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ADMIN: The weird post that came through a while back

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, July 29, 2004, 14:21
First of all, to calm fears, no virus was sent to the list.  The message
may be safely ignored.  However, there is no guarantee that a virus
won't be sent in future, so please be careful about opening emails
and keeping your anti-virus protections current (or use a non-Windows
operating system).

Now, here's what happened.  A program somewhere on the Internet
sent a message to a site in Belgium that apparently had a virus-laden
attachment.  The Belgian site stripped the virus and bounced it back to
the sender.  Unfortunately, the "From:" address was a forgery, namely
"".  This address, of course, should never
appear in the "From:" line of any message, since the list doesn't
originate postings, it merely forwards the postings of others.

When the Listserv at Brown received this bounce-o-gram, it correctly
determined that the sender was not authorized to post to the list,
and bounced it back (copying me) with a warning to that effect.
Unfortunately^2, it identified the originator of the message as
"", so that the bounce was submitted back to
the listserv as a new posting.

And unfortunately^3, the bounce^2 actually did come from
"", which *is* a legitimate poster (on rare
occasions it can be used to send administrative messages to a list from
the server maintainer), so we all got copies of it.

And so everyone did the Right Thing, and the junk got sent to us anyhow,
though defanged by the Belgian site.  So it goes.

"Do I contradict myself?                        John Cowan
Very well then, I contradict myself.  
I am large, I contain multitudes.     
        --Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass