A sample letter to employees about how to be aware and look for an email virus that you can use.
This message is to make you aware of the recent email virus activity and to suggest ways in which you can help prevent an electronic security breach. We have also included links to software that will help secure your home computer free of charge.
E-mail Virus Message
Last month the IT department received and blocked 1000 email viruses. Fortunately, we have multiple layers of protection that prevent your system from being infected.
When our system detects a virus attached to your email, it deletes the virus and notifies you by replacing the attachment with a .txt file. The purpose of this text file is simply to notify you that a virus was detected and deleted.
There are many strains of viruses, the most recent is very clever and uses a ‘personal’ tone to get your attention. If an organization becomes infected, the virus will analyze all electronic contact information and record any email addresses. Armed with these addresses, the virus sends you an email with a personal subject such as “You look like a rat” or “You are such a jerk!”
The clever part is that the email appears to have been sent by a co-worker or someone you know; this does not mean that the sender is infected or that they actually sent you the message. The virus is smart enough to know that at least a few of the contacts from an infected person’s mail box will know each other and uses that assumption to craft an email virus you’re likely to open.
Another method is Social Engineering, a term you may have heard before. In this scenario, the virus sends you an email that appears to have come from a friend. The message will appear to be a warning that you may be infected and contains instructions on how to search for and delete the infected file. Actually, the file is needed by your computer and deleting it will crash your system or degrade system performance.
For the Information Technology department, this is the most difficult virus to deal with. Should you receive an email instructing you to delete files or make changes to your computer, please contact the IT department first. Chances are that it’s a trick.
E-mail Virus Protection
All of the big email viruses of recent times (think “Melissa” and the “Love Bug”) have used e-mail protocols to propagate themselves–often taking advantage of the address-book features of e-mail clients to identify their victims. The E-mail Virus Protection Handbook explores how you, as an administrator of an e-mail server (and perhaps some of the network resources that surround it), can protect your users from productivity loss that results from e-mail virus infection. This book is best suited to administrators of smallish networks who have responsibility for (and direct control over) firewalls and network-wide antivirus strategies, as well as e-mail readers on the client side.
The authors of the email virus book above, begin by explaining how and why e-mail viruses work–they point the finger mainly at software that’s designed for slick presentation of mail instead of for security, as well as at uninformed end users. Then, they begin to explain what various email virus countermeasures, including antivirus software and firewalls, can do, and offer specific configuration advice.
They also explore means of configuring popular e-mail servers and clients for maximum resistance to viruses. Overall, this email virus book is carefully researched and should provide system administrators with the information, both practical and background, that they need to protect their systems from some of the more insidious threats around.
Email Virus – Book Description
E-mail has been called the killer application of the Internet with so many web-based commerce applications, business-to-business transactions, and Application Service Providers dependent on the e-mail client/server relationship. Now, because of that reliance, it is possible for e-mail software to become killer applications in an entirely different sense-if they’re down, they can kill your business. E-mail Virus Protections Handbook will help systems administrators and the end-users secure their e-mail. It shows how to encrypt e-mail messages, use antivirus and personal firewall software, and secure the operating system from attack. Know what’s lurking in your e-mail!