RE: email attachments and infections

From:Todd Sherman <>

Hash: SHA1

Dear Lesley,

I wouldn't get too secure about Mac computers being immune to
viruses/worms/etc whether by attachment or otherwise.  Any computer
is vulnerable to attack since the code is only a sequence of bits. 
In the case of a virus, it is a script of text (bits converted to
bytes) that is run by the computer's operating system to perform some
function.  A hacker/programmer can write code that exploits the
vulnerabilities of any program/operating system.  While most
attention is drawn to PCs due to their comparatively high
proliferation in everyday life, Macs, Unix/Linux, workstations, etc.
can all be exploited.  A hacker gets more "bang for the buck" if
he/she can affect Win32 based systems (i.e. M$).

I would tend to be wary of any attachment as John has mentioned.  If
one must allow attachments for email communication, ask that the
sender include some notice in the subject-header that an attachment
is included (along with the format of that attachment).  Further,
before opening the attachment, save the file to disk and scan it with
a virus scanner with up-to-date virus signature files.  It may seem
somewhat paranoid or overkill to take these precautions, but one
should be aware of the risk.  Every individual must determine the
value of the data on their computer and the cost to retrieve it
should some virus-induced catastrophe occur.

I hope the diatribe wasn't too long and suspect you are aware of
these things already.  For the unwary, I just wanted to post a

Regards, Todd

Todd Sherman
former researcher and now IT wannabe

- -----Original Message-----
From: Lesley Weston []
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 12:10 PM
To: J. A. Kiernan
Cc: histonet
Subject: Re: email attachments and infections

Unless you have a Mac, of course.

Lesley Weston.

On Wed, 31 Jan 2001, J. A. Kiernan wrote:

> On Tue, 30 Jan 2001, Amos & Theresa wrote:
> > What's up with the attachment I keep getting TEXT.htm ??? If
> > someone sends an attachment it is proper to introduce it within
> > the body ... 
> Opening any email attachment is, to your computer, the equivalent
> of allowing intimate contact of your body with that of a sexually
> promiscuous other person. You should expect to catch something
> nasty at best and deadly at worst.
> To a computer, opening an attachment is potentially more dangerous 
> than the comparable human adventure. An unfaithful wife or husband,
>  or a frustrated sailor in a foreign port knows what she or he is 
> risking, but the sender of an infected email attachment may be well
>  known to the recipient but blissfully unaware of having contracted
>  and passed on an e-VD.
> The solution is simple, but it demands self discipline.
> Delete every email with an attachment, unless you have
> made a prior arrangement with the sender. 
> ----------------------------------------
> John A. Kiernan
> Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
> The University of Western Ontario
> London,  Canada   N6A 5C1

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