Scary Spam. The “BackSplash” from email viruses.
Many of the Viruses currently circulating around the greater part of the internet, at least those that use email as a means of distribution, ‘spoof’ or ‘forge’ email addresses to make it more difficult to track down sources of infection. As a result, just about anyone can receive error messages relating to a virus which they don’t have. Receiving random email messages (no matter how many) does not mean you have a virus. I repeat: just because you receive one of these warnings, it does not mean you have a virus. It also doesn’t mean that you DON’T have a virus! So be careful, but 99 times out of a 100, it is a virus on someone else’s machine. Someone who has your EMail Address in their address book, or cache, or somewhere. Yes, it could be someone you know. The odds are in favour of that. However, it could be that your email is on a web page somewhere.
The Problem in more detail…..
These Mail viruses pick up addresses to use by scanning an infected machine’s hard disk for any email addresses that might be found in address books, copies of emails, or web cache contents. The same process is also used to find addresses to send to. So this way, they can get a TO and a FROM address which are totally unrelated, but which may just click and allow the virus past an unintelligent Anti Spam or Virus scanner. This “Forging” of addresses is an extreme nuisance to us, but not immediately harmful. Our Scanning technologies are far more sophisticated.
With Anti virus and Anti spam protection on our servers, most of the mail viruses that get sent our way get blocked. They should NEVER get near you. But because ‘you have a virus’ messages don’t usually actually have the virus, our virus protection doesn’t block them.
What to do?
It’s unfortunate that not everyone runs a sophisticated mail system. Customers of Haloweb have the advantage of a sophisticated system. If others did also, they would realise that these messages are forgeries, and take more appropriate action. They should really either simply discard the offending message, or contact the real culprit in the crime. Instead these other mail systems ‘bounce’ the messages back to the forged “From” address.. And from there, everyone panics!
In summary, just because you receive one of these bounce messages, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you are infected. I do encourage you to remain vigilant though! Daily Updates occur on the Haloweb Servers. These scan and test every email that passes through. But one day, one might get through!!! So keep your own virus scanners running too!