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This page was last updated: 6/5/2007 1:43:05 PM

I received a message implying that a virus has been sent from my email account/address.

Q5: I received a message implying that a virus has been sent from my email account/address. Is my computer infected? If not, is there a way to prevent these messages?


A: 99% of the current viruses and worms out there out there on the Internet today forge the sending address! It is extremely unlikely that your computer, either here or at home, is the source of the virus. The source computer is elsewhere on the Internet, possibly someone you know who had your email address located on their hard drive (in their address book, in a document, in an email message, etc.), and the worm harvested that address for the purpose of forging the original infected message. This is an extremely common tactic.

That being said, no, there is no way we can prevent someone elseís computer from becoming infected and from forging an email using your email address. Itís just the nature of the Internet. We can keep our own house clean by keeping our workstations from becoming infected and by blocking virus or worm laden messages from entering our network, but we canít keep someone elseís house clean for them.

Finally, there is not much we can do to prevent you from seeing these notices which originate from someone elseís network. They have (unfortunately) configured their email gateway to send a message to the originating address when a virus is found. There really is no point in doing this, because the person at the originating address did not actually send the message. Most responsible network administrators shut this behavior off (we do). Unfortunately there are some less experienced network administrators that donít fully understand this concept, so their email systems continue to send an erroneous message to the senderís email address.
 



 
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