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A note about spam/virus e-mails
by Dani Moure - Thursday, March 25th 2004

Category: Site News

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed a considerable increase in the amount of spam and virus e-mails I've been receiving. While I always receive some, it seems to have shot up again, especially this week.

It would also appear that a few people are receiving such e-mails from the "webmaster@farscapeworld.com" account, so I wanted to make mention of a few things here, since a couple of people have replied to such e-mails.

Firstly, we do not send out spam/virus e-mails, and will never do so. Several of the viruses out there actually spoof an e-mail address so it looks like someone genuine has sent it. For example, there are worms (a type of virus) that will infect a user, and in doing so pick a random address in the user's e-mail program's address book, and send an e-mail to each person in the address book as if it's coming from the random address. Unfortunately, spoofing e-mail addresses is all to easy, and I can only assure people we do not send such e-mails ourselves, but unfortunately there's nothing we can do, since the site's e-mail addresses are available all over the site.

I have, a few times, received virus and spam e-mails from farscapeworld.com accounts, some of which exist and others which don't. Obviously, I do not send these things to myself! One recently I got twice in a row was from "no-reply@farscapeworld.com" - an address that doesn't exist!

The short point of the story is if you see an e-mail that looks like spam, it most likely is, so delete it. As far as I know, it doesn't happen too often where spoofed e-mails are sent with a real, working farscapeworld.com e-mail address spoofed. Also, please do not reply to any such e-mails, as I will likely delete them myself because of the virus or because it looks like spam.

As a few guidelines on e-mails I send:

  • I do not send randomly worded e-mails. I speak English and my English makes sense. I generally don't send e-mails out of the blue to people I don't regularly correspond with (especially with random, pointless questions); I usually only reply to e-mails from my webmaster address. Ergo, I don't send messages like "Looking forward for a response :P [...] ..btw, "86215" is a password for archive", with a subject of ":-)", nor do I send messages with a subject "unknown" that says "you feel the same". These are spam sent spoofing my address, and I can only recommend deleting them. If you respond to one, as I mention above, I am likely to delete it without a response if it's virus-ridden or looks like spam.

  • I use proper spelling and punctuation in all my e-mails.

  • I always sign my e-mails in a recognisable way (as webmaster of this site).

  • We never send out e-mails that are signed "the farscapeworld.com team" or anything like that. This is another style of virus e-mails that I've come across lately, where they have some stupid, poorly-written message that's signed "the xxx team", where xxx is the site domain (farscapeworld.com for us).

  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I never send attachments in any e-mails unless you would be expecting one. Don't click any attachments where you're unsure of the contents. Delete them. They most likely contain viruses.

    I realise it's a pain, especially given the growing number of viruses that seem to be going around now, but there really is little we can do. I highly recommend that you keep familiar with what the latest viruses can do and how they're spread if you use e-mail even on a semi-regular basis.

    It's also crucial that you have anti-virus software (such as Norton Antivirus), and regularly update your virus definitions. That last bit is crucial - if you don't update your definitions, your software will not be able to protect you against newer viruses.

    That's pretty much all I can say. I do apologise for the inconvenience of e-mails you may receive, but if one of our addresses is picked it's out of our hands (my computer is definitely not infected with a virus!). I hope you can all understand my position on this. If not, please let me know, either by (yes, haha) e-mail or on the forums.

    Thanks
    Dani

  • Why not discuss this news on the Farscape World Forums?

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