I’ve been seeing a major spike in emails on my personal mail account with titles like “Current Microsoft Critical Pack”, “Current Net Critical Update”, “Latest Microsoft Security Upgrade”, etc. These mails claim to be, no surprise, critical security updates from Microsoft. It’s obvious that they’re actually e-mail virii. This is a nasty bit of social engineering targeted at the naive Windows user, and judging from the volume of them I’m receiving it seems to be working.

The thing that makes me curious, though, is that I haven’t heard a new virus warning for this one. Am I just not paying attention?

(This is the sort of thing that makes me glad I run Linux, incidentally.)

12 Responses to “Bill Gates Strikes Again?”
  1. Anne Haight says:

    I’ve been telling people for years. Never open an attachment you aren’t expecting.

    Never open an attachment you aren’t expecting!

    “What about this one?”

    “Are you expecting it?”

    “No.”

    WINNAR!!!

  2. Macker says:

    IF I were to buy a PC, I’d also make sure it runs LInux. IF I were to buy a PC that is….

  3. Vicent says:

    I am also receiving those nasty e-mails?

    What can we do (apart from not opening them, of course)?

  4. Anne Haight says:

    Really not much you can do, on an individual level. Just protect your system as much as you can. Seems that most of the viruses/trojans/worms that go around are targeting various Windows/Outlook vulnerabilities, so one way to avoid infection would be to not use those programs for email. I have Win98, for example, but I only use it to play games and sometimes run MSIE. I boot to linux for email (kmail).

    As to stopping the overall chokehold on the internet (these floods overload the internet backbone and various local servers), the eventual solution would be for the majority of computer owners/users to stop being idiots when it comes to their computers.

    Most people regard their computer as an appliance that they turn on and use, something akin to a microwave. Until people understand computers better, the vulnerability born of ignorance will be an issue.

  5. keith says:

    I have had the same thing to 2 seperate email accounts. They keep sending them, anyone know a way to have them stopped?

    TIA

  6. Kyle Haight says:

    There are some techniques for mitigating the impact. Unfortunately they often require greater access to the mail server than most ISPs will provide, and greater technical expertise than the average user possesses.

    My current e-mail delivery path is quite baroque. I have a permanent forwarding address provided by the alumni association at my alma mater. That address forwards mail to a Unix server at my ISP on which I have a shell account. I have installed a program called SpamAssassin on that server, and have configured it so that all mail I receive there is sent through it. SpamAssassin analyzes the mail using a complicated set of spam-detecting rules; I’ve also hand-added a few rules of my own. Mail that is determined to be spam is discarded; other mail is then forwarded to my ISP’s regular mail server from which I can access it using a standard IMAP mail client like KMail or (hypothetically) Outlook. This works pretty well for me; however I am a technically sophisticated user and even so it took me several days to get everything working right.

    It is possible to install SpamAssassin on local Linux PCs, and I believe there is a commercialized version available for Windows. It can still help even if you don’t run it on the mail server; the main drawback is that you still have to download all the spam to your local machine before SpamAssassin can analyze it. If you have a thin pipe like a dial-up connection, that doesn’t address the time wasted sucking down hundreds of virus mails at 150k each.

    Unfortunately I don’t know of any easy answer to really fixing the problem. The true solution is going to be a combination of law enforcement and fundamental changes to the e-mail infrastructure.

  7. THE SMART ONE says:

    ANNE YOU FUCKEN HORE, YOU STUPID BITCH WHO THE FUCK DO YOU FUCKEN THINK YOU ARE TO MAKE UP THESE RACIAL COMMENTS, AND DISTURBE THE PEACEFUL WAYS OF BILL GATES, AGAIN YOU FUCKEN EVIL MONSTER, STOP FUCKEN BITCHING AROUND YOU FUCKEN HORE

    ANNE IT’S OBVIOUS YOUR STUPIDITY REACHES NO LIMIT. AFTER READING YOUR MONOTONOUS RACIALLY INSULTING ARTICLE(OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT) I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT YOU DID NOT DO YOUR RESEARCH. I END MY COMMENT, BY SAYING AGAIN, THAT YOUR IDIOTIC STUPIDITY REACHES NO LIMIT. I RECOMMEND THAT YOU SEARCH FOR IMMEADIATE PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY YOUR MENTALLITY IS NOT MENTALLITY, YOU IDIOTIC UNINTELLIGENT STUPID GIRL. I END THIS COMMENT BY THE SECOND TIME, BY ENJOYING MYSELF BY SAYING THAT YOU ARE MENTALLY INCAPABLE. IF YOU WISH TO FURTHER DEBATE YOUR STUPIDITY POST A COMMENT(TRY TO MAKE IT NON-IDIOTIC PLEASE)AND, I’LL ANSWER YOUR ALMOST TO HUMAN INTELLIGENCE COMMENT, AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. AND AGAIN(SINCE I KNOW MENTALLY RETARTED PEOPLE, LIKE YOU, HAVE SHORT TERM MEMORY) I MUST REMIND YOU OF YOUR IDIOTIC STUPIDITY.

  8. Kyle Haight says:

    People who post under the handle “The Smart One” undermine their claim to intelligence when they:

    1) Can’t spell.
    2) Can’t get the caps-lock key unstuck.

    Thanks for playing.

  9. sm says:

    BY SAYING THAT I CAN’T SPELL I’M FORCED TO SUPPOSE THAT I MISPELLED WORDS THAT WERE PROFANITY. WELL, I MUST ASK YOU TO FORGIVE ME, IT’S A RARITY THAT INTELLIGENT PEOPLE, SUCH AS MYSELF, USE PROFANITY, WHICH CAUSE US TO MISPELL THE WORDS. WE ONLY RESORT TO SUCH LOW WORDS WHEN REFERRING T0 LOWER THINGS, SUCH AS ANNE.

    I’M NOT ABLE TO “UNSTUCK” THE CAPS-LOCK KEY, BECAUSE IT’S NOT “STUCKED” IN THE FIRST PLACE. NOT HAVING A PARTIALLY BROKEN KEYBOARD, DOESN’T MAKE ME LESS INTELLIGENT.

    AND QUOTING, WHAT I SUPPOSE MUST HAVE BEEN AN ATTEMPT TO CAUSE LAUGHTER, “THANKS FOR PLAYING”

  10. Anne Haight says:

    sm – Misspelled words in your posts:

    FUCKEN
    HORE
    DISTURBE
    IMMEADIATE
    MENTALLITY
    RETARTED
    MISPELLED (oh, the irony)
    MISPELL
    STUCKED

    Misused words:

    RACIAL (instead of “racist”)

    Grammar/Comprehension Problems:

    “BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY YOUR MENTALLITY IS NOT MENTALLITY”

    What the fuck does THAT mean?

    “I END THIS COMMENT BY THE SECOND TIME”

    You might want to check your dictionary for the proper use of the word “by” in a sentence.

    I also take points off for various misuses of the comma, capital letters, and repetitive dialogue.

    And can we at least try to stay on topic here? This post is supposed to be about Bill Gates, not me. I didn’t even post that one. Kyle did.

  11. Giada De Laurentiis says:

    Bill Gates is one of the smartest men of our time.

  12. Newton Ma says:

    why all the hate for bill?

Leave a Reply