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Disallowed Email File Attachments

Email allows the attachment of files to an email, as a means of sending these to others. This can be a simple way to exchange small picture or sound files with family and friends.

We have recently found that a large number of virus infections spread themselves in this manner. The danger is that some email programs will attempt to 'open' or 'execute' the file attachment as it is received. An example is a picture, emailed from a friend, appearing in your email program as you click on that message.

It this was malicious virus code, instead of a picture, it might mean that the virus is spread to your computer.

File Types Not Permitted

We have identified the following file types as being potentially harmful, and these are being deleted from all incoming messages:

.cmd .pif
.scr .bat
.vbs .reg
.hta .exe
.com .cpl

Additionally, our server may identify and remove know viruses in a message, including those embedded in .zip files. In these cases, the email notification will identify the virus removed.

How To Send These Files

If someone needs to send you a legitimate file, of one of these types, they can do one of the following:
  • compress the file with a program such as WinZip

  • rename the file before attaching it, to a different file extention, for instance file.exe -> file.exz
    You can rename the file back to the original, as you save the attachment.

Notification of Disallowed Attachement

When an executable file attachment is removed, our servers will send a notification to you. The headers of the original email will be intact, but to body of the email will inform you of the removal action.

Here is a sample of the email you will receive, notifying you that a disallowed file attachment has been filtered:

From: "Mariana Devine" 
Subject: *Ge't fr^ee sh^ipping on all o`rders, opgfendhbxo
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 22:00:43 -0500 (CDT)
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

The original body of this e-mail has been removed for the following 
reasons...

Message contained an attachment with one of the following disallowed
file extensions...
.cmd, .pif, .scr, .bat, .vbs, .reg, .hta, .exe, .com, .cpl

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