Imagine our surprise when we received a letter from our mail administrator
advising of a problem with our account. There was an attachment
with instructions, along with a password. A few things about this
letter let us know it was a fake, but how many less knowledgeable
people might have been fooled by this?
- The salutation is rather odd: "Dear user of e-mail server..."
is not the way to open a letter.
- The language of the text is rather technical sounding, especially
for an audience that may be non-technical.
- The text is in "Pigeon English": Language very choppy
and, laced with extra, commas.
- There is no account "Staff @ Eagle-Wing.Net" within
our mail system. The send-to address was valid, however.
The main clue to a problem is that we host our own e-mail system.
We are our own administrator and we did not write this note. This
is the Beagle virus. It can inflict major damage upon your computer
as it infects executable files, drastically alters the Registry,
and searches for mail addresses to which it can mail itself using
the SMTP server that it neatly installs on your computer!
Beagle (also called Bagle) comes with a variety of message lines
and attchments. The attachments we received did not scan as having
a virus but there is no way would we open them to see what they
really were. We may be crazy, slaving over a hot Website every day,
but we aren't totally stupid!
Then we received a variant on the same theme. It was addressed
to a nonexistent account, but the name was similar to a real account
at this domain. Note that the sending mailbox "Management @
Eagle-Wing.Net" is also bogus.
The attachment was caught by Zone Alarm, our firewall, and the
file extension automatically changed to .zlo. The padlock shows
this file is quarantined.
|This last note came about the same time the others did. Once again
it is from a bogus account but this time the Send To address was valid.
Zone Alarm flagged the attachment as having a virus.
We have not a clue what the authors of this virus are trying to
accomplish with all of this. The big tip-off to a problem is the
crude use of the English language. It is only a matter of time until
the virus writers improve their writing style. Vigilance and discernment
are the most effective tools against this sort of thing.
We currently receive between 150 and 200 pieces of junk mail (spam)
every day and the number is climbing noticeably every week. Some
of it contains a virus like this one. Others just contain marketing
offers and business opportunities.
We can imagine some fitting penalties if these spammers and virus
authors are ever caught. These would involve third rails and sensitive
body parts, hungry carnivores, ants and honey, and having to listen
to elevator music 24 x 7. Survivors would be severely punished.