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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Could this be a virus?

    This could very likely be a virus. The blue S icon is the icon for visual basic script files -- file extension .vbs. I would get rid of that file pronto without opening it and also run an antivirus scan. It's good that you update your AV files, but you also need to use them. Also, if you haven't already done so, go to My Computer/Tools/Folder options/View and uncheck "hide file extensions for known file types" and, while you're there, select the "show hidden files and folders." After you have done that, you may see that the file name of those message attachments has changed from filename.jpg (if that's what it was) to filename.jpg.vbs. This is one of the classic ways that the Baddies get into your computer and mess it up. While it is not certain that this particular attachment is a virus, I wouldn't take a chance. I myself am so suspicious of this kind of file that I would delete it without opening even if an AV scan indicated it was OK. Maybe other loungers can say if I am being overly cautious.

    Fafner

  2. #2
    Bronze Lounger
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    Could this be a virus?

    A relative forwards me lots of stuff, usually because he thinks the material is funny. Today he sent me two messages that contain attachments. The attachments in both messages show as icons in the message header in the Outlook 98 preview pane. One of the icons looks like a stylized letter S, blue in color. When I open one of the messages, this strange icon does not appear--just the icon for a JPEG picture. However, I do get a warning that the message contains an ActiveX control that may be unsafe. I've read that such an ActiveX control could be something malicious. Is this something my AV software will catch, if it is in fact malicious? BTW: this particular message was something about a little girl found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, and the subject of the message was, "LAPD needs your help." Sounds fishy to me...any ideas? (I update my Norton AV files weekly, BTW.) Perhaps a more basic question is this: What is an "ActiveX control"? I have Woody and Barry's "Mother of all Windows 98 Books," and I've read about ActiveX, but I still don't quite understand the basic function of ActiveX controls. Looks like they're like fire: they have their friendly and not-so-friendly uses. On page 585, Barry writes about the Security Alert message that comes "...straight from Win98's security department." The alert is "telling you something important.... Be careful!" But...be careful how? How does all this connect with viruses, trojan horses, worms...? Oy!

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Could this be a virus?

    Thanks for the response. I've already done as you suggest--my system is set up to show ALL file type extensions. I learned about that from Woody long ago. And I do use my virus software--it's set to snag viruses automatically. But you sound a little like me: suspicious, cautious, maybe to a fault. I've never opened anything that has that little blue snake (the VBS thing), and to my knowledge I don't have any viruses running amuck in my system. The guy who sends me this stuff I know is not as careful or as knowledgeable as he should be. He's just having a good time, and I'm not so sure he's wearing a condom (his AV stuff, I mean). As you were preparing your reply, I was editing my original post. I added a question or two. Would you mind revisiting my post? Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Could this be a virus?

    it's a script as you already know. go into tools > options > security and set outlook to use the restricted zone and make sure all active content items are disabled or set to prompt.

  5. #5
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    Re: Could this be a virus?

    OK, it's a script...but what's a script? What's it supposed to do? Why would an e-mail message carry one? Is it necessarily evil? The message in question consisted of a basic text message, an attached photo (presumably JPEG), and the script. What's the script doing in this package? I know you can't know precisely what the script is supposed to do in this particular message, but what MIGHT be it's function, good or bad? Thank you!

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Could this be a virus?

    scripts can be good or bad. active stationary uses scripts to make them active and do neat things. (count your blessings if none of your friends are into stationary <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>)

    save the message to the hard drive using file> save as >text and look at it using notepad. you should see the script. you may not understand it but might get a rough idea of what it does, based on words it contains. (example: time & background might indicate a changing background)

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a virus?

    If you're dying to know what a script does, save it to disk and open it in Notepad. I posted a script earlier that would rewrite various settings in the registry. These are examples of benign changes a script could make, but it's all too easy to trash the system completely.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=oe&Number=18372>http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/showthread...oe&Number=18372</A>

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