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Re: Spam + Virus Warning (not a hoax)

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  • seth.dickens
    Dear all, First off, I d agree with Dennis seemingly cautious way of checking mail (reading a preview first before deciding whether to open it or not.)
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 3, 2008
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      Dear all,

      First off, I'd agree with Dennis' seemingly cautious way of checking
      mail (reading a preview first before deciding whether to open it or
      not.) Personally, if I know neither the sender and don't recognise the
      subject line I often simply delete the email!

      As far as I'm aware however, as long as your email software is fully up
      to date with security patches etc, there is no real risk in opening an
      email to read its contents. Indeed the preview pane has done this for
      you already, whether you wanted it to or not. The trouble starts when:


      * You click to download images included in a "bogus" email. This
      alerts the spam sender that the email address actually exists and, worse
      still,that the address' owner reads the spam mails he or she receives.
      * You follow links given in the spam mail to a web page or other URL.
      This starts to be really risky as these sites are often booby trapped
      with the latest nasty code that exploits holes in your Internet Explorer
      browser. (On a side note, you're statistically better off with Firefox,
      Opera, Safari - anything other than Internet Explorer as hackers tend to
      write their hacks for this browser.
      * You open attachments sent along with spam mail. This is the key
      one. never, ever open attachments, be they Word, Excel, Jpegs or (heaven
      forbid) .exe executable files. These are very likely to be hiding horrid
      little bugs inside and if you value your poor wee computer's health,
      just don't open them!
      Sorry if I'm teaching all you old WebHeads how to suck eggs here, I'm
      sure you'll have scanned past this advice if you knew it already! I do
      think it's worth pointing out from time to time especially for any of
      our fellow colleagues and WebHeads who are newer.

      Something that has been intriguing me lately (and I'd appreciate any
      help from you guys in this) is the amount of Spam I'm getting.
      Previously I got absolutely no spam mail to my lovely Google Mail
      account, now it's about 2 - 5 spam mails a day. (which is nothing
      compared to the hundreds at my hotmail account) It seems to have
      increased since I stated posting to the WebHeads group. I do think this
      is just a coincidence, but I'd like to ask you two quick points:

      1) Do you guys use your "real" email addresses to post to mailing lists
      like the WebHeads? Some folk might choose to use a 'Spam Only' mail
      address for sites like ours to stop their addresses being "harvested" by
      spammers. I use my real mail address. What would you advise?

      2) When you reply to this message (or any other message here in our
      WebHeads group) do you get to see my full email address? (This would be
      a surefire way for a spammer to "harvest" email addresses again. ) I
      usually only see "thefirstfewletters@..." style email addresses when
      replying here, except when the message forms part of a longer thread,
      when I see full email addresses contained as part of the message text. I
      note with interest the text Yahoo adds above this message "If you reply
      to the message author or the group owner, your email address will be
      displayed in the message you send." What do they mean by this?! :-)

      So, apologies for the length of this mail and I look forward to any
      helpful advice or hints you guys can give me.

      Happy Sunday!

      Seth



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nina Liakos
      Hi Seth, Thanks for posting this. (And Dennis, thanks for the warning!) I was aware of most of what you said (without the details of how it works), but it s
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 3, 2008
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        Hi Seth,
        Thanks for posting this. (And Dennis, thanks for the warning!) I was
        aware of most of what you said (without the details of how it works),
        but it's always useful to read it again, in case we get lazy. My
        google account still does a great job of catching spam. Replying to
        this, I see only seth.dickens@.... And I've noticed several webheads
        have begun writing their emails as seth dot dickens at gmail dot com
        (or whatever) to fool the spammers, and putting up links with
        deliberate breaks in them.

        Isn't it a shame that so many people get their kicks from this
        destructive behavior, so the rest of us have to be constantly on our
        guard!

