John Bryant
Arizona Computer Consultant
(602) 861-1738


The JDBGMGR.EXE Virus Scare -
How a Hoax Becomes a Virus.


Also known as the Teddy Bear virus, jdbgmgr.exe is actually not a software viral infection at all. In fact, this new threat to your computer has no attachment, no download and no fancy hacker code. So, how does it cause it's damage and dismay? It does it the old fashioned way … as a con.

This menace comes to you as an email - often from a friend - which warns you about a harmful file that you might have on your computer. The file is recognizable because it's icon is a teddy bear. The rest of the email has crisp, clear instructions on how to remove this file from your computer.

Unfortunately, this email is a hoax. Those who follow it's instructions wind up deleting the Microsoft Java Debugger from their system - a file which is needed by both Windows and Internet Explorer. Additionally, those caught up in this devious con game often forward the email to their friends and associates, who are further convinced because the information came from a known and reliable source!

Pranks such as this are more than annoying - they can cause people to damage their own operating system or even delete important information. So - is it the Teddy Bear Hoax or the Teddy Bear Virus?

Avoid Shooting Yourself in the Foot
The new term for these malicious emails is "West Virginia Viruses", named after the folk tales of West Virginia squirrel hunters who - in their enthusiasm - were prone to shooting themselves in the foot. West Virginia viruses are the newest con game on the web. Your best protection is an up-to-date antivirus program. If there is a real problem, they'll know about it before you do. Second, check your sources. Ask whomever sent you the email to verify that a file is actually harmful before deleting it.

How to Restore jdbgmgr.exe File
For users of Windows 95, 98, XP and NT you will need to reinstall the Microsoft Virtual Machine. Microsoft is aware of the file jdbgmgr.exe problem and has detailed instructions on how to download and restore jdbgmgr.exe to your computer.

There is good news for Windows 2000 and Me users - Windows will reinstall your "Teddy Bear" file automatically as part of the Windows file protection feature.

As a final note, this ruse and others like it are widespread on the web presently. Please take the time now to inform your friends and associates about the jdbgmgr.exe hoax - and ask them to send the information to their associates. Knowledge is our best defense against such cons, so please help spread the cure.


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