Stupid Anti-virus Company Spam

It’s nice to see that I’m not alone in thinking that email from anti-virus programs that know damn well the email message they blocked was sent by a worm that spoofs the sender is not just spam, but stupid spam. They know how the worm works, gathering all the addresses it can on the infected computer, and sending mail to someone else, pretending that it’s from a third person, but they still persist in sending an email to that third person, who has nothing to do with it, telling that person far too much detail about the affairs of both the infected person and the target, and then throwing in an advertisement for what a wonderful anti-virus product they sell. One thing’s for sure, I will never, ever buy anything from any anti-virus company that can’t resist telling someone that they know wasn’t involved that “you sent an infected email, and need to run [our] virus scanner.”

My personal favorite from the current infestation: one which managed to return the wormy attachment to an innocent third party, in this case a mailing list, in such a way that it got included as body text. Nothing like getting a huge wad of binary-as-text to add to the whole delightful experience. And I’m getting mail delivered up to two days late, even mail like new comment notifications, that only have to go across the data center. Charming. Any old time that people want to stop opening unsafe attachments in unsafe ways…


Comment by Adam Kalsey #
2004-01-28 22:10:07

I mentioned the same thing last September about SoBig. The AV gateways can be configured not to send these messages, but most admins don’t seem to make that change.

Look at it from a usability perpective. You’re telling all these people that they’re infected with a virus when they’re really not. A commenter on my site pointed out that this probably does drive people to buy AV software.

Comment by Adam Kalsey #
2004-01-28 22:13:58

I didn’t get a redirect added to my comment URL, so apparently I’m one of the trusted few. Now that I’ve gained Phil’s trust, it’s time to launch the second phase of my evil plan.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2004-01-28 23:10:43

Damn, this thing just isn’t working out. Last night, it called Dv a spammer, when he’s really a crapflooder, and called some nice German gentleman who wanted to tell me about something called kredit one, as well. But missing you? Oh, yeah, that’s my fault: I raised it wrong.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2004-01-28 23:48:25

Really isn’t working out: when I went to train it, not only did it call one of Jacques’ comments spam, it had tagged one of mine! Damn teenage filters, getting rebellious.

Comment by Jacques Distler #
2004-01-28 22:49:09

ClamAV. I don’t think anything more need be said.

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