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Virus inDIGESTion

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> From: "Structuralist" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net>

> Paul I am not so sure I agree with you as I had subscribed to the digest
> format for over six months. To activate a JavaScript it needs to be embedded
> into an HTML format or it will not be recognized and run. I did not see a

> Just curious - not meant to be argumentative, but I would like to learn if
> this is actually true!

No problem.

HTML and Javascript are both represented as "ASCII text" in the raw
email or digest file. Your email/digest reader's ability to handle HTML
will determine if you see the source (unformatted HTML code, including
scripts) or the formatted message, hiding the coding. My reader doesn't
do HTML so I see the whole mess.

Attachments to your email, usually binary data (possibly pictures or
other data file, possibly executable code) are automagically converted
and presented using the specified "helper" application in your
email/digest reader software. These attachments are frequently
represented as file icons when you read your message, but are in fact
encoded from binary to low-ASCII and attached at the end of the body of
the message.

Readers that write/display HTML will simply implement whatever is
contained in the HTML message if they are so enabled by design or by
choices permitted in the software set-up.

Afraid that I can't send you a copy of the virus-ridden digest. The
first day there were several messages that contained the virus and I
could see how quickly it affected others - like time-lapse photography,
the digest is a rapid series of snapshots of the entire day. Anyway, you
would probably see exactly what you saw the first time.

Bottom-line: digest format doesn't prevent the spread of virii. Software
choices, prudent selection of software settings and not opening
uninvited code will help.

Using a Mac doesn't hurt, either. :)

-- 
Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Civil/Structural/Project/International
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
<mailto:ad026(--nospam--at)hwcn.org> <http://www.hwcn.org/~ad026/civil.html>