman anc child he knew got a warning about this terrible file. This man has a god damned university degree in the field of computers! He is making a living of being the head of computer matters for an entire foreign service, a complex network criss crossing the globe! I figured, if he’s wrong about this one (and I was pretty sure he was) it’s his ass more than mine.

I searched for the file on my dad’s computer, nothing. I searched for it on my computer and there it was. I refused to delete it, but was told I could no longer stay in e-mail contact with certain people if I didn’t. They didn’t want to “risk infection” in some strange e-mail related way. :rolleyes:

So I deleted the damned thing, knowing I shouldn’t. Could someone please give me the instructions to fixing this thing, I’m too depressed to spend any more of my time working on this problem by searching the web.

— G. Raven

For future reference, Symantec.com has fixes for both real viruses and hoaxes like this one. From that website:

How to restore the Sulfnbk.exe file
If you have deleted this file, restoration is optional. Sulfnbk.exe is a Microsoft Windows utility that is used to restore long file names. It is not needed for normal system operation. If you want to restore it, there is more than one way to do this. See the information that follows.

NOTE: The instructions in this document are provided for your convenience. The extraction of Windows files uses Microsoft programs and commands. Symantec does not provide warranty support for or assistance with Microsoft products. If you have any questions, please see you Windows documentation or contact Microsoft.

Windows Me
If you are using Windows Me, you can restore the file using the System Configuration Utility.

  1. Click Start and then click Run.
  2. Type msconfig and then press Enter.
  3. Click Extract Files. The “Extract one file from installation disk” dialog box appears.
  4. In the “Specify the system file you would like to restore” box, type the following, and then click Start:


NOTE: If you installed Windows to a different location, make the appropriate substitution.

The Extract File dialog box appears.

  1. Next to the “Restore from” box, click Browse, and browse to the location of the Windows installation files. If they were copied to the hard drive, this is, by default, C:\Windows\Options\Install. You can also insert the Windows installation CD in the CD-ROM drive and browse to that location.
  2. Click OK and follow the prompts.
    Windows 98
    If you are using Windows Me, you can restore the file using the System File Checker.
  3. Click Start and then click Run.
  4. Type sfc and then press Enter.
  5. Click “Extract one file from installation disk.”
  6. In the “Specify the system file you would like to restore” box, type the following, and then click Start:


NOTE: If you installed Windows to a different location, make the appropriate substitution.

The Extract File dialog box appears.

  1. Next to the “Restore from” box click Browse, and browse to the location of the Windows installation files. If they were copied to the hard drive, this is, by default, C:\Windows\Options\Cabs. You can also insert the Windows installation CD in the CD-ROM drive and browse to that location.
  2. Click OK and follow the prompts.
    Windows 95 (or alternative method for Windows 98/Me)
    If you are using Windows 95, you need to use the extract command. This can also be used on Windows 98/Me.
  3. Click Start, point to Find or Search, and then click Files or Folders.
  4. Make sure that “Look in” is set to (C:) and that Include subfolders is checked.
  5. In the “Named” or “Search for…” box, type:


  1. Click Find Now or Search Now. If it does not exist on the hard drive, then insert the Windows installation CD and repeat the search on that drive.
  2. When you find the file, write down the location of Precopy1, for example, C:\Windows\Options\Cabs. This is your Source Path.
  3. The general form of the Extract command is:

extract <Source Path>\precopy1.cab sulfnbk.exe /L c:\windows\command

So if the source path is C:\Windows\Options\Cabs, then the Extract command becomes:

extract c:\windows\options\cabs\precopy1.cab sulfnbk.exe /L c:\windows\command

NOTE: If you installed Windows to a different location, make the appropriate substitution.

  1. Click Start and then click Run.
  2. Type the following, making the appropriate substitutions as previously noted

extract <Source Path>\precopy1.cab sulfnbk.exe /L c:\windows\command

  1. Click OK.
    For more information on how to use the Microsoft Extract command, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base document, How to Extract Original Compressed Windows Files, Article ID: Q129605

Just to give you an idea of how bizarre this thing is getting-

I just got a legitimate note this morning informing people be on the lookout for a virus/Trojan residing in the replacement SULFNBK.EXE file.

Get this- it seems that in the scramble to replace the file they mistakenly deleted when the hoax came out, the SULF file, people have been replacing that file with a “Free Replacement” version that has a legitimate virus/Trojan inbedded in it.

So, not only have they been burned once, by deleting a perfectly good file they didn’t need to erase, their getting burned again by replacing it with a virus infected SULFNBK.EXE file that’s currently making the rounds.

This has gone from kind of annoying to actually being kinda funny.

The whole issue would be moot if people would just STOP FORWARDING CRAP to each other, and most importantly, STOP believing virus warnings without checking Symantec.com or some other virus resource. Your best friend is NOT a reliable information source. My own users have been warned not to trust an attachment, even from me. They routinely forward me “suspicious” e-mails and have now learned not to believe virus crap that ends up in their mailboxes.

