Having problems with Email?

by John McKown, President of Delaware.net | August 8th, 2007 Leave a reply »

Have you been having trouble with your email lately? You are not alone. Spam and virus mail volume has reached an all time high this summer. July has seen the largest virus attack in over two years with the attack continuing to escalate into August.

These attacks are perpetrated through bot-nets. The concept is simple: A user opens an email containing an attachment, (lately in the form of a pdf or zip, but any attachment can work.) The attachment executes the virus code, and the users computer becomes part of the bot-net. These bot-net infected computers can lay dormant for days or even months before being called into action by the spammer controlling the bot-net. Once called into action, the user’s pc becomes a spam and virus sending zombie. Infected machines can send thousands of emails per day using legitimate credentials. This traffic causes mail servers across the Internet to become bogged down slogging through all this junk. You could be infected right now and not even know it.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  1. Make sure your virus scan definitions are up to date. If you bought your pc last year and are still running the “free trial” virus scan that came with your computer, you are NOT protected.
  2. Scan ALL of your incoming attachments before you open them. The virus code MAY come from someone you know.
  3. Enable Windows firewall or better, install a 3rd party firewall. Run it in the most restrictive settings and allow programs to connect as you need them. Check your documentation for more details. After being infected, the spammer will likely send control signals to a certain Internet port on your machine. Running a firewall decreases the chances of this being successful.
  4. Install the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool. (http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx) this tool is designed to catch anomalies in your system that virus scan might miss.
  5. Ask Delaware.net about spam and virus filtering for your organization’s domain. For only $1 per month per user, you can reduce up to 90% of the spam and virus traffic coming into your domain. Call today!

For more botnet information, follow these links:

Botnet Basics

Botnet Definition

Is the Botnet Battle Already Lost?

Botnet Hunters in Closed-Doors Redmond Summit

Computer Hacking Results In Armed Police Raid (botnet infected)


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