"The Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis,
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?) The Presumption!

(Claiming to be) From Microsoft Internet Explorer Support on Sat, 06 Feb 1999

(?) Microsoft Corporation 1 Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052 USA

Dear Sir/Madam

As an user of the Microsoft Internet

(!) ^^^^
--- some MS Word spell-checker or "Wizard"
suggested this? In the literate world we use "a user --- since the term "user" is pronounced with a leading consonant sound "y" as in "yoozer"
I'm not a "yoozer" of Microsoft Internet Explorer or any other MS product.

(?) Explorer, Microsoft Corporation provides you with this upgrade for your web browser.

(!) You're providing me with SPAM. My web browsers are Lynx and Netscape Navigator (for Linux).

(?) It will fix some bugs found in your Internet Explorer. To install the upgrade, please save the attached file (ie0199.exe) in some folder and run it.

(!) It might fix some bugs in YOUR Internet Explorer. My methods of exploring the Internet go way beyond web browsing and use a variety of tools and protcols. The Web is not the Internet and MS Internet Explorer isn't even a blip on my radar.

(?) For more information, please visit our web site at www.microsoft.com/ie/

(!) To comply with California State Law please don't send any more unsolicited e-mail to this address.
(There was a law recently enacted in my state of residence which requires advertising to display the "ADV:" tag on the subject line. I'm collecting violations of this law to forward to my state attorney general's office. I don't consider it to be an effective deterrent to SPAM --- but they should enforce it if they're going to pass it).

Interestingly enough, this message (and another reply to it from our site) bounced. It can be reasonably suspected that the true originator of the message was not Microsoft, but someone trying to convince users of their products, to "upgrade" to an infected or malicious copy.

As such, it's really much worse than "SPAM" although it ia similar, in that it preys on people who know less about their internet environment, and are willing to take unwise risks with their assets. These folks are also least likely to be able to take effective action to correct the problems that result.

Don't get snookered -- nobody should be mailing you a binary without some sort of authentication so you can determine where it came from, and hat it has survived its ride through the mail. FTP is really better for anything of reasonable size anyway.

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 38 March 1999

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