        Nina

        --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "seth.dickens"
        <sethdickens@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear all,
        >
        > First off, I'd agree with Dennis' seemingly cautious way of checking
        > mail (reading a preview first before deciding whether to open it or
        > not.) Personally, if I know neither the sender and don't recognise the
        > subject line I often simply delete the email!
        >
        > As far as I'm aware however, as long as your email software is fully up
        > to date with security patches etc, there is no real risk in opening an
        > email to read its contents. Indeed the preview pane has done this for
        > you already, whether you wanted it to or not. The trouble starts when:
        >
        >
        > * You click to download images included in a "bogus" email. This
        > alerts the spam sender that the email address actually exists and, worse
        > still,that the address' owner reads the spam mails he or she receives.
        > * You follow links given in the spam mail to a web page or other
        URL.
        > This starts to be really risky as these sites are often booby trapped
        > with the latest nasty code that exploits holes in your Internet Explorer
        > browser. (On a side note, you're statistically better off with Firefox,
        > Opera, Safari - anything other than Internet Explorer as hackers tend to
        > write their hacks for this browser.
        > * You open attachments sent along with spam mail. This is the key
        > one. never, ever open attachments, be they Word, Excel, Jpegs or (heaven
        > forbid) .exe executable files. These are very likely to be hiding horrid
        > little bugs inside and if you value your poor wee computer's health,
        > just don't open them!
        > Sorry if I'm teaching all you old WebHeads how to suck eggs here, I'm
        > sure you'll have scanned past this advice if you knew it already! I do
        > think it's worth pointing out from time to time especially for any of
        > our fellow colleagues and WebHeads who are newer.
        >
        > Something that has been intriguing me lately (and I'd appreciate any
        > help from you guys in this) is the amount of Spam I'm getting.
        > Previously I got absolutely no spam mail to my lovely Google Mail
        > account, now it's about 2 - 5 spam mails a day. (which is nothing
        > compared to the hundreds at my hotmail account) It seems to have
        > increased since I stated posting to the WebHeads group. I do think this
        > is just a coincidence, but I'd like to ask you two quick points:
        >
        > 1) Do you guys use your "real" email addresses to post to mailing lists
        > like the WebHeads? Some folk might choose to use a 'Spam Only' mail
        > address for sites like ours to stop their addresses being "harvested" by
        > spammers. I use my real mail address. What would you advise?
        >
        > 2) When you reply to this message (or any other message here in our
        > WebHeads group) do you get to see my full email address? (This would be
        > a surefire way for a spammer to "harvest" email addresses again. ) I
        > usually only see "thefirstfewletters@" style email addresses when
        > replying here, except when the message forms part of a longer thread,
        > when I see full email addresses contained as part of the message text. I
        > note with interest the text Yahoo adds above this message "If you reply
        > to the message author or the group owner, your email address will be
        > displayed in the message you send." What do they mean by this?! :-)
        >
        > So, apologies for the length of this mail and I look forward to any
        > helpful advice or hints you guys can give me.
        >
        > Happy Sunday!
        >
        > Seth
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Michael Marzio
        Hi Buth - Dennis - Seth - I received the trojaned email, from Buth, i appearance, over a week ago and I also received it today. I told Buth about the problem.
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 3, 2008
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          Hi Buth - Dennis - Seth -

          I received the trojaned email, from Buth, i appearance, over a week
          ago and I also received it today. I told Buth about the problem.

          I'm sure she is going to re-run her anti-virus software on her
          computer.

          Buth, if you need help getting rid of this, please let us know. If
          your anti-virus program gives you a choice of a "regular"
          and "thorough" scan, be sure to run the latter, even if it takes all
          day. Good luck,

          Mike


          --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "Dennis Oliver"
          <dennis.oliver@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > I made a typo in the second paragraph after "Hello, everyone." I
          wrote
          > *Buthain Al-Othman, but I should have written _Buthaina_ Al-Othman.
          I'm
          > sending this information only to reinforce the fact that my message
          > was genuine--not a hoax or a sick attempt at humor.
          >
          > --- In BaWco-mods@yahoogroups.com, I wrote in part:
          >
          > Hello, everyone.
          >
          > This message is serious. It is not a hoax.
          >
          > Today I received a message purportedly from Buthain Al-Othman
          (Buth).
          > . . .
          >
          > 8< - - - snip - - - >8
          >
        • Evelyn Izquierdo
          Hi all: I received Buthaina_3 trojan email message, which I didn t open it and inmediately deleted it, of course. But, one second later I received it again,
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 3, 2008
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            Hi all:
            I received Buthaina_3 trojan email message, which I didn't open it and inmediately deleted it, of course. But, one second later I received it again, this time through the acwriting_teachers YG. I'm afraid the virus caught all Buth's contacts.
            Please, spread the warning.
            Thanks,
            Evelyn


            Michael Marzio <marzio-school@...> escribió:
            Hi Buth - Dennis - Seth -

            I received the trojaned email, from Buth, i appearance, over a week
            ago and I also received it today. I told Buth about the problem.

