- Dear Friends,
Recently for quite complex reasons
I opened a potential virus worm
with the .scr attachment and the excellent
and free AVG virus checker not up to date . . .
I enclose for everyone some excellent advice
from Hafizullah . . .
(it was a worm incidently - LOL
and hopefully did not self-send itself out to
to too many people - as these things do)
It took me a day and a half to sort this
incident out - so please consider this
info may save you some time :-)
>First, some definitions:
>Virus: A computer virus is a program that makes itself a working part of
>another program --- "infecting" it --- in order to do its mischief. A virus
>needs a host program to "execute" (run) and to propagate itself. The usual
>target is operating-system files or MS Office document templates.
>Worm: A "worm" is self-subsisting, in that it doesn't need to attach
>itself to another program. It usually needs to be triggered by some event,
>such as a user (that's you) running an email attachment or loading an
>infected document, for it to infect a system and begin propagating.
>Trojan: From the term "Trojan Horse." Also called a "bot." A "back
>door" to your system from a network, either a local-area network or the
>Internet. These can be used to steal information or to make your computer a
>"slave" in a remote attack on yet another network or system.
>Much such "mal-ware" is platform-dependent, i.e., will only run on Windows
>or only on Macintosh. Some, such as the "macro viruses" that can infect
>MSWord and MSExcel documents, run on either. Some combine the attributes of
>virus and worm, or worm and trojan.
>Hoax: Just what it says it is. **97% or better of the breathless
>warnings you receive in email from friends about some new virus going around
>will be hoaxes.** These use YOU as the propagating agent. Before you
>forward ANY of these silly things, please check the available resources.
>Here are "deep links" (bypassing the home page) to some anti-virus vendor
>"hoax" info pages:
>What You Can Do:
>First and foremost, ***keep your antivirus program up-to-date.*** You
>wouldn't let your plants go unwatered or the cat unfed; this is just as
>critical. If you don't believe me, just consider that a virus can turn your
>computer into a high-tech doorstop, and a worm or trojan can create a mess
>for hundreds of people you've never met or even get your account suspended
>by your ISP. If your antivirus program has an auto-update feature, turn it
>on. If not, check the vendor's website weekly. Bookmark the specific web
>page so you can get to it easily.
>Second: Be VERY suspicious of opening email attachments, even if you've
>done #1, and even if you know who appears to have sent it to you.
>Attachments with filename extensions like .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, and .bmp are
>safe; these are just graphics and there's no way to infect a system with one
>of these. The filename extensions to be suspicious of are:
>.doc or .dot
>.xls or .xlt
>These are "executable" (program) files, except for the last four, which
>are MSWord and MSExcel files which can contain self-replecating code.
>Sometimes a virus or worm will have what appears to be a double extension:
>"imtrouble.jpg.exe", for example. If you have Windows set to hide the
>extensions of "known" file types (file types "associated" with an
>application program such as a wordprocessor), you'll not see the filename
>extension flagging the file as an executable; it will look like
>"imtrouble.jpg". I recommend turning the view of full filenames /on/. In
>Windows 9.x, open any folder and go to View, Folder Options (I think it's
>just 'Options' in Win95) and the View menutab. Look for a checkbox marked
>"Hide extensions for known file types," and turn it OFF. That way, if you
>get an executable attachment in a piece of mail, the nonsafe extension will
>Third: Maybe this should be #2 instead: If you use Outlook Express or
>Outlook, turn off the Preview Pane. The "preview" technically *opens* the
>email, and there are a few malicious programs floating around that use these
>programs' inherent programmability to infect your system when an email
>message is opened. In Outlook Express, go to View, Layout. In the bottom
>half of that dialog box is a check-box, on by default, for the Preview.
>Toggle it off. In Outlook, go to View, and the toggle is right on the
>drop-down menu in the form of a button. If you use Netscape mail, Eudora,
>Pegasus, or any of the non-Microsoft email clients, you're safe. (At least,
>I think you are vis-a-vis Netscape. However, if you're using Netscape, a
>virus is probably not your most pressing problem.) As far as I know,
>Outlook Express on Mac is safe, at least so far. It's also easily the best
>of the Mac mail programs, and it's free.
>If you don't have an anti-virus utility, you are positively begging the
>universe to whack you upside the head. Even if you don't feel a
>responsibility to your own computer system, you have a responsibility to
>your friends and to the Internet community to keep your system virus-free.
>Any of the anti-virus programs out there will do the job, and many have a
>try-before-you-buy option. The differences between them consist mostly in
>the interface and in additional features, such as whether they also scan for
>trojans. Currently, I am using one called AVG, out of Czechoslovakia. It
>is fast, doesn't take up much memory or storage space, and easy to use. I
>have also found it to be better-behaved than Norton AV, especially in the
>scanning of email. Best of all, *it's free.* http://www.grisoft.com