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Email Viruses

Microsoft's Forefront Online Protection for Exchange protects EUI email against viruses.

You may, however, receive notifications telling you that a message of yours could not be delivered or contained a virus, or even that it was identified as "unsolicited bulk email".

The notification probably cites a destination address totally unknown to you and with whom you are unaware of having ever corresponded. The reason for this is that viruses "hide" their sender's original name (obviously!) and use real existing e-mail addresses.

This means that an infected computer somewhere else has sent out messages containing a virus under your name. The error notifications are then returned to you as the apparent sender, thus creating a false alarm.

You may also receive messages whose sender appears to be one of your habitual correspondents or an existing EUI address, but which in fact originate from some infected computer disguising its true identity under the name of a trusted sender.

Remember that mass mails from the EUI Computing Service are always distributed from the CS, Info-Desk (citsinfo) mail-sender. Therefore, you can safely assume that warning messages purportedly coming from such addresses as administration@, management@, staff@, noreply@, support@, etc. are generated by a virus somewhere.

If you have any doubts about virus warnings or mail non-delivery messages that come back to you, ask your Site Office, which will determine from the content of the messages whether there is any real cause for concern.

Never redistribute to your colleagues, correspondents, or fellow users at large, warnings you may receive from any source about the "latest", "most destructive" virus supposedly being unleashed on the Internet. 

These are mostly hoaxes, often in circulation for a number of years, and apt to cause unnecessary alarm and further unwarranted mass mailings. If there is a genuine virus threat, the CS Info-Desk will distribute reliable information about the nature of the risk and any action to be taken.

You can also verify for yourself the authenticity of any virus alerts you receive via e-mail by searching one of the authoritative Web sites such as the Symantec Hoax Page, Vmyths, HoaxBuster (in French), or others.

For up-to-date information about genuine virus threats world-wide see Symantec Threat Explorer, amongst others.

Good practice is never to open attachments if you are not expecting mail or attachments from the particular sender. Better still would be to double-check with the presumed sender before you open any attachment.

Be cautious about clicking on Web links offered by unsolicited messages. In particular never open a bank account or something similar by clicking on a Web link offered in an e-mail message. This will almost certainly be used for catching or 'phishing' your personal account details,  

Your desktop PC, connected to our network, is protected, and virus patterns are constantly updated. We  emphasise that many of you may be using personal laptops to connect to the Internet. It is very important, for the security of your own personal data and systems, that you do whatever necessary to keep your antivirus software regularly updated at all times.

For more info for EUI members' personal laptops see Virus Protection Policy.   



Page last updated on 20 August 2017

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