All entries for Saturday 28 January 2006

January 28, 2006

Why are email clients so dumm?

Talking about malicious programs spread by emails.

Apparently one called "BlackWorm" or Nyxem.E has infected more than 300,000 Windows computers worldwide. Standard email clients (such as Microsoft Outlook, Firefox etc) are dumm enough to allow uses to run anything that comes in over the internet.

Are there any scenarios where anyone short of a systems programmer would legitimately receive such powerful software?

The fact that an attachment contains software which is capable of doing serious damage to your computer is clearly indicated by its MIME (corresponding to .exe, .com, .bat, .msp, .msi etc in Windows-speak – "BlackWorm" uses .pif). Why don't email clients simply refuse to open them?


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