Recognizing Viruses

hopcroft-pages-banner-image

 

 

Recognizing Computer Viruses

 

 


“If your hard disk isn’t promiscuous, it doesn’t get social diseases”. That’s still true, but the threats can come these days from lots of different places. E-mail and Websites are now the biggest threats. E-Mail viruses, however, usually exhibit several of the following characteristics. If you spot them early, you can protect against them.

Recognize computer viruses

     The message is from someone you don’t know.
     It’s from someone you know (maybe know well), but the message is not the sort of thing that person usually sends you and it contains an attachment.
     The message specifically asks you to take some action such as opening an attachment.
     The sender is known, but doesn’t generally send attachments unannounced.
     The attachment has a .exe, .bin, or .vbs extension. These are executable files and a virus has to execute in order to work.
     The attachment has two or more extensions (for example, “picture.jpg.vbs”. Those are virtually certain to be a virus!
     The message talks about an Internet link it wants you to open, but the reference is really to an attachment. Another certain indicator of a virus!
     You have ignored all of the other signs, but get a warning of a macro when you try to open a Word document (with a .doc or .docx extension).

I once got a message with most of those characteristics about it. I deleted the message and sent a warning to my mailing lists. The next day I attended a conference on viruses and the talk of the morning was how much havoc the message had caused at the local university where the conference was held.

IF IN DOUBT, DELETE THE MESSAGE AND THE ATTACHMENT WITHOUT OPENING THEM. A LEGITIMATE MESSAGE CAN BE RE-SENT.

Back to the Whitepapers Page