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Re: Virus Information [long]

In a message dated 11/10/99 2:40:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
tm2@earthlink.net writes:

> Quattro Group
>   Subject:
>           Bubbleboy virus information (just highlighting your incoming
>   message will activate the virus) article from this morning's Seattle
>  Times
>      Date:
>           Wed, 10 Nov 1999 08:33:39 -0900
>  Pat Korach
>  Kirkland, WA
I believe there is a bubble boy virus, but it is 'rare' as defined by 
Symantec, and only affects Microsoft Outlook...  Check out the information 

3 ways you CAN'T get a virus
Engineers are infinitely creative and are constantly manufacturing new 
viruses. However, hoaxes, warnings, and horror stories are almost as common 
as real viruses. So the next time you hear a virus story, use some discretion 
before you hit the panic button. You cannot get a virus by: 
opening an email message
Simply reading the text of an email is totally harmless. But if the message 
has attachments, you should be careful about opening them. In fact, one 
recent virus reportedly takes advantage of Microsoft Mail to duplicate and 
send itself to other addresses in your in-box. If you're familiar with virus 
hoaxes, this ShareFun.A virus sounds suspiciously like a scam. Here's why 
it's not: the virus is contained in an attachment rather than in the email 
message itself. Don't execute strange attachments without scanning them 
first, and do not configure your email reader to launch Microsoft Word 
automatically when it receives an attached document. 

reading a Web page
Yes, there's a security hole in Internet Explorer: if you disable the 
browser's security function, malicious ActiveX Controls can rearrange files 
on your hard drive, look for classified information, and so forth. Similar 
problems are theoretically possible with Java. But these holes are not 
viruses. To get a virus from a Web page, you have to download a program and 
execute it, and both Navigator and Internet Explorer give you ample warning 
when you begin to do so. If you're paranoid, be sure to scan any file you 
download before opening it. 

downloading a file
Again, you must execute a program in order to contract a virus. So, if you 
download a document, you can get a virus when you open your word processing 
program to read it (technically, the document is data and cannot be 
infected--it's the macro, or template, that is infected). Or, if you download 
a suspicious piece of software, you can contract a virus when you try to 
install it. For example, there is a program called AOL4Free that will let you 
use America Online without paying (the student who created this program 
recently pleaded guilty to defrauding AOL). There is also a Trojan horse 
called AOL4Free that, if executed, overwrites all the files on your hard 
drive. But downloading the file is harmless--as long as you don't run it! 
(And what are you doing trying to cheat your way onto AOL, anyway?) To be 
safe, scan every file you download before you do anything with it.