Is it a Hoax? ...
Virtually any message that requests you to "alert everyone on your mailing list", whether good or bad news, is a hoax.
There is no sure way to tell without going to the sites below - I have one or two I use frequently because they are so easy to search quickly. They also have useful general info on hoaxes. Unless it comes from Symantec directly, most messages that warn that this "will destroy your disk" viruses are hoaxes. Yes, they exist, but so for, unless you open an executable file, no email by itself, can hurt. NEVER open a attachment by someone you don't know, and even then, scan it first.
Here's my favorites:
http://www.snopes.com/ - best site for Urban legends.
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html (this is distributor of Norton Antivirus)
This links to all major virus/internet hoax sites: http://dgl.com/docs/hoax.html
ALSO, even if you have Norton, McAfee or other anti-virus programs, the definitions must be updated frequently for them to work properly. All of them have a setting that allows automatic updates of virus definitions – mine updates the definitions daily, and scans my entire system once a week at 3am.
Never send emails directly to a list. If you want to distribute something to multiple people, send it to yourself, then use BCC to add the list of people. That way others won't see your address list (and spammers can't capture it).
Hope this helps :)
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Rev: 06/02/2008 Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org