Protecting Address Book

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I received this Email from a friend, does it work?

I learned a computer trick today that's really ingenious in its simplicity.
As you may know, when/if a worm virus gets into your computer it heads
straight for your email address book, and sends itself to everyone in there,
thus infecting all your friends and associates.

This trick won't keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will
stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert
you to the fact that the worm has gotten into your system.

Here's what you do:

First, open your address book and click on "new contact," just as you would
do if you were adding a new friend to your list of email addresses.  In the
window where you would type your friend's first name, type in " A".

For the screen name or email address, type "AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA"

Now, here's what you've done and why it works:

The "name" " A" will be placed at the top of your address book as entry#1.
This will be where the worm will start in an effort to send itself to all
your friends.  When it tries to send itself to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA, it will be
undeliverable because of the phony email address you entered. If the first
attempt fails (which it will because of the phony address), the worm goes no
further and your friends will not be infected.

Here's the second great advantage of this method:  If an email cannot be
delivered, you will be notified of this in your In Box almost immediately.
Hence, if you ever get an email telling you that an email addressed to
AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA could not be delivered, you know right away that you have
the worm virus in your system. You can then take steps to get rid of it!

Re: Protecting Address Book

Quercus Robur came up with this when s/he headbutted the keyboard a moment
ago in

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sounds very farfetched to me, not least because of the fact that worms don't
tend to wait for replies as they work through addressbooks.
-*- Linux Desktops & Clustering Solutions -*-
-*- Registered Linux user #426308 -*-       
-*- Linux is like a wigwam: no Windows, no Gates, and Apache inside.
-*- <discl mode="Boilerplate" />

Re: Protecting Address Book

Quercus Robur wrote:

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..found by placing "HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ADDRESS BOOK!" in the search box
at snopes' main page.

Practically every email of this type that you get - especially the ones
that urge you to 'forward to everyone you know' - are hoaxes. Naturally,
don't pass it along to anyone else.

I sometimes have a spot of fun by 'replying to all' with the hoax links.

   -Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck

Re: Protecting Address Book

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It could for a _tiny_ subset of worms.  And it certainly doesn't cost
anything to do, so no harm in putting such a thing in there.  But I
wouldn't waste anyone else's time forwarding the tip on because it's
so unlikely to actually help.

The problem is that by no means do all worms use the suppositions
needed for this to work, which would be:

        The worm actually looks for success of the sending of outbound
        mail and looks for replies/confirmations to come back to
        determine whether to go on.   4 out of 5 worms surveyed opt to
        just trudge forward and try all combinations and ignore any
        problems along the way.

        The worm uses the address book for the specific email client
        you use.  If you use outlook express though, it's a good bet
        worms will check for that one since it's rather popular.

        The worm won't necessarily use your email address as the From:
        address (as would be required if you are hoping to get a
        bounce in return to alert you to the "problem").  Many take
        all the addresses they find from so many different sources and
        then forge from: and set to: addresses semi randomly

Best Regards,
Todd H. /

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