Every since the Melissa virus went around the world in a few days, email viruses/worms/Trojans became one of the biggest threats to a computer. A well-crafted bug will not only blanket the world in hours by sending itself automatically to every person on every address book, but it can modify or damage every file on a computer or network in the same amount of time. By the time the local network administrator figures out that something is wrong, thousands of emails have been sent and tens of thousands of files have been damaged.
Email worms are among the most popular types of malicious code. They appear to be coming from your closest friends and they automatically send themselves to everyone in your email address book. Virus coders depend on human psychology to help their viruses spread. The ILOVEYOU virus message apparently spoke to everyone. The Melissa virus was snapped up by pornography lovers. There is even an email virus targeted at children named Pokemon. Here is a sampling of email viruses that have made headlines.
In the past, one of things antivirus researchers could always reassure people with is, “You can’t get a virus by simply reading an email!” The Bubbleboy VBScript virus, and its predecessors, invalidated that advice. The Bubbleboy email virus arrived in 1999 with the subject line, “Bubble-boy is back!” Exploiting an ActiveX security hole, the virus was among the first that did not need the user to open a file attachment in ...