ADMIN: Virus Followup

Subject: ADMIN: Virus Followup
From: TECHWR-L Administrator <admin -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 11:58:10 -0700


As it's apparently been a while, here's the full scoop.

Virus warnings, real or otherwise, are not appropriate
for this list. Why?

First, it's not the right forum. There are plenty of
information sources dedicated to viruses--if
you're concerned, go there. (See my message
from sometime in the last two weeks for
specifics...use the archives at
Second, virus information posted to this list is historically
bad information. It's usually not verified, often not real,
and certainly not consistently reliable. As it happens,
today's warning was valid, but that hardly offsets
the innumerable occurrences of Good Times and its
ilk. Thus, rather than scaring people with bad or
questionable information, I'd prefer to keep this
forum to its intended purpose and let people
who need virus information go and get it, on
their own, from their preferred and reliable

Therefore, virus warnings (real, verified, or purely
fiction) should never be posted to this list. That's why
the rules say:

* Check your facts on anything you post. Do not under
any circumstances post virus warnings or anything else
designed to be "forwarded to everyone you know" to this

Finally, not to be rude, but if you run attachments
(or open doc files or whatever...) without explicitly scanning
each one yourself, using the latest version of one or
more virus scanning programs, you're asking for trouble and
I have little sympathy for your plight.

It's possible to lead a virus-free and virus-scare-free
life. Here's how:
I delete all executable attachments that I receive, regardless of
source. I disable all macros in all documents I receive, and
generally accept nothing but plain text or HTML files
(and I never open any files in IE or other Microsoft
products without checking them out thoroughly).
(Not MS bashing here, but other browsers don't support
gaping security holes into my system nearly as readily.)
I return questionable doc files to the source for the
sender to clean and fix, when appropriate.
I regularly download the latest virus scanning programs,
from the original source, and use the latest data files.
I monitor Web sites for my browser, OS, and applications
and immediately download and apply all security
patches available. I keep an eye on Web sites and discussion
groups frequented by system administrators and college-age
computer geeks, both of whom are quick to jump on known
or potential security holes and to ruthlessly debunk frauds
or FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).
I've also never been infected with a virus.

Don't reply to this message on the list.


Eric J. Ray TECHWR-L Listowner
ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com

Syndicated columnist: Rays on Computing
Technology Department Editor, _Technical Communication_
Co-author of _Unix Visual Quickstart Guide_, _Mastering HTML 4_,
_Dummies 101: HTML 4_, _HTML 4 for Dummies Quick Reference_, others.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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