This stuff pisses me off because if people took 5 seconds to research the issue instead of deleting files that someone said to (in an e-mail forward, no less), this problem wouldn’t even occur. The reason viruses are successful is because people are too easily tempted by “WARNINGS!” and sexy sounding e-mail attachments, like the “naked wife” file.

Smarten up, already!! There are bad, bad people out there.


Cnote, that’s friggin hilarious if what you say is true [sub](and without a cite, there is no compelling reason to believe this story)[/sub]. You see, now people are going to copy an infected program and refuse to ever delete it again because of all that “you fooled me once…” thing.

What I find weird is that otherwise intelligent people seem to lose any ability to use their brain as soon as they see the word “virus.” The sensible thing would’ve been to copy the suspicious file onto a floppy diskette first, just in case you need to recover it. But no, people go “gah! virus! delete first, ask questions later!”

I don’t know about these other guys, but Tisibone took the words right out of my mouth. Some time ago I got my hands on the following “Anti-Chain Letter”, it has proven very effective at getting the point across to some of these clueles morons:
Hello, my name is Basmati Kasaar. I am suffering from rare and deadly
diseases, poor scores on final exams, extreme virginity, fear of being
kidnapped and executed by anal electrocution, and guilt for not
forwarding out 50 billion fucking chain letters sent to me by people
who actually believe that if you send on, then that poor 6 year old girl in
Arkansas with a breast on her forehead will be able to raise enough money to have
it removed before her redneck parents sell her off to the travelling
freak show.
Do you honestly believe that Bill Gates is going to give you and
everyone you send “his” email to$1000? How stupid are you? Ooooh,
lookyhere! If I scroll down this page and make a wish, I’ll get laid by
every Playboy model in the magazine! What a bunch of bullshit.

So basically, this message is a big FUCK YOU to all the people out
there who have nothing better to do than to send me stupid chain mail

Maybe the evil chain letter leprechauns will come into my apartment and
sodomize me in my sleep for not continuing the chain which was started
by Jesus in 5 A.D. and was brought to this country by midget pilgrims
on the Mayflower and if it makes it to the year 2000, it’ll be in the
Guinness Book of World Records for longest continuous streak of blatant

Fuck them.

If you’re going to forward something, at least send me something mildly
amusing. I’ve seen all the “send this to 50 of your closest friends,
and this poor, wretched excuse for a human being will somehow receive a
nickel from some omniscient being” forwards about 90 times. I don’t
fucking care.

Show a little intelligence and think about what you’re actually
contributing to by sending out forwards. Chances are it’s your own


Chain Letter Type 1:

(scroll down)

Make a wish!!!

No, really, go on and make one!!!

Oh please, they’ll never go out with you!!! Wish something else!!!

Not that, you pervert!!

Is your finger getting tired yet?


Wasn’t that fun? :slight_smile:
Hope you made a great wish :slight_smile:

Now, to make you feel guilty, here’s what I’ll do. First of all, if you
don’t send this to 5096 people in the next 5 seconds, you will be raped
by a mad goat and thrown off a high building into a pile of manure. It’s

Because, THIS letter isn’t like all of those fake ones, THIS one is
Here’s how it goes:
*Send this to 1 person: One person will be pissed off at you for
sending them a stupid chain letter.
*Send this to 2-5 people: 2-5 people will be pissed off at you for
sending them a stupid chain letter.

*Send this to 5-10 people: 5-10 people will be pissed off at you for
sending them a stupid chain letter, and may form a plot on your life.

*Send this to 10-20 people: 10-20 people will be pissed off at you for
sending them a stupid chain letter and will firebomb your house.

Thanks!!! Good Luck!!!

Chain Letter Type 2

Hello, and thank you for reading this letter. You see, there is a
starving little boy in Baklaliviatatlaglooshen who has no arms, no legs,
no parents, and no goats. This little boy’s life could be saved, because
for every time you pass this on, a dollar will be donated to the Little
Starving Legless Armless Goatless Boy from Baklaliviatatlaglooshen Fund. Oh, and
remember, we have absolutley no way of counting the emails sent and this
is all a complete load of bullshit. So go on, reach out.

Send this to 5 people in the next 47 seconds.
Oh, and a reminder - if you accidentally send this to 4 or 6 people, you will die instantly.
Thanks again!!

Chain Letter Type 3
Hi there!! This chain letter has been in existence since 1897. This is
absolutely incredible because there was no email then and probably not
as many sad pricks with nothing better to do. So this is how it works:
pass this on to 15,067 people in the next 7 minutes or something
horrible will happen to you like:

*Bizarre Horror Story #1

Miranda Pinsley was walking home from school on Saturday. She had
recently recieved this letter and ignored it. She then tripped in a crack
in the sidewalk, fell into the sewer, was gushed down a drainpipe in a flood
of poopie, and went flying out over a waterfall. Not only did she smell
nasty, she died.

