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Old Sep 20, 2004, 3:50 PM   #1
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I received an email yesterday from Steve but maybe not. The email contained an attachment named "msg.zip". The text of the message was something like "I hate plaintext. Use code 68810 to unlock archive". I checked that my Norton Antivirus signature files were up to date and then saved the attachment to disk. I ran NAV against the zip file and it found nothing. I then tried to open the zip file and extract the contents, a ***** file. The extraction failed. I then checked the NAV log file and it showed that the ***** file had been quarrantined. I attempted a repair but the repair failed. I then deleted the quarrantine, the saved attachment and the mail message.

This message was probably not from Steve but spoofed from the address book of an infected system somewhere.

With the dramatic increase in virii being spread on the internet and new methods of triggering the virii, IT IS IMPERATIVE that you have AND USE good, up to date virus checking software on your system.

Your system could be infected and you might not even know it. In the meantime, your system is constantly sending out virus infected messages to everyone in your address book.

Cal Rasmussen
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 4:27 PM   #2
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I usually get sent multiple viruses per week (sometimes multiple viruses in a day).

You can't be too careful.

Someare from people you know (because one of the most common techniques is to spoof e-mail addresses found ininfected systems).

Even with updated virus protection (and I check for updates every night), something could always slip through the cracks.

So, even if it is from someone you know, and virus protection doesn't find anything, it's a good idea not to open unexpected attachments (or to at least confirm that the attachment really came from the person you think sent it).

It's also a good idea to run anti-spy software and firewall software.

In today's environment, nobody is totally safe from viruses, hackers, etc. However, some protection is much better than none. IMO, the more frequent you can check for updates, the better, regardless of which product(s) you use.

As far as criticism of virus clean algorithms, none of them are perfect. The best way is to prevent them from getting to your PC to begin with. Atany given time, one virus protection software may work better than another, and vice-versa. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of people that don't seem to have anything better to do, than to write viruses, etc.

My PC uses these 3 free products:

* ZoneAlarm (protects against "hack attempts", as well as catches programs trying to "phone home). BTW, you are much more vulnerable if you have high speed internet access (I'm using a cable modem). You would probably be surprised at the number of hack attempts you'll see in the security logs after you install this program. Of course, if you don't have a Firewall, you may already have someone using the information on your PC and not know about it.

ZoneAlarm is downloadable from here (I use the free version):


* Spybot Search and Destory (to remove/guard against Spyware and Adware). It's free.

I don't think that most people realize how much their privacy is being invaded (or understand the risks involved if you have any "malicious" Spyware on your PC. Fortunately, in most cases this "Spyware/Adware" is only gathering information for marketing purposes, but malicious spyware could "ruin your day" -- if not your life.

Spybot S&D is downloadable free from here:


* AVG Antivirus (free version) for Virus Protection. I've got mine setup to download updates every night at 2:00AM, with a full system scan every morning at 4:00AM. It also links with Outlook to automatically scan inbound and outbound e-mail.

AVG Antivirus is downloadable from here:


BTW, I love the way ZoneAlarm catches attempts by software to "call home" too -- something I really can't stand (software that attempts to send information back to the vendor without your knowledge).

Of course, no firewall is totally safe. The more protection the better. Some users insist on both hardware and software firewalls, for an added measure of security.

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Old Sep 20, 2004, 6:38 PM   #3
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I've been around here for a lot of years. Steve only sends e-mails to answer ones you send him. If you haven't sent him one, don't open any allegedly from Steve.

I use Mailwasher... it's a shareware program that intercepts all incoming e-mails and lets you look at them before they are downloaded to your computer. This lets you delete them (and even delete or send back a response that your address is invalid).

I have found Norton, Mailwasher and common sense is a great combination.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 11:08 AM   #4
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I use the same 3 programs you use and they work very well. About a year ago, my Zonealarm kept responding that I was getting a lot of "hits" -- some nights I would get 600-700 of these. According to Comcast and Zonealarm, my system was apparently sending out some sort of signal that it was a server. Nobody could figure out why and all of a sudden, this stopped. These days, I get about 4 or 5 "hits" a day.

BTW, Zonealarm will sometimes interfere with binary files I download from one of my sports sites (I officiate HS sports). I view them with ACDSee and/or Ifran andsometimes they look like a thousand lines of gibberish and other times they look fine. I upgraded the free Zonealarm and I have been told that the upgrade changes the headers on the incoming files that are yEnc coded (not always).

Edit: Should have stated that I use Forte Free Agent newsreader.

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Old Sep 21, 2004, 2:12 PM   #5
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kex had something similar happen a while ago.

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