            I'm sure she is going to re-run her anti-virus software on her
            computer.

            Buth, if you need help getting rid of this, please let us know. If
            your anti-virus program gives you a choice of a "regular"
            and "thorough" scan, be sure to run the latter, even if it takes all
            day. Good luck,

            Mike

            --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "Dennis Oliver"
            <dennis.oliver@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > I made a typo in the second paragraph after "Hello, everyone." I
            wrote
            > *Buthain Al-Othman, but I should have written _Buthaina_ Al-Othman.
            I'm
            > sending this information only to reinforce the fact that my message
            > was genuine--not a hoax or a sick attempt at humor.
            >
            > --- In BaWco-mods@yahoogroups.com, I wrote in part:
            >
            > Hello, everyone.
            >
            > This message is serious. It is not a hoax.
            >
            > Today I received a message purportedly from Buthain Al-Othman
            (Buth).
            > . . .
            >
            > 8< - - - snip - - - >8
            >






            ---------------------------------

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            No te preocupes más por el espacio de tu cuenta con Correo Yahoo!:
            http://correo.espanol.yahoo.com/

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Vance Stevens
            Hi Seth, I don t read ALL the mail I get. But I did see your questions here. I ve been in this group since it started in 2001/2002. I haven t noticed any
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 4, 2008
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              Hi Seth,

              I don't read ALL the mail I get. But I did see your questions here.

              I've been in this group since it started in 2001/2002. I haven't noticed
              any spam particularly. My Yahoo and Hotmail get it occasionally. Hotmail
              is particularly bad but it seems they've started to control it. If you are
              getting spam due to webheads it's probably more a Yahoo thing than a
              Webheads one in particular.

              To answer your questions ...

              > 1) Do you guys use your "real" email addresses to post to mailing lists
              > like the WebHeads?

              I use my real mail addresses in all lists I participate in and I participate
              in dozens.

              > 2) When you reply to this message (or any other message here in our
              > WebHeads group) do you get to see my full email address?

              I do, but I'm the moderator. I don't think non-moderators can see your
              email address.

              I doubt if this list is adding to your spam. But it's good to ask and see
              what others say,

              Vance
            • Elderbob
              Ditto to what Vance says. Seems like we go throught this every year. And every year I think more attention ought to be given to teaching folks more about
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 4, 2008
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                Ditto to what Vance says. Seems like we go throught this every year.
                And every year I think more attention ought to be given to teaching
                folks more about security. After BAW, things will settle down a bit,
                and there will not be as much spam. It just works out that way. Keep
                your security measures up to date (no you don't have to spend a lot of
                money...there are good free ones - Avasti - is excellent), and read
                what you can about how to protect yourself. I also suggest you switch
                to Firefox as your browser. It seems to be really good at
                intercepting any unwanted mail for me, and destroying it.

                I wish two or three of you "best and brightest" would "borrow"
                Knowplace one weekend, and come in and do a short workshop on
                "internet security measure". I am certain that we would be more than
                willing to offer the space and time. I'd even go so far as to offer
                to come up with some sort of internet security expert that Lee and I
                could webcast.

                elderbob
                Coordinator of Open Weekends @ Knowplace.
                On Feb 4, 2008 1:04 PM, Vance Stevens <vstevens@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Hi Seth,
                >
                > I don't read ALL the mail I get. But I did see your questions here.
                >
                > I've been in this group since it started in 2001/2002. I haven't noticed
                > any spam particularly. My Yahoo and Hotmail get it occasionally. Hotmail
                > is particularly bad but it seems they've started to control it. If you are
                > getting spam due to webheads it's probably more a Yahoo thing than a
                > Webheads one in particular.
                >
                > To answer your questions ...
                >
                >
                > > 1) Do you guys use your "real" email addresses to post to mailing lists
                > > like the WebHeads?
                >
                > I use my real mail addresses in all lists I participate in and I
                > participate
                > in dozens.
                >
                >
                > > 2) When you reply to this message (or any other message here in our
                > > WebHeads group) do you get to see my full email address?
                >
                > I do, but I'm the moderator. I don't think non-moderators can see your
                > email address.
                >
                > I doubt if this list is adding to your spam. But it's good to ask and see
                > what others say,
                >
                > Vance
                >
                >
                --
                Helping folks understand that it's never too late to become all they
                ever wanted to become.

