September 22, 2003

A Warning!

I got a VERY official looking email from "Microsoft" today claiming that there was a new Windows Update to fix security problems and I just had to click on the attachment to install it. For a brief moment I thought "how nice of them to send me an email. I'll just click this little attachment and fix up my computer nice and good." Then I thought wait a minute--I don't think Microsoft sends updates by email, and I don't remember giving Microsoft my email address for previous Windows updates. And I thought you know, if I wanted to distribute a virus, this is exactly how I would do it.

So I deleted the message and went to Yahoo News to see if my instincts were correct. They were. This article explains more about the worm cloaked as an update and confirms that Microsoft does NOT send updates through email, as well as some other ways to spot this forgery.

As computer-savvy as I like to think I am, I almost fell for this. Don't do it! And if you did, get yourself a good anti-virus program right away.

Posted by Shelby at September 22, 2003 01:55 PM

One thing you can do is look at the headers and see where it really came from. Even though the headers might be spoofed, it will give a clue that it's not the real thing. I got one recently saying Microsoft patch that looked like it came from Russia.

These virus writers are getting just too clever and a lot of people do fall for their tricks.

Posted by: suzi at September 22, 2003 06:13 PM

I've received at least a dozen of these over the last few days. Luckily, my anti-virus software cleaned them up before I had a chance to even think about clicking on them -- which I didn't even think to do because, nerd that I am, I frequently check out and heard these were coming!

Posted by: Ileen at September 22, 2003 09:19 PM

I once got an e-mail message in which the sender appeared to be PayPal, asking for a confirmation of account information. I was suspicious of it and wrote to PayPal about it. It turns out that it was a fraud message, attempting to get my name, address, account login, etc.

There are some dirty tricksters out there. If you get any e-mail asking you for account information, just delete it - it's no good!

Posted by: Erik at September 23, 2003 02:17 PM

I'm glad to hear you guys aren't falling for these messages! I got the PayPal one too, Erik, and a similar message from Ebay. They keep getting more sophisticated every day.

Posted by: Shelby at September 23, 2003 11:53 PM
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