Darwinian Domesticat #1: Virus-laden emails

I am very, very tired of sending out variations on these emails. At least they're already written, and I don't have to try to write them from scratch each time. Option #1 is for the first-time offenders:

Dear [you]:

I've just received [number of] emails in quick succession that appear to be virus-generated emails from you. They look like emails generated by the Klez virus. The emails match viral patterns, include random images from my site, and are addressed to email addresses that are only available in the 'skin your website' tutorial that's available on my site (domesticat.net).

I checked your site, and you've recently posted that you plan on skinning your site, which probably means you've read the tutorial. The Klez virus (among others) scans files contained on your computer (including common web page extensions) and fires emails out to the email addresses it finds on the page.

If you're not running antivirus software—with regularly updated virus definitions—on your computer, you should be. I'd suggest checking your computers over as soon as possible to determine if you are infected.

Oh, and good luck skinning your site. :)


Option #2 tends to get sent out after about ten obviously-viral emails from a single person land in my inbox:

Dear [you]:

Greetings. I don't know you, but I received an email this morning that appears to be from you. This email, quoted below, matches the parameters for the Klez virus (see //www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.klez.h [at] mm.html">Symantec's page about it).

I cannot be absolutely certain that this email comes from you, because the Klez virus changes the From: line to be some random address plucked from files on your computer. In this case, it was:

(address removed; I'm not THAT evil)

However, [ your email ] shows up in the return-path, which makes you a likely candidate for the infectee.

If you don't have antivirus software installed on your computer, you should either download or purchase some immediately. If it turns out that you're not infected, and the return-path on this email was forged as well, please accept my apologies. (But do make sure that you install antivirus software and update your virus definitions regularly, no matter what!)

Good luck.


Now. Let's get right to the heart of the rant. There's that whole Darwinian thing that says, "Hey, if you're ignorant/crazy/stupid enough to have a computer hooked to the net that isn't running regularly-updated antivirus software, you deserve whatever flames the flamethrowers of the net throw in your direction."

Then there's the nice side, which pats the Darwinian domesticat on the back, gives her a quick scritch on the neck, and says in a nice soothing voice, "Everyone has to learn sometime. Send them a nice email, warn them that their n00biness is showing, move on, and be done with it."

Letting the Darwinian domesticat out is tantamount to opening up the antacid bottle.

I dunno. Maybe I get too worked up about it. Or maybe I'm just really, really sick of getting multiple virus-laden emails in my inbox each day, every day, for the past couple of weeks. I run a non-standard email client (Mulberry) which is about as forgiving on email contents as, say, Pine. Its partner in crime is a lovely copy of Norton AntiVirus, which is set to auto-update its virus definitions regularly.

Between the two of them, I'm covered from anything except a) my own idiocy (in case I decide to override Norton AV) and b) virii in the wild that aren't covered by Norton AV yet. While I'm willing to concede defeat in the case of a) (never, ever underestimate the power of your own idiocy!), I've not run into b) yet in the entire time I've been a quasi-responsible netizen.

It just never ceases to amaze me that people will shell out fundage for ISP access, but are unwilling to fork out the thirty bucks that it takes to avoid pain, embarrassment, and viral cleanups. It's like taking your vitamins….except that you don't get hate mail from your friends and co-workers if you forget your iron supplement.

I'm thinking that maybe I should start spicing up my emails with random bits. You know, taking geek obfuscatory humor to a new and frightening level: write some kind of random text generator that makes the emails a bit more interesting. I lean towards phrasing along the lines of 'ritual murders of clowns' or 'weekly spouse-trading' or something equally titillating like that.

The idea is not just to get the recipients to take care of their current virus infection, but to terrorize them so much that they never, ever, send another email…

[Commercial break while I ever-so-subtly cart the ranting, flailing Darwinian domesticat back into the closet she apparently just escaped from.]

I will say this, though…I've seen a 100% success rate on my emails so far. While I've never seen a response from any of the people I've emailed, I've also not seen any more virus-laden emails from them, either. Perhaps that means they've turned their computers off in fear.

Now, for the rest of you….


Wait. She's out again. Those damned Darwinian domesticats. Pesky, they are. You guys carry on with your lives, while I explain to her that she doesn't get to come out and rant again until I start working on code again tomorrow morning.


I just don't bother to use my email at home. I only use my work email, which I access through pine. That solves a heck of a lot of problems.

*lolol* The "Darwinian domesticat" - I love her! You have more patience than I - I've stopped sending "informativee" emails at the moment and have turned to Mailwasher (http://www.mailwasher.net/) instead to head them off at the server. *hugz*

n00b ain't my term by any stretch. It's one I've got much use for, though.

*sigh* I suppose at some point, now that I have a 24/7 windows box connected to the network, I'm going to have to get an anti-virus program. I figure that I can put off doing it until I'm out of Houghton, as I don't actually read my e-mail on that machine. Stupid windowz.

Thanks sooooo much for helping me. I really appreiciate it. I did, after much reading and going though the agrivation of turning my computer on and off a bazillion times get the virus cleaned up. I haven't got any affected emails since. I'm so releaved. I must apologize, however, for my own stupidity when I actually opened one of the stupid attachments. I was kicking myself in the ass after that. Thanks again.

Huzzah! We've converted another one away from the Dark Side! You may pick up your lightsaber, your robe, your cute little braid and a can full of whoop-ass down the hall. Remember that your light saber is not a toy. You can poke someone's eye out with that. Be careful! (Oh, and since last night's post I've gotten three more virus-infected emails. Blah!)

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