The Null Device

Make it stop!

Will those Internet users who are using Windows to read their mail please stop it? I've received something like a dozen copies of the Klez virus this weekend alone. (It doesn't do anything to me other than clog up my mailbox as I use Mutt under UNIX, but clearing it out is still an annoyance.) If you can't use UNIX, then for the love of Ghod, buy a Macintosh or something. My mailbox will thank you.

There are 12 comments on "Make it stop!":

Posted by: Andrew Sun Aug 4 22:32:27 2002

I believe what you really want to be asking is : don't open any attachments you didn't ask for. Don't send HTML emails. Filter out all email with attachments and HTML and you'll get no spam.

Posted by: acb Mon Aug 5 01:39:25 2002

Except for the Outlook buffer overflows which only rely a message to be listed on the screen or opened, that is.

Posted by: Luke Mon Aug 5 05:03:25 2002

Well, the other M$-stylee option is to use Mailwasher first. - basic delete/bounce without downloading. Why don't they include this kind of thing as *standard*?

Posted by: Graham Mon Aug 5 09:44:50 2002

Mailwasher's heuristics aren't too bad for catching spam, though sometimes something slips through.

For that matter, Mailwasher and Pegasus Mail* - are both NZ-coded, so why don't they get their heads together and integrate the two. Tho' they work pretty well together already.

(* - which I've used since 1996 - looks like it too, but it does the job without too much crap - I usually recommend Pmail or Eudora to those poor bastards who don't know that the way to stop 95% of viruses is to not use fucking Outlook.)

Posted by: acb Mon Aug 5 10:01:07 2002

I remember Pegasus Mail from the days of MS-DOS and Novell NetWare at Monash. It seemed easy to use though somewhat primitive.

Posted by: Peter Tue Aug 6 05:06:01 2002

Well, you could just use Mozilla mail in Windows instead. Mind you, I use Outlook XP and haven't ever contracted a virus. Just have decent antivirus software and keep it up-to-date, and it'll catch anything before it hits your inbox and strip attachments. And Outlook XP can be told not to automatically run any macros and stuff. What you mean is: "Can stupid Windows users just fuck off?"

Posted by: acb Tue Aug 6 05:15:39 2002

Some version of Outlook is sufficiently brain-damaged to spread viruses, and sufficiently widely used to be responsible for the epidemic of viruses. It can't be just a matter of mass cluelessness; there must be badly-designed and insecure software exacerbating, if not causing, the problem.

Posted by: Andrew Tue Aug 6 06:39:52 2002

The real problem is people sticking with the software that is on their computer and never upgrading... ever. I'd like to extend the call and tell everyone using a browser that doesn't support HTML 4.01 to please go and upgrade their browser. I remember hearing that call two years ago and we still have 10% of the market using Netscape 4.X. Why?

Posted by: acb Tue Aug 6 08:02:38 2002

Now if everyone used Debian GNU/Linux, we wouldn't have this problem.

Posted by: bryan http:// Tue Aug 6 08:45:22 2002

gee, I thought the outlook buffer overflow was fixed some months back? If everyone used product X instead of product Y we would have the problems associated with product X instead of the problems associated with product Y.

Posted by: acb Tue Aug 6 09:44:42 2002

Yes. But if there was a wide range of different products, there would be less scope for viruses and exploits to work as they'd have a harder time of finding targets. It's the monoculture problem.

Also, Microsoft have a rather bad record as far as security goes. Systems such as MS Exchange, IIS, IE, Outlook, &c., have been afflicted by bugs and viruses more often than competing systems. Partly because of the monoculture problem and partly because of Microsoft's corporate culture and/or software development processes.

Posted by: Ben Wed Aug 7 00:43:11 2002

I use Eudora on Windows (too lazy to change operating systems; keep meaning too, and don't really have an excuse not to now that OpenOffice is up to scratch) - anyway, I just receive the damn things. They're all designed for unprotected Outlook users.

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