TECH

The 'System32' False Virus Hoax Is Back

10/07/2014 10:44 BST | Updated 10/07/2014 10:59 BST

There is a long-standing internet hoax about a supposed 'virus' found on Windows machines. If you follow the advice, you could kill your computer.

Now it's back.

Reports online suggest that the long-established 'false flag' virus report is back from the dead. And it's important you take note.

It goes something like this: Members of various mischievous internet boards spread messages that a folder and files named "System32" can be found on Windows machines which slow down your computer, and are actually a complex form of virus. Non-experts see these messages and do exactly as the messages suggest -- delete all the files.

The files are actually a core part of your system, and if you insist through various warnings that you want to delete them, your system crashes and has to be rebuilt, putting all your data at risk.

IE:

Google Trends indicates that there has been an uptick in reports over the last few days:

That said, it's not clear if anyone has been affected this time around, but if you see the message just ignore it. Your computer probably is full of viruses, but System 32 ain't one.