Tuesday 27 January 2004

Email Problems?

Update MydoomB is in the wild...

Could be... Mydoom or Novarg is running rampant these past few hours. This is a new Social-Engineering virus. It does not exploit any new security holes in the MS operating system it makes use of the recipient's natural curiosity, not about nude pics or love notes, nope this bug tells you there is something different with the email you just recieved:

"The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment."

Whoa way cool, I'm a geek and I've heard of Unicode characters and I know they ain't no regular text so they must get handled special. I can see where the dumb software would store this email as an executable. OK lets see what was in the message, I'll open up the attachment... GOTCHA!!! You never open attachments on emails unless you know for SURE what they are. Never! NEVER NEVER! OK? So Joe in acounting sends you an email that has an executable file attached to it what do you do? Call Joe and ask what he just sent you? Nope you know Joe he is always sending you things. Open it at your own peril. Joe may not have sent you anything. The virus sends mail as if it was coming from the person who opens it. Joe may have opened up the executable virus and sent out a copy of the virus to everyone in his address book. Joe doesn't even know he did it. When in doubt call your friend or send a followup message asking what is supposed to be in the attachment. Never hurts to check. I mean if you did get it and spread it your name is attached to some number of the infected emails shooting around. You could be made to walk around with a sign I PRACTICE UNSAFE COMPUTING. I INFECTED MY COWORKERS FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

BTW most modern email clients handle Unicode without any problems at all no need to create an attachment for them.

Posted by Philip at Tuesday 27 January 2004 | TrackBack

I came in to work today, turned on my computer, and Internet Explorer was gone. Our new IS guy came around (and tied up my desk most of the day). He never found a virus, but he said something that Ad Aware (which he installed today-- I can't install anything at work, of course)found might have been the problem. He was as mystified as I, I think. But he convinced my boss to buy me more RAM, so it was probably worth the lost productivity today. I've actually learned to use the slow loading times on my computer to sort of breathe and slow myself down, but he wasn't used to that, and it bothered him that the thing ran so slowly.

Posted by: marijo at January 27, 2004 04:19 PM


IE gone? Wow that is a trick. IE is usually sooo embeded into the OS Microsoft gets sued because of it. Most likely just the shortcut Icon disappeared that can be restored rather quickly. (Running Ad Aware comes up in the Google search of Internet Explorer Disappeared. I doubt that it was spyware that deleted the Icon but who knows.)

Posted by: Philip at January 27, 2004 04:30 PM


No, it wasn't just the icon that was gone. The icon, actually, was still there, but when clicked it gave an error message that said IE has run into a problem and must shut down. I know we're backwoods and all, but our IS guys aren't complete idiots (even though their scheduling software regularly gives me hives).

Posted by: marijo at January 28, 2004 06:53 AM


I was making an observation about the running of Ad Aware and the search term Disappearing Internet Explorer. Malware or Spyware can interfere with the proper function of a computer. I do not think anyone is 'backwoods'. I'm sure your IT department fixed your computer as quickly as humanly possible.

Posted by: Philip at January 28, 2004 07:08 AM


Hey Philip and Marijo - Sorry to bother your IE discussion, but my geek son told me about another virus via email and I forgot the details. Do either of you know? He said the suspect virus could be detected by what follows the dot.
I've been hit with jut about every virus because my daughter isn't detail-oriented, let's just say. Norton doesn't get everything, does it?

Posted by: jill blevins at January 28, 2004 11:28 AM


He He! I just wrote up a long thing on viruses for you Jill but earthlink (your email provider) has turned off incoming mail for a while. Looks like they are getting hammered by Novarg. When earthlink comes back to life you should get the email

Posted by: Philip at January 28, 2004 12:58 PM


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