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What to do with e-mails that contain viruses?

Posted on 2004-05-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Hi

Every now and then I get a funny e-mail that has file attached to it. The file is usually a .PIF file, or sometimes an .exe. Normally I just throw these e-mails in the bin, but I was wondering if there isn't more that I could do? I mean, is there an authority or copany who investigates the source of these mails? Could I forward the e-mail header to them?

Jason
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Question by:Jason210
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9 Comments
 
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by:Pete Long
Pete Long earned 20 total points
ID: 10966707
Your best bet is to get some AV software that checks your inbox (like McAfee Pro) that way the files will be disinfected before you see them, as some virus's can now execute if you DONT open them but have the preview window open in outlook.

Pete
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 10967038
Hi Jason210,
> The file is usually a .PIF file, or sometimes an .exe.

These emails are definitely because of worm attack.Well you cannot help not getting these emails as it comes from someone who has got your email address in his address book and who was attacked by the virus. The best way as Petelong said is to scan for virus and be sure that it has not got into your system other than email

Just delete these emails when you get them

Thanks
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by:Jason210
ID: 10967039
Thanks Pete. I normally have the preview window closed.

But my question was, is there an authority or company (eg. Microsoft?) or any 3rd party who is interested in investigating these e-mails? I mean, could I forward the e-mail header to someone? I can easily deal with the problem but I feel I should try to do something against the senders. At least if the source is investigated, that puts pressure on the senders.
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 10967045
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by:funkusmunkus
funkusmunkus earned 20 total points
ID: 10967373
if your using outlook or outlook express your better off viewing mail as plain text, if you view it as html you could get some excutable script in it.
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ispeed-jeremy earned 20 total points
ID: 10967673
In response to your question, depending on your country normally the federal police are responsible for investigating computer crimes, which is normally targeted at people who purposfully create these viruses and then distribute them, not on-senders. Unfortuantely the way most viruses are written, they are targetted at poor software design in email clients such as Outlook or Outlook Express which allow for the viruses to be automatically on-sent to every contact in the address book without the user even know. Over the past couple of years email client security has marginally increased. Your best option to stop viruses is to pre-scan your mail before you receive it, I use a unix mail server running MailScanner (http://www.mailscanner.info) to filter all my email for viruses and spam before on-sending to my real mail server which is hidden behind a firewall.

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by:Rich Rumble
Rich Rumble earned 20 total points
ID: 10967790
Get an AV solution... they have a Submit feature to most of them. It will safely send information about the virus to the AV vendor. The only thing the headers might do, is tell you who sent it, and that way you could tell them that they are infected. Chances are you won't get an Original email from the virus maker, and the chances are far less that he/she would use unspoofed header info. McAfee and others may be interested in the viri and ask you to send them the original, but normally when using the Submit feature that most AV's have, you won't be contacted, they'll have enough info for the submission. Again, most emails used in viri have forged headers, as with most spam, it's a tough nut to crack.
-rich
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by:LRI41
LRI41 earned 20 total points
ID: 10969831
You could notifyt you ISP, they may be interested in
tracing it is is can be done.  Unless they are unintionally sent to me by one of the contacts, I forward mine to my ISP or sometime to the ISP of the sender if that is clear.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10979808
ThanQ
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