[CQ-Contest] phantom attachments

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Sun Feb 22 21:03:59 EST 1998

For some time now I've been noticing that some e-mails are arriving with
what I call "phantom attachments."  These are attachments that are not
mentioned in the text of the incoming e-mail , but are nonetheless decoded
and placed in my Eudora\attach subdirectory.  When viewed with Netscape,
they are almost all HTML - in some cases, with headers indicating the HTML
generator, in other cases not.  Those that are HTML appear to be simple
repetitions of the content of the e-mail.  Those that are not HTML appear
to be just ASCII junk.

OK -- so why am I wasting the reflectors' time with this?  Because
attachments can also be a prime transmitter of viruses.  These "phantoms"
usually lack any filename extension that would identify them as .exe or
anything else.  If you inadvertently double-click on the filename of one of
these, and if it is in fact an executable containing a virus, then you
could get bitten.

I'd like to propose a 3-part solution.  First, can one of the computer
gurus out there tell us why some messages arrive both as e-mail text and as
MIME-attached HTML "echoes?"  And can the same guru also explain to us
lay-people how to prevent sending attachments when we don't mean to?  And
third, how about amending the FAQ to explain to people how to do step 2,
and the "do's and don'ts" of attachments in general?

Yours for safe e-mail ...

73, Pete Smith N4ZR
n4zr at contesting.com 

"That's WEST Virginia.  Thanks and 73"

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