I sent this text out to a lot of folks that I know. I just thought it might be useful to make it available on the internet.
Good Morning I don't want to alarm you, but have you heard of the "BugBear" computer virus. If you have, and have got it all in hand, or if you are not interested in such matters, please ignore the rest of this message and forgive me for bothering you. If you have not heard about it, here are two web pages that you might want to look at to get details of it. They are:- http://www.auscert.org.au/render.html?it=2452 and http://firstname.lastname@example.org On the first page mentioned, the second paragraph in the "Description" section explains how it gets EMail addresses from which to EMail itself. The whole of the second page makes very sobering reading, but the bit that concerns me the most, is the diagram and explanation of how it captures the keystrokes made on your keyboard - the consequences of this do not bear thinking about. My reason for writing this message is because in the last 24 hours four of my friends have telephoned me to ask about it. Three of them had been infected and one had got the virus on his PC but had not opened the file containing it, so it had not been activated. I have been sent a copy of it eight times, from several different supposed "senders" - fortunately, it has been stopped at the door and has not got onto or into my PC. (That leaves me with a certain feeling of satisfaction when I see the announcement saying that it has not been allowed in !!) The virus is usually sent by EMail - there are two simple ways that you can take to stop it becoming active on your PC. If you see a message that is bigger than 10 KBytes that you are not certain you are expecting, leave it on your Mail Service Providers computer (it is better there than on your computer) until you have checked with the sender. If you get an message with an attachment that you are not absolutely and totally knowledgeable about, do not open it. That way, if it is a virus, it will not be activated !! There are three things that I have done on my PCs to help to repel these damned intruders. 1. Install a firewall program to protect myself from folk that come sneaking into my PC when I am connected to the internet or other PCs. The one that I use and recommend is ZoneAlarm. It can be obtained (for free) from http://www.zonelabs.com 2. I use Norton AntiVirus 2002 (it is better than 2001 or earlier). It has an "AutoProtect" facility that checks any EMail that you Send or Receive and if they are infected, they are not allowed to pass. It cost me around forty or fifty pounds and it is worth every penny. 3. The most used EMail package is Outlook / Outlook Express so most viruses that are transmitted by EMail are written especially to exploit features and holes that exist in those two packages. So I found a little used package which is good (and smaller and faster than Outlook) and very fully functional. It is called Phoenix Mail. It can be downloaded for free from http://phxmail.sourceforge.net/ or http://fox.hispeed.com/phoenix/us_home.shtml It really works, if you try it and have any problems, feel free to ask me. N O T E - When I said do not open any attachments that you are not certain about, I really do mean ANY - even Graphics files - a way has been found to hide viruses in graphics files. Some EMail packages will automatically open attachments (especially Graphics files) - now they are REALLY dangerous. If you are interested, you might want to look at a page about EMails and Security - it is at http://www.textsafe.com/mailsec.htm Do you ever send mail to more than one person at the same time, if so, you may be interested to look at http://www.textsafe.com/bigmailinfo.htm Peter Byers