We’ve all gotten them. You know the email that says something like “MAILER-DAEMON failure notice.” Although many of these notices are legitimate, some are more insidious. A common tactic used to spread viruses and worms today is to forge these failure notices and then send them out to people with a blurb stating that details are contained within an attachment. Since most of the email that we send out is important, we want to know if someone didn’t get our message.
No reputable email server would require you to open an attachment to determine what email address was rejected. It’s all right there in the message body for you to read. By tricking you into opening the attachment, worms and viruses can be loaded onto your system. Sometimes there will even be a random email address in the body of the message. If you didn’t email that person or you don’t recognize the address, just delete the email. Be aware that some older versions of Outlook and Outlook Express will allow the attachments to infect your computer just by having the ‘AutoPreview’ feature turned on.