General discussion


Unexpected E-Mail Attachments

By T_P ·
I am faced with the situation of receiving unexpected e-mail attachments via MS Outlook, in response to my employee recruiting assignment. Are there any suggestions on how to avoid potential virus infections? I can't simply not open the unexpected attachment, it is usually a well meaning resume.

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by eBob In reply to Unexpected E-Mail Attachm ...

You should have a tool on your email gateway that scans incoming email. "Just" configure it to quarantine all suspect attachments. A quarantine is a separate file system (or at least a directory) in which these attachments are placed. You go there manually and scan the files, before letting them go onto your network.

See the discussion "extension Blocking, The Debate" for some views on this.

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Length of Quarantine

by T_P In reply to Quarantine

We have been kicking the quarantine idea around and are tyring to decide how long a file should be kept in isolation.

Sometimes our current virus detection software vendor is a little behind the curve in publishing pattern/detection updates.

We are thinking that 24 hours may be too short.

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Until they've been checked

by eBob In reply to Length of Quarantine

We dump files into quarantine and they stay there until they've been scanned, and passed. If there is any doubt, we scan them with at least 2 products (e.g., McAfee + Trend, or CA + Norton, etc.) which we try to keep as current as possible. If thereis still doubt, we keep them until that doubt has passed.

In general, our Friendly Users can count on a MINIMUM of 24 hours. Although in reality, files get through to them often the same business day. This thanks to a "reasonable" user:admin ratio.

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Email ??

by microbuff In reply to Unexpected E-Mail Attachm ...


I would say invest is a good email client and
a good antivirus. I use systemworks 2002 which allows you to put the item in question is a isolated area for checking or deletion. If you use a good antivirus it will check attachments. You canalso move over to lesser
prone to attach email client.

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Open Them.

by gshollingsworth In reply to Unexpected E-Mail Attachm ...

Use a viewer only program to open the attachments. Do not use Word to open a Word document or Excel for an Excel document or any application for it's native format documents. Try something like Quick View plus at You should still scan for viruses and such. Do you need to use Outlook? A pure mail viewer is safer. Is there a separate mailbox setup for these e-mails? You should not have to use your own mailbox to receive these e-mails. Keeping them separate is better organization, and safer for your mailbox.

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why hassle?

by AlexMc013 In reply to Open Them.

I agree with you as far as using foreign formats. However, why bother with more than one mailbox? Obviously, there is a risk, but will the point not become obsolete when the spare mailbox is "infected?" Suppose it is a vital e-mail with a harmful attachment? Then regardless of the mailbox, something important will be lost.

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Very true

by AlexMc013 In reply to Unexpected E-Mail Attachm ...

Is there a dependable filtering system you could purchase? Although young hackers are becoming quite good at making them obsolete, surely there is one out there that still works. Technology is always advancing.

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Why Not Save and Scan?

by SheilaU In reply to Unexpected E-Mail Attachm ...

If you feel you have to open the file, why not save the file, scan it and then open it? That's what we tell callers who insist that they have to open attachments. It may take a few extra seconds or so, but how long would it take for you to recover from a virus hit?

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