Re: (>H) META-ish: Virus warning

William Kitchen (
Fri, 01 Nov 1996 13:58:05 -0600

You would have to execute the attached program in order for it to do
anything. If it is a virus infected executable, then executing it would
most likely cause your system to become infected. If it is a
destructive program disguized as something useful, and doesn't replicate
itself, then it's a trojan horse, not a virus. Either way, it requires
your active involvement to do anything.

It is possible, however, for some kinds of executable code in a file
attachment to execute automatically upon receipt. Some email software
can recognize document types and then launch an appropriate application
to load the document. If the document is a type that can contain
executable code (MS Word files with programs written in Word's macro
language are a notorious example), then it is indeed possible for a
virus or trojan to load and execute automatically. It all just depends
on what software you are using and how you have it set up.

Ian Goddard wrote:
> At 02:27 PM 10/31/96 +0000, wrote:
> > You can't get a virus by reading your mail, even if there
> > is a virus attached. The technology doesn't work that way.
> IAN: What about a file attached to an email ? These files are loaded
> onto my hardrive like any file, and a virus, as I understand, is basicaly
> an exe file. As far as I can see, one of those attached files can be an
> exe virus file. How is this not so?

                              William Kitchen