‘Peek not lest you lose your hard drive’
Ted Hubert
It is tragic enough to hear about someone being victimized in another county or state, but to hear about an attack within Milam County is very concerning. A scam hit Denice Doss of Rockdale.

Evidently a hacker infected her computer with a virus that sent messages to those listed in the computer’s address book. If you got a message about Denice being stranded and desperately needing money, ignore it. She has not traveled out of Texas and certainly not traveled out of the country.

Denice was not aware of the hacker’s work until some of the people listed in her address book sent her e-mails about the urgent messages.

She was shocked, to say the least, then mad and bewildered. Mad that someone would deliberately use her name to steal from those she had in the address book, and bewildered trying to figure out what kind of mind would conjure up such a heartless scheme.

This situation points, to the fact, that heartless con artists have no regard for others.

Some action needs to be taken to protect the address book located in the e-mail account of computers. Many have placed an erroneous e-mail address as first entry as a first line of defense.

The rumor was that hacker’s invading computers started at the first entry and worked to the end, so placing an address that is undeliverable would be returned from the -e-mail administrator saying this address could not be found.

It was generally believed that when the e-mail’s return was a signal that someone had found access to the computer, plus the bogus address, prevented the virus from continuing through the entire address book. found evidence back as far as 2001 in an email which suggested that placing “1000000” or “AAAA@aaa” as a contact address would automatically list, either of these addresses first in the list as protection against an invading virus.

Unfortunately this is not true. Hackers can program a virus to attack the address entries randomly, or they start in the middle and work in both directions; or whatever task programmed into the virus.

Personally I have felt protected for years because I have a bogus e-mail listed first in my address book and many of you placed bogus contacts into your address book for the same reason.

According to the best action is to invest in a good anti-virus software and use it frequently to search for viruses hidden away in some file.

Secondly, place a check on your curiosity and avoid opening executable files. You may want to view an e-mail that has political interest or some lustful topic, but Snopes’ Barbara Mikkelson warns: “Prurient or lustful curiosity often fuels the spread of those infections, as users who should by now know better than to open applications that promise videos of some shocking political event or naughty encounters featuring the latest media hotties.”

She adds” “Peek not lest you lose, not your soul, but your hard drive.”

Triad’s S.A.L.T. committee meets at 9 a.m. the first Thursday in the Milano Community building which is located across the street from the old bank building.

The meetings are open and visitors are welcome. This week Janie and Susan Larson and Jake and Dot Barfield attended.

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2010-09-09 digital edition

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