It is a hoax--a variation on the old "Good Times" theme (see
<http://www.urbanlegends.com/>), but the concern is not completely
unjustified. It /is/ possible to transmit viruses by email through
some programs--in particular Windows-based programs. Messages that
contain MS-Word attachments, for example, can contain Word Macro
viruses, and embedded OLE objects cause the activation of locally-
resident code that may have security holes. These "features" can
usually be turned off, or else one can use a safe email program that
knows better than to allow active content.
And while we're at it, can we please stop spreading the "virii"
memetic virus? It's not even a correct pun: that would be the Latin
plural of the word "virius", if there were one.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC