Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

Web mail question

by Cletus / February 16, 2004 10:55 AM PST

Is it possible, or likely, to pick up a parasite by opening an Email on a web-to-mail site? By opening an infected attachment?

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Re:Web mail question
by Mark G / February 16, 2004 12:22 PM PST
In reply to: Web mail question

if your reading the email on there server and not downloaded to your puter your safe

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Re:Re:Web mail question
by Cletus / February 17, 2004 1:49 AM PST
In reply to: Re:Web mail question

I am glad to hear that---thanks.

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Cletus, Opening An Attachment Anywhere Could Cause An Infection
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 17, 2004 2:51 AM PST
In reply to: Web mail question

Although Mark's statement is correct, you also asked whether opening the attachment could cause a problem. The answer is YES. Opening the attachment, even on webmail could cause the virus to infect your computer.

There are different types of webmail, and some require "downloading" to your hard drive before they are opened. Other webmail type allow the user to open attachments directly from the webmail. In either of these situations, opening the attachment could cause an infection to occcur, especially if you don't have antivirus protection, and in some case, even if you do.

Hope this helps.


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Re:Cletus, Opening An Attachment Anywhere Could Cause An Infection
by Mark G / February 17, 2004 4:02 AM PST

grif when im at work i read my email from road ruuners server hence its not downloaded to my puter

or yahoo i beleave is the same

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Mark, Yep....
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 17, 2004 5:06 AM PST

Most webmail works like that. You can open the message from almost anywhere and you can view the "text" of the message. Because webmail doesn't have HTML enabled, everything else. such as executable files, work like an attachment. It must be downloaded or opened to run. BUT, if the main part of the message is just text (for example "Mydoom") and you happen to double click on the attachment listed, it could infect your computer. Likewise, downloading the attachment to your computer, then executing it will also be a problem.

Simply "reading" the message is safe, while executing an attachment could cause problems.

Hope this helps.


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But, most/many webmail have HTML enable by default
by Gakada / February 17, 2004 11:24 AM PST
In reply to: Mark, Yep....

... just to make sure, look at your webmail option or setting or preferences, and disable it if necessary.. (Tips: 'Scan and download' the attachment (available choices on yahoo) THEN Scan again using your antivirus, before opening it)

I guess there are no sure way to prevent any virus infecting our system Automatically...

We (the user) have to actively monitor and guarding our own system, using the available tools and information from the world (atleast from this forum) and Antivirus, Anti this and anti that..)

But that too, I'm afraid, might not good enough Sad

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