The Scourge

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at
Wed Aug 29 07:08:00 EDT 2001

Ladies & Gentlemen,

	Most of you have no doubt been the victim of one type of computer
virus or worm or other design by malefactors in cyberspace.  It may be
that some of these criminals have retrieved your email address from posted
coral-list messages, but I don't think anyone has ever retrieved the
entire list of coral-list subscribers from the coral workstation at AOML
(knock-on-wood).  Coral-list is now closed to automated "subscribe"
requests so that I can screen names that may look suspicious (like
"homicide at"--not very coral-sounding or personal, is it?).  I
have also restricted the size of messages that can be sent (without
approval) by subscribers so that large executables can not be sent via
some of these email accounts that are sometimes easy to get anonymously
(e.g., hotmail, yahoo and msn accounts).

	I would just like to remind you to keep these things in mind:

*  If you get an attachment from someone you don't know, especially if you
can see that the file suffix ends in .exe or .htm concatenated to the end
of another filename (e.g., letter.doc.htm), do not open it.  When in
doubt, simply answer the message (without re-attaching the file), and say,
"What was that file you sent me, and who are you?"

*  Get a virus-checker, and if at all possible, subscribe to an automated
virus update company.

*  Make routine backups of your work, or better yet, automate it.
Remember, though, to have backups on different tapes or disks so that you
don't backup the virus, then restore it!  Ask your systems administrator
about different backup strategies.

	Take care...


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