Virus alert

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Sun Jun 8 22:54:26 UTC 2003

Le Friday, 6 Jun 2003, à 14:20 America/New_York, Bartek Plichta a écrit

> There's a computer virus going around, also on this list. It harvests
> email addresses
> from the ADS web postings and distributes itself as a legitimate ADS
> message. Once your
> computer gets infected, the virus will send messages to all of your
> contacts. More info
> on the symantect and McAfee websites.

This is not necessarily the way the virus is getting those addresses.
The virus is more likely fetching addresses from the mail cache of
someone who is subscribed to the list and has saved many messages,
particularly considering since, judging by the infected messages I have
received, the same person is also subscribed to Linguist List. While it
is possible to get such addresses from the web pages, there are, so
far, no viruses which can on their own harvest messages directly from a
web page, but only from the web browser cache of pages which have
already been visited by an infected computer. This limits the damage
that can be done, and also puts responsibility for preventing this sort
of infection in the hands of the users or their IT personnel.

Your statement about auto-harvesting addresses from the web archive
might be valid, but I believe the structure of the archive prevents
this sort of thing. It even blocks more legitimate robots, such as
those operated Google. However, I will double-check with Tony Aristar
at LinguistList.

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at
American Dialect Society webmaster

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