This Could Happen To You!!!
*Bizarre Horror Story #2

Dexter Bip, a 13 year old boy, got a chain letter in his mail and
ignored it. Later that day, he was hit by a car and so was his
boyfriend (hey, some people swing that way). They both died and went to hell
and were cursed to eat adorable kittens every day for eternity.

This Could Happen To You Too!!!

Remember, you could end up just like Pinsley and Bip. Just send this
letter to all of your loser friends, and everything will be okay.
Chain Letter Type 4:

As if you care, here is a poem that I wrote. Send it to every one of
your friends.


A friend is someone who is always at your side,

A friend is someone who likes you even though you stink of shit, and
your breath smells like you’ve been eating catfood

A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat
full of assholes,

A friend is someone who cleans up for you after you’ve soiled yourself,

A friend is someone who stays with you all night while you cry about
your sad, sad life,

A friend is someone who pretends they like you when they really think
you should be raped by mad chimpanzees, then thrown to vicious dogs,

A friend is someone who scrubs your toilet, vacuums and then gets the
check and leaves and doesn’t speak much English… no, sorry that’s the
cleaning lady,

A friend is not someone who sends you chain letters because he wants
his wish of being rich to come true.

Now pass this on! If you don’t, you’ll never have sex ever again.

The point being?
If you get some chain letter that’s threatening to leave you shagless
or luckless for the rest of your life, delete it. If it’s funny, send it

Don’t piss people off by making them feel guilt about a leper in
Botswana with no teeth, who’s been tied to a dead elephant for 27
years, whose only saviour is the 5 cents per letter he’ll receive if you forward
this mail,otherwise you’ll end up like Miranda. Right?
Now forward this to everyone you know otherwise you’ll have to look at
me naked!


Oh, how cute. It did have a lifespan of longer than three hours. I’m so proud.

Tisiphone, if you please. This is your only warning. As the Erinye tagged as the “Avenging One”, I will get you for it…eventually…might even beat you to death with an ellipsis…for true mortification…

Here’s my version of the It Must Be True, suitable for attachment to business e-mails:

It Must Be True!!!

I was on my way to the post office to pick up my case of free M&M’s, (sent to me because I forwarded their e-mail to five other people celebrating the fact that the year 2000 is “MM” in Roman numerals), when I ran into a friend whose neighbour, a young man, was at home recovering from having been served a rat in his bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken - which is predictable, since as everyone knows, there’s no actual chicken in Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is why the government made them change their name to KFC.

Anyway, one day this guy went to sleep and when he awoke he was in his bathtub and it was full of ice and he was sore allover and when he got out of the tub he realized that HIS KIDNEYS HAD BEEN STOLEN. He saw a note on his mirror that said “Call 911!” but he was afraid to use his phone because it was connected to his computer, and there was a virus on his computer that would destroy his hard drive if he opened email entitled “Join the crew!” He knew it wasn’t a hoax because he himself was a computer programmer who was working on software to prevent a global disaster in which all the computers get together and distribute the $250.00 Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe under the leadership of Bill Gates. (It’s true - I read it all last week in a mass e-mail from BILL GATES HIMSELF, who was also promising me a free Disney World vacation and $5,000 if I would forward the e-mail to everyone I know).

The poor man then tried to call 911 from a pay phone to report his missing kidneys, but a voice on the line first asked him to press #90, which unwittingly gave the bandit full access to the phone line at the guy’s expense. Then reaching into the coin-return slot he got jabbed with an HIV-infected needle around which was wrapped a note that said “Welcome to the World of Aids”. Luckily, he was only a few blocks from the hospital - the one where the little boy who is dying of cancer is , the one whose last wish is for everyone in the world to send him an e-mail and the American Cancer Society has agreed to pay him a nickel for every e-mail he received. I sent him two e-mails and one of them was a bunch of x’s and o’s in the shape of an angel.(If you get it and forward it to more than ten people, you will have good luck, but for 10 people you only get OK luck, and if you send it to fewer than 10 people you will have BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN YEARS!)

So anyway, the poor guy tried to drive himself to the hospital, but on the way he noticed another car driving without its lights on. To be helpful, he flashed his lights at him and was promptly shot as part of a gang initiation.

Send this to all your friends who send you their junk mail and you will receive 4 green M&Ms, but if you don’t the owner of Proctor and Gamble will report you to his Satanist friends and you will have more bad luck: you will get cancer from the Sodium Laureth Sulfate in your shampoo, your wife will develop breast cancer from using the antiperspirant which clogs the pores under your arms, and the government will put a tax on your e-mails.

I know this is ALL true 'cause I read it on the Internet.