[RC5] What is this?

Ryan Malayter rmalayter at bai.org
Wed Sep 5 11:26:00 EDT 2001


>Also, Outlook-based worms don't have to be opened separately
>to execute. All you have to do is open the email, and Outlook
>executes the attachment, all by itself!  There are security fixes
>for some versions of Outlook that take care of this annoying "feature."
>Upgrade to a fixed version if you can.

That's not really true. You must open *all* attachments manually in Outlook
97-2002 to run executable code. The only time executable code can be run
automatically in Outlook is when you receive an HTML mail with embedded
script or ActiveX components, and you have those features enabled in Outlook
(i.e., you don't run Outlook's mail reader in the restricted sites zone.)
Reading mail in the restricted sites zone is the default behavior for
versions of Outlook > 2000 SR1. Outlook 97 can't do HTML mail, so it doesn't
have this security problem. Only Outlook 98 and the original release of
Outlook 2000 can automatically run executable code, and there have been
patches available for quite some time to prevent the problem.
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