Bogus Security Patch emails

  Nosmas 22:11 30 Sep 2003

Recently I have received a number of these emails and others purporting to be messages re undelivered emails. Because I have installed MailWasher I have been able to delete all of these from my ISP's server and thus avoid downloading them to my own system.

A few minutes ago MailWasher displayed four emails. Two of these were spam and I marked them for deletion. I then clicked the "Process Mail" button which removed the items marked for deletion and launched Outlook Express. When I clicked the OE "Send/Receive" button, to my surprise a third email appeared on my screen, and because I keep the preview pane open I could see immediately that this email was one of the bogus "Security Patch" type, complete with paper clip icon to indicate an attachment which the message invited one to run!

This message bore the approximate time that I had clicked to download my messages. I can only assume that it arrived on my ISP's server at precisely that moment and had not been there when MailWasher displayed the waiting messages. Has anyone else experienced anything similar? I can't think of anything to avoid this happening in future. Any ideas?

As I haven't opened the attachment I hope my system has not been infected, but I am rather surprised that AVG (which is up to date with Program Version 6.0.522 and Database 320 of 29/09/03) has not notified me af any problem. I will run a Complete Test shortly.

  [DELETED] 22:15 30 Sep 2003

NOT a good idea to keep the preview pane open.

  Jester2K II 22:18 30 Sep 2003

As I haven't opened the attachment I hope my system has not been infected, but I am rather surprised that AVG (which is up to date with Program Version 6.0.522 and Database 320 of 29/09/03) has not notified me af any problem.

AVG won't alert you unless you try to open the attachment.

And yes i've also had the same where you delete x e-mail then open OE and one or two arrive. Thats the way it goes.

Just keep deleting them.

  Valvegrid 22:19 30 Sep 2003

Yes I have had that happen, there's not much you can do about that if the email appears at the same time as you hit the send/receive button. Just one word of warning, switch the Preview pane off, otherwise it can leave the system open to running virus.


  Audeal 22:47 30 Sep 2003

I think it is time Microsoft removed this Preview Pane from Outlook Express, for security reasons. It may have been a good thing in the earlier days when fewer viruses where about, but it is a very dangerous thing these days.

  Nosmas 22:49 30 Sep 2003

I was under the impression that MailWasher scanned the emails AND any attachments. Is my understanding wrong?

If I delete the offending email and then empty the Deleted Items folder, can I be sure that any virus in the attachment is rendered harmless? Or should I perform a defrag afterwards?

  Nosmas 22:52 30 Sep 2003

Sorry - for MailWasher read AVG

  Caine 23:03 30 Sep 2003

I don't know about AVG but Norton usually catches attachments on download. But the bogus patch one got past Norton on one of my email addresses and that was after a recent update of virus definitions. No harm was done through the preview pane and deleting the message was all that was needed. But I concur with the comments on the preview pane although I do keep mine open!

On the subject of mailwasher I have an email address which I am about to abandon, attracting over 100 spams a day. When Mailwasher has cleared it up before I go to Outlook Express I often find another 40 or 50 waiting in the wings, so I tend to do a double check before downloading legitimate messages.

  Border View 00:05 01 Oct 2003

I have had problems with spam and the only solution is to set up a message rule in Outlook Express which says unless my specific e-mail address is in the "To" box then that particular e-mail should be deleted at the Server. Since doing so, my receipt of spam has been reduced to ONE and that's in nearly a week.

I tried Mailwasher and whilst it prevented spam e-mails being downloaded to my computer, I still had to go through approximately 200 a week reading subject headings and deleting them. It only made things worse if I "bounced" them.

When using Mailwasher I had to keep Outlook Express closed, otherwise spam came straight through.

  Jester2K II 07:27 01 Oct 2003

I accidental downloaded a virus once as above. AVG didn't go off until i (purposely) tried to save the attachment to the desktop.

I use GoBack 3 so i was sure i would be safe.

AVG blocked it every time but not before.

Never downloaded another virus in an e-mail so i don't really know..

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