Virii Lie

Annika Backstrom
in misc, on 18 March 2004. It is tagged and #Computers.

I received some pretty annoying e-mails this afternoon, both masquerading as a warning to e-mail users from " staff." (For those that don't know, I am " staff.") Here's a message with some headers removed:


Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 12:49:30 -0500


Subject: Important notify about your e-mail account.


Dear user of "" mailing system,

We warn you about some attacks on your e-mail account. Your computer may

contain viruses, in order to keep your computer and e-mail account safe,

please, follow the instructions.

Further details can be obtained from attached file.


The team (

I've also made the message source available (sans virus), for those that are interested in the full headers. I received another message (virus removed) that was slightly more convincing, including the supposed user's password as a bitmap image. Both messages purported to be from system administrators warning of dangers to their e-mail, and both included viruses as attachments.

While I can spot a fake pretty easily, most users don't even realize the From: line is completely arbitrary. And even though I know that fact, it's not like I check the SMTP servers of every message I receive.

E-mail is flawed... What else can I say?