                This email is: [X] bloggable [ ] ask first [ ] private

                Dittow
              • seth.dickens
                Dear Elderbob and Vance, Thanks for the confirmation guys. I guess I knew already that it wouldn t be the Webheads group per se spamming, but perhaps a nasty
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 5, 2008
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                  Dear Elderbob and Vance,

                  Thanks for the confirmation guys. I guess I knew already that it
                  wouldn't be the Webheads group per se spamming, but perhaps a nasty
                  ole bot that had got in here somehow, but as you say Vance, it's more
                  likely than not just co-incidence.

                  I'd be interested in coming along to a Knowplace security session too
                  Bob. I'll certainly led a hand too if needed. I'm intrigued as to how
                  Firefox stops spam mail too! I use Firefox and certainly have found it
                  to be a more secure (and far more pleasant browsing experience) than
                  Internet Explorer, but didn't think that it helped out with anti-spam
                  jobs. Could you have meant Firefox's sister program "Thunderbird"
                  which is used for email?

                  Four other quick security hints I'd throw in:

                  1) Always run an antivirus program and scan regularly for viruses. I
                  too use Avast! (free) whiuch Bob uses. I hope we all do this AND keep
                  them up to date already ( an out of date one is as good as useless.)

                  Avast Anti Virus: http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

                  2) Use a Trojan / Spyware program and scan regularly (I like Spybot,
                  but AdAware is also very good.) These scan your computer for nasty
                  little programs that hide in websites / free programs then gather
                  information about you, your computer and / or your surfing habits at
                  best and can steal your private details (online banking etc at worst.)

                  Spy Bot Scanner: http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html

                  3) Use a firewall (AT LEAST use Windows own firewall, if not get a
                  software version. A firewall protects your computer from the hundreds
                  of random attacks sent out by hackers trying to get into your
                  computer. It costs them nothing to try to get into your computer so
                  many hackers simply randomly barrage the internet with attempts to
                  enter people's home computers. A firewall will stop them from finding
                  your computer and adding it to one of the now infamous "Bot Nets"

                  Zone Alarm Firewall:
                  http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp?dc=56pus&ctry=GB&lang=en

                  4) Keep backups of your computer and important files. I use an
                  excellent product, which you have to pay for, Norton Ghost. There is a
                  good (if a little Geeky and tricky to use) product call DriveImage
                  XML, which is free though.

                  Drive Image XML: http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm
                  or
                  Norton Ghost:
                  http://www.symantec.com/norton/products/overview.jsp?pcid=br&pvid=ghost12

                  All the best (and stay secure, but don't worry too much!)

                  Seth Dickens

                  http://sethdickens.blogspot.com
                • Michael Marzio
                  I continue getting Trojaned email messages supposedly from Buth. I ve received a total of 6 or 7 in the past 2 weeks. They are similar to the one(s) which
                  Message 8 of 12 , Feb 5, 2008
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                    I continue getting Trojaned email messages supposedly from Buth. I've
                    received a total of 6 or 7 in the past 2 weeks. They are similar to
                    the one(s) which arrived in my evonline2002 digest.

                    I wrote to her suggesting she do a thorough virus scan of her
                    computer, but have not received a reply, making me wonder if she has
                    other problems...

                    If anyone has an alternate email address for Buth, perhaps that
                    person can send her a message about this.

                    I'm a bit virus-paranoid, and do a daily scan with 2 different
                    engines, so I'm not worried about my own computers, I'm just
                    concerned about Buth and members who might not be careful about their
                    computer security.

