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#3255 - Wed Dec 19 2001 05:27 PM Safety re worms in your emails
allynellie Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 15 2001
Posts: 1390
Loc: Ayrshire Scotland UK      
my friend sent me this advice about a way to prevent those irksome worms from being sent to all ur friends in your 'address books'. checked with gunslinger that it was ok to post this and gunslinger suggested that i post it in The Commons, so here goes:

Thought you might find this interesting. Very simple and makes sense! One thing to note, is that this will only work if you are reading email while online, but it's a good safeguard. Yesterday, this tip was forwarded to the help desk here at oxy to see if they thought it a good idea, and I see that they have inserted this "name" at the head of the global address lists! So if you have a personal address book, it's apparently a good idea to insert this dummy there. A friend just sent me the following information, which she said could be passed on, regarding how to protect ones e-mail from viruses.
As you may know, when/if a worm virus gets into your computer it heads straight for your email address book and sends itself to everyone in there, thus infecting all your friends and associates.
This trick won't keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact that the worm attacked your system.
First, open your address book and click on "new contact" just as you would do if you were adding a new friend to your list of email addresses. In the window where you would type your friend's first name type in !000 (exclamation mark followed by 3 zeros). In the window below where it prompts you to enter the new email address, type in "WormAlert," which of course, isn't a real email address. Then complete everything by clicking Add and OK.
Now, here's what you've done and why it works: the "name" !000 will be placed at the top of your address book as entry #1.
This will be where the worm will start in an effort to send itself to all your friends. But when it tries to send itself to !000, it will be undeliverable because of the phoney email address you entered (WormAlert).
If the first attempt fails (which it will because of the phoney address), the worm goes no further and your contacts will not be infected.
Here's the second great advantage of this method: if an email cannot be delivered, you will be notified of this in your InBox almost immediately.
Hence, if you ever get an e-mail telling you that an email addressed to WormAlert could not be delivered, you know right away that you have the worm virus in your system. You can then take steps to get rid of it!

let me know if this works. i've already changed my address book and will also keep u posted

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'My body is a temple, Shirley Temple' - Jonny, UK Big Brother 3

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#3256 - Wed Dec 19 2001 05:37 PM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
Lanni Offline
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Registered: Tue Oct 02 2001
Posts: 1817
Loc: Brooklyn New York USA  
That's a good idea, thank you.

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#3257 - Wed Dec 19 2001 06:06 PM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Wait. Probably not a good idea, everyone. For one thing, you don't want to do something, just because an email or friend tells you to do it. That's one way viruses are spread.

Good words of advice:

quote:
Only a fool takes advice that amounts to altering anything on his own system without first fully understanding its nature. Though the current "helpful trick" is innocuous, there is no guarantee later versions will not circulate that instruct the credulous to do harm to their systems under the guise of helping them. Witness the May 2001 sulfnbk.exe hysteria where thousands of users geared to take whatever advice turned up in their inboxes were duped into deleting a key Windows operating system file from their home systems.

Look here for some info:

The !0000 Cure

[ 12-19-2001: Message edited by: Linda1 ]

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#3258 - Wed Dec 19 2001 06:39 PM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
Lanni Offline
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Registered: Tue Oct 02 2001
Posts: 1817
Loc: Brooklyn New York USA  
I see.

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#3259 - Wed Dec 19 2001 07:04 PM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
SuperFurryAnimal Offline
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Registered: Fri Jul 27 2001
Posts: 1235
Loc: Glasgow UK
Hot damn, this could get complicated! My account wouldn't accept the bogus e-mail address anyhow.
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#3260 - Wed Dec 19 2001 07:28 PM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
ladymacb29 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15924
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
I think it's a good idea - if only so that you know when you are infected.

If your email program won't accept that email address: try something nonesense like 854339@3498948.com or even just put your own email address in there. Of course, if that thing about the worm stopping if the first email doesn't work is true, this won't help. but at least you'll be notified.

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"Without the darkness, how would we see the light?" ~ Tuvok

Editor for Television Category

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#3261 - Wed Dec 19 2001 10:27 PM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
Linda1 Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
LOL! Ok, did anyone read the link above?! It still might be a bad idea to do something like this, from what that site says.

quote:
(Moreover, even those viruses whose spread has been halted via the ruse of a fake address book entry can still be doing damage to the infected user's system. Once an executable file has been opened and run, any virus it contains begins doing its dirty work. Part of that dirty work may amount to mailing itself to others, but if the virus it programmed to do more than just replicate itself via e-mail, it will still be present to wreak havoc on the infected computer. Deleting the infection-carrying e-mail will not halt whatever else may be underway.)
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Cats know what we feel. They don't care, but they know.

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#3262 - Thu Dec 20 2001 12:24 AM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
LadyCaitriona Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Feb 08 2001
Posts: 5985
Loc: Ottawa
Ontario Canada
LOL! That's pretty neat! I've been reading through Snopes.com in its entirety for the last week (I'm mostly finished it). I just came across the !0000 one early this morning. It's just a weird coincidence to see it again so soon!

Just goes to show that you can't believe everything you're told.

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#3263 - Thu Dec 20 2001 12:48 AM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37422
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
This thread is timely, one of my colleagues has a computer infected with badtrans (I know because it sent it to our office but was caught by Nortons). Her husband doesn't know how to get rid of it and I see that the Snopes links gives instructions of what they should do.... I will forward it to them today.

Thank you.

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Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

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#3264 - Thu Dec 20 2001 03:29 AM Re: Safety re worms in your emails
allynellie Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 15 2001
Posts: 1390
Loc: Ayrshire Scotland UK      
i wasn't sure whether this advice would be useful or not, but at least it has generated some discussion !

the advice does not promise to stop or prevent the virus from getting into your computer, all it aims to do is to stop the worm from being passed on to anyone else via your address book.

quote:
This trick won't keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact that the worm attacked your system.

i just felt that i had nothing to lose by following this advice... unless of course it's been devised by a super-worm creator (LOL!)!!!!

_________________________
'My body is a temple, Shirley Temple' - Jonny, UK Big Brother 3

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