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Nimda, Round 2

By jshakal ·
A programmer friend of mine offered this advice to halt or slow the spread of the Nimda worm:
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 !000 (that's an exclamation mark followed by 3 zeros). In the window below where it prompts you to enter the new email address, type in WormAlert. (If it tells you this is not a valid address just say yes to add it, or Ok).
Now, here's what you've done and why it works: the "name" !000 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. But when it tries to send itself to !000, it will be undeliverable because of the phony email address you entered (WormAlert). 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 InBox almost immediately.
Hence, if you ever get an email telling you that an email addressed to WormAlert 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.

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On second thought ...

by jshakal In reply to Nimda, Round 2

I've given some thought to this programmer came up with. While this fake address will tell you if you have a Worm trying to access your address book, it will not stop malicious emails from going out. To illustrate:

If I want to send a message to 10 friends, I click on 10 addresses from my email address book and they all show up in the TO: or CC: line. I write my message and hit send.

The e-mail server will attempt to send the message 10 all 10 address, and will no doubt report a mail failure, but the other addressees will still get their e-mails .... just not !000.

What do you folks think?

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