                    Mike



                    --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, Vance Stevens
                    <vstevens@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Seth,
                    >
                    > I don't read ALL the mail I get. But I did see your questions here.
                    >
                    > I've been in this group since it started in 2001/2002. I haven't
                    noticed
                    > any spam particularly. My Yahoo and Hotmail get it occasionally.
                    Hotmail
                    > is particularly bad but it seems they've started to control it. If
                    you are
                    > getting spam due to webheads it's probably more a Yahoo thing than
                    a
                    > Webheads one in particular.
                    >
                    > To answer your questions ...
                    >
                    > > 1) Do you guys use your "real" email addresses to post to mailing
                    lists
                    > > like the WebHeads?
                    >
                    > I use my real mail addresses in all lists I participate in and I
                    participate
                    > in dozens.
                    >
                    > > 2) When you reply to this message (or any other message here in
                    our
                    > > WebHeads group) do you get to see my full email address?
                    >
                    > I do, but I'm the moderator. I don't think non-moderators can see
                    your
                    > email address.
                    >
                    > I doubt if this list is adding to your spam. But it's good to ask
                    and see
                    > what others say,
                    >
                    > Vance
                    >
                  • Lee Baber
                    Hello to everyone today! I am having a terrible time getting PDFs to work correctly on a MOodle. Any suggestions or FAQs about this issue? Thanks, Lee Baber
                    Message 9 of 12 , Feb 5, 2008
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                      Hello to everyone today!
                      I am having a terrible time getting PDFs to work correctly on a
                      MOodle. Any suggestions or FAQs about this issue?
                      Thanks,
                      Lee Baber
                    • Vance Stevens
                      Without knowing more about the problem it s difficult to speculate, but I suspect that the problem is not with Moodle but with the way your browser handles
                      Message 10 of 12 , Feb 5, 2008
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                        Without knowing more about the problem it's difficult to speculate, but I
                        suspect that the problem is not with Moodle but with the way your browser
                        handles popups. If you can smooth that process it might help but there is
                        another big problem with pdfs in a lab environment and that is Adobe. Adobe
                        is a resource hungry application that is constantly trolloing the Internet
                        in hopes of updating itself. Accordingly it takes a longer time than it
                        should to load itself in and fetch your document (resulting in timeouts when
                        bandwidth is limited). It's like the old cookie virus, it thrives on clicks
                        to work rather than just erm ... working. One dialog box appears prior to
                        opening a document. I think it's a window where you have to click Agree but
                        it is normally BURIED under all your other windows so it's easy to miss. To
                        the user it appears that the pdf simply didn't launch, and it's only when
                        you're shutting down that you discover that last window under all the others
                        that was waiting for your agreement to proceed. The second annoying click
                        is when Adobe prevents your browser from shutting down to ask you if you are
                        quite absolutely sure that you meant to close your browser when you still
                        had this one pdf file open. This one has crashed my browser on occasion,
                        with ramifications on system stability.

                        It might help therefore to remove Adobe and get another, cleaner, free pdf
                        reader.

                        I don't know if you recall the cookie virus but it's one of the first such
                        created. It thrived in labs of the era where PC's were rare and students
                        worked at terminals hooked into mainframes. This was in the command line
                        days, before GUI. The cookie monster was a program that interrupted students
                        in their work by prompting them with "I want a cookie". The user had to
                        type the word "cookie" before proceeding. The monster would appear
                        occasionally but with increasing frequency as the user worked until the user
                        was having to stop and repeatedly type "cookie". It was annoying but
                        otherwise benign.

                        That was an aside
                        Vance


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Lee Baber" <lbaber@...>
                        To: <evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 10:44 AM
                        Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] PDF on a Moodle


                        > Hello to everyone today!
                        > I am having a terrible time getting PDFs to work correctly on a
                        > MOodle. Any suggestions or FAQs about this issue?
                        > Thanks,
                        > Lee Baber
                        >
                        >
                        > For more information:
                        > http://www.geocities.com/vance_stevens/papers/evonline2002/webheads.htm
                        >
                        > When replying to postings, please delete this footer and any other
                        > extraneous text from the reply - Thanks!!plying to postings, please delete
                        > this footer and any other extraneous text from the reply - Thanks!!
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
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