E-mail Virus Protection Handbook

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One of the lessons I learned early in life is to never confess the stupid things that I have done in public—unless there’s a good punch line at the end of the story. Well, there is really no punch line at the end of the story I am about to tell you, but I am going to tell it anyway, because it helps introduce some of the key issues and concepts involved when securing e-mail clients and servers.

In 1994, I was browsing the Web with my trusty version of Netscape Navigator (version 1.0—yes, the one that ran just great on a Windows 3.11 machine that screamed along on top of an ultra-fast 486 processor). While browsing, I found a Web page that was selling a really nifty Telnet client. This piece of software had everything: I could use Kermit, Xmodem, and Zmodem to transfer files, and it even allowed automatic redial in case of a dropped connection. I just had to have it, and I had to have it right away; there was no waiting for it to arrive via “snail mail.” I wanted to download it immediately.

Things being the way they were in 1994, the site’s Web page invited me to either call their 800 number, or e-mail my Visa information for quicker processing. I’m something of a night owl, and it was about 2:30 a.m., and no one was manning the phones at the time. Rather than wait, I naïvely decided to use my Eudora e-mail client and send my Visa card number and expiration date to the site. Download free E-mail Virus Protection Handbook.pdf here

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