January 29th, 2004 • 1:41 am
These days, most Windows viruses work by using entries in the infected computer’s address book to disguise their messages as coming from these people. This is why you might get an infected message from your friend A that in fact was sent by the computer of your friend B, whose address book contains both your own email address and the email address of your friend A. Conversely, your friend A might receive an infected message that appears to come from you, when in fact it was sent by your friend B’s infected computer using B’s address book entries for both the sender and the recipient.
In spite of this, many IT people continue to implement filters that automatically notify the sender of an infected message that his computer is infected.
Clearly, since you are not the real sender, it’s not your computer that is infected. It’s the computer of your friend B, who is neither the sender nor the recipient of your message.
So what is the point of these notification messages telling you that your computer is infected? They are completely useless. All they do is increase the amount of useless and misleading messages that you are going to be receiving when a Windows virus starts making the rounds of your Windows-using friends’ computers. And they are increasing the overall amount of useless junk that clogs down networks worldwide whenever there is a virus outbreak.
You’d think that IT people — of all people! — would know better than to deliberately make an already bad enough situation even worse.
Meanwhile, I have to reassure my Mac-using friends and relatives again and again that, no, their computer is not infected by a Windows virus, in spite of what these notifications from IT people say.
It’s all too dumb for words. It’s Windows.