Jdbgmgr.exe Virus Chain-Letter Hoax

Dennis Faas's picture

I was planning to continue my ongoing discussion on Disk Imaging in this issue of the Gazette, but my mail box has been inundated with emails from folks who have fallen prey to a chain-letter virus hoax.

C'est la vie.

I've decided to take this opportunity to let you know about this hoax before you go deleting the wrong file from your system.

Virus Hoax: jdbgmgr.exe.

On the weekend I received multiple email chain-letters from users who have my email address on their Contact List / Address Book, and decided to pass on the message.

The start of the message varies, but it all boils down to the same story line: that you must search for and delete a file called jdbgmgr.exe if it is found on your system. But, do yourself a favor and don't delete it.

The message looks something like this:

" The virus (called jdbgmgr.exe) is not detected by Norton or McAfee anti-virus systems. The virus sits quietly for 14 days before damaging the system. It is sent automatically by messenger and by the address book, whether or not you sent Emails to your contacts. Here's how to check for the virus and how to get rid of it:

You must (*not*) do this

... instructions follow

If you find the virus, you must (not) contact all the people in your address book, so they can eradicate it in their own address books. ... etc. "

What is jdbgmgr.exe?

From what I understand, jdbgmgr.exe is a non-essential Windows component -- so don't freak out if you deleted the file. In fact, you can visit the Microsoft Knowledge Base to find out how you can reinstall jdbgmgr.exe if you accidentally deleted it.

Before I tell you that jdbgmgr.exe isn't a virus, let me first state that any executable file* -- including jdbgmgr.exe -- has the potential to become infected with a virus.

* Side Note: An executable file usually has a file extension ending in either .EXE or .COM. An executable file is a "self launching" file and does not require additional 3rd party applications to initiate its task (not including the Operating System).

Anyway --

The real-deal jdbgmgr.exe is actually something known as, "The Microsoft Debugger Registrar for Java", and is used by Microsoft Visual J++ 1.1 developers / programmers.

The Symantec web site states that the jdbgmgr.exe file could have been installed on your system when you installed Windows. Symantec's web site doesn't state why, but I presume it would have something to do with a Java debugging component present in Internet Explorer? Just a hunch.

This isn't the first chain-letter I've received telling me to delete a file from my computer system. I always tell people not to fall for stuff like this -- no matter how convincing it is -- but the truth is that some of us don't know any better.

And that's OK. Most of us learn new things every day, and that's probably why you're reading this newsletter right now.

So, now you know better.

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