From: Postmaster []
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 1999 8:51 AM
Subject: Mail Attachments can be Unhealthy

Recently, there were several incidents in which Laboratory email users
received email with attached programs or documents which contained viruses.
In some cases, the email was received unsolicited from outside addresses, in
other cases it was unwittingly forwarded by Laboratory email users or
downloaded from the web. Often, the programs are "fun little programs"
("check out this neat little screen saver") which have little, if anything,
to do with your job function.

You might be tempted to open and run these, or pass them along to a
"friend". PLEASE DON'T. You (and others) could lose valuable data!

If you receive unsolicited email with attached programs or documents from an
email address you don't recognize, the best thing to do is to delete the
message without opening the attachment. Even if you do recognize the source,
and there is a strong reason to open the attachment, BE SURE TO FIRST RUN
IT THROUGH A VIRUS CHECKER with up-to-date virus signatures. If you aren't
sure how to do this,or you aren't sure if your system has an up-to-date
virus checker, check with your system administrator.

If you need to send a program or document through email, if possible send a
link to the file on a server rather than attaching the file itself.

You should only download and run software from "reputable" sources, if at
all. Even if the source is "reputable", check the download for viruses. Many
virus checkers will do this automatically. Again, check with your system
administrator if you're not sure.

If you receive email from a vendor with a software "update" program
attached, DO NOT INSTALL THE UPDATE! Legitimate vendors do not distribute
software updates via email, however faking email from a vendor is a common
way to trick people into installing nasty software, including viruses.

If your virus checker reports a virus, or you fear you may have opened an
infected attachment, take <no other actions> and contact your system
administrator immediately. Your system administrator will give you
instructions on recovery and should assist in filing a computer security
incident report with the Computing Division HelpDesk.

If you have general questions about software downloads, email attachments,
or virus checking, contact your system administrator, the Computing Division
HelpDesk,, x2345, or the Computing Division PC
Support Group,

Fermilab Postmaster