Everyday I receive numerous emails with virus infections. Many
of them come in response to my sending out my twice weekly
newsletter to close to 12,000 subscribers.
What normally happens is a subscriber’s system is infected
without them even realizing it. Their email program sends out
emails to everyone in their address book without them knowing.
When I get an email that is infected, my anti-virus program,
Norton Anti Virus 2002 which I have used for many years,
intercepts it and gives me some options to either delete or
The regular viruses that I see attached to these emails are:
W32.Badtrans.B@mm W32.Badtrans@mm.enc W95.Hybris.worm
There are other variations of the above and a couple other
different ones that I receive regularly.
If there is any one thing that you should do if you spend any
amount of time on the Net and send and receive email on a
regular basis is make sure that you have a good anti- virus
program. You also have to make sure that you keep it up to date
at all times. That is one of the reasons that I like Norton,
since it automatically updates and keeps me current with
protection against the latest viruses. I am not a distributor
for Norton but I highly recommend it to anyone that asks me. It
is not expensive. Their web site is at: http://www.symantec.com/
The important thing to remember is that you can have an active
virus infection and not even know it. If you are trying to run
an online business and your potential customers are getting
virus attachments with the email you are sending them, they
probably won’t be customers for too long.
With the many email viruses now active around the Net, you
should also make it your practice not to open any attachments to
an email if you don’t know who it is from. Most of the email
viruses become active when you open the attachment. But again to
be totally safe you should have a good anti-virus program on
your system. You could very well get an infected email
attachment on an email from someone you do know since they might
not be aware that they are transmitting it. An anti-virus
program will give you the protection you need.
The Email Hoax Problem
As far as the email hoax problem, they continue to circulate
over and over. When you get one of them you can see that it has
been forwarded many times by the number of “>>>>>>” in the left
column. Each of these >’s are signifiers of another person
forwarding the message.
Some of them are simply jokes and others can cause some
problems. Many just cause a tremendous amount of unnecessary
traffic like one of the ones involving Microsoft:
“If you receive an email titled “WIN A HOLIDAY” DO NOT open it.
It will erase everything on your hard drive. Forward this letter
to as many people as you can. This is a new, very malicious
virus and not many people know about it. This information was
announced yesterday morning from Microsoft;….”
Then there are ones like the “SULFNBK.EXE” hoax. This ones says
if you do a search on your computer for this file, you have a
serious virus infection and you should remove it immediately and
forward the message to as many people as you can. Well this file
is a real Windows file that controls certain functions on your
computer and you will find it in the Window’s Command folder
when you do a search. If you find it in different locations then
you might have a virus since exe files are normally the ones
that get infected. But the email hoax doesn’t tell you that, it
tells you that you should immediately remove it if found. And
many people do remove it.
Before you pass on any email like this you should check to see
if it is for real or not. There are a number of sites that you
can check at:
Symantec Site http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html Mining
Co.(About.com) Virus and Hoax Guide
http://antivirus.miningco.com/msub2.htm Data Fellow’s Virus Page
http://www.europe.datafellows.com/vir-info Virus Hoaxes and Net
Lore http://hoaxinfo.com Rob Rosenberger’s Site
http://www.vmyths.com Hoaxbusters.org The Big List
http://hoaxbusters.org Stiller Research Alphabetic Hoax List
http://www.stiller.com/hoaxa.htm Hoax Kill
What you should do when you have some time is go to these sites
and take a look at some of the most common ones so you are
familiar with them when you get one.
In summary, make sure that you have a good anti-virus program to
protect your system and be sure the information you get in an
email is valid before you do something to your computer or
forward the message to all of your friends.