How can a virus be activated by just reading it?

  CurlyWhirly 19:55 22 Jul 2005

How can a virus be activated by just reading it in an e-mail client like Outlook Express for example?

I was a few minutes ago reading pages 30-31 of the September edition of PC Advisor when I read this and it got me thinking and so I thought that I would ask the question.

I *had* heard of this before though but this time my curiosity has got the better of me!

  woodchip 20:02 22 Jul 2005

by opening a mail, it's like opening a door you may get more than the cat run in

  octal 20:02 22 Jul 2005

One of the problems is reading the email with the preview pane open which can run a script.

  CurlyWhirly 20:05 22 Jul 2005

Thanks woodchip and octal.

So even viewing the e-mail can run the script and *this* is how the virus activates then.

  Stuartli 09:20 23 Jul 2005

If you use Outlook Express PERMANENTLY disable the Preview Pane.

You can then safely check out a suspicious e-mail by right clicking on it to highlight it, reading the header and, from Message Source, the message itself.

If you are unhappy in any way keep clicking the Cancel button and then Delete it, still highlighted, from the Toolbar's delete button.

With the Preview Pane enabled you can/could activate a virus merely by clicking on the e-mail as has been pointed out.

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