Re[2]: VIRUS ALERT: its authentic

Subject: Re[2]: VIRUS ALERT: its authentic
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 1995 14:56:00 -0600

If you are gonna let others use your machine adn use external disks
(disks that you put into a floppy drive) then make sure you run a
virs checker on any files, before transferring them onto your hard
drive...or even more potetially lethal, one of the network's shared

The problem is, Stuart, that most, if not all, virus checkers can't protect
against trojan horses. After all, how is a virus checker going to know that you
aren't expecting PROGRAM.EXE to initialize your HD when you run it? For all it
knows, PROGRAM.EXE is simply a renamed FORMAT.EXE (or perhaps an improved
version of it). For that matter, without disassembling the entire program and
interpreting the instructions, it can't know if what it thinks is the format
code is actually executable code, or simply an embedded data string of some
kind. So it will go unreported by the virus checker, until perhaps (if you're
lucky) when it's executed and issues the call to format the drive.

Safe Computing Tip #1: The first time you run *anything* you acquire from a non-
pedigreed source (FTP, email, etc.) do it on a system you wouldn't mind having
to rebuild afterwards. Virus scan the file before execution, and the entire
system after execution.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.

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