Re: Email Preview Pane and Viral Infection Basics



Andy <Andy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hello, I am in the IT field and I am confused whether previewing an
email can infect you with a virus. I cannot seem to get a clear
answer after talking to 5 different people. Most say you should not
preview messages because it can launch viruses, but my understanding
of attachments does not jive with that concept. I believe previewing
is the same as opening the email. I understand that in order to view
the attachment, you can choose to download and view it, otherwise the
Preview pane will not show the content of the attachment. If the
attachment is a .exe type virus for example, the exe will not run
unless I choose to open it, so how can a preview window launch the
exe? Or perhaps current vectors are more creative and can infect me
in other ways more creative than the just cited simple exe example?
If you view the file, you do not execute the attachment...that has
been my experience. However, if the message itself has embedded code,
then it is a different matter. Am I correct? Please help.

Andy

It's unlikely (most infections occur when someone launches/opens an infected
attachment), but it can be done. If you're using a mail client such as
Outlook 2003 (and higher) that doesn't automatically download crap--or allow
code to execute--within in the message, you're safer. Of course, nothing is
a replacement for good antivirus software.
You might post in m.p.security for more info, as this isn't really an
XP-centric issue.



.



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