You Didn't Get a Virus From ME!

Hello, my name is Bill Kendrick. I've directed you to this page because you sent me an e-mail stating that I sent you a virus.

Well, I'm sorry to tell you, but that's impossible. I don't run Microsoft Outlook. In fact, I don't run Microsoft Windows at all.

What has most likely occured is that someone else's computer sent you a virus, and the virus was nice enough to randomly pick my e-mail address to show as the sender.

In other words:
  1. Person X got infected with a virus
    (most likely the "Klez" virus, or something related)

  2. You were sent an infected e-mail from Person X's computer.

  3. My e-mail address was stuck in headers of the message
    (This forgery was done by the copy of the virus running on Person X's computer)

  4. Making You think I sent you a virus, when in fact it was Person X
    (Rather, Person X's infected computer)

Hopefully you're still with me. :^) Now, how did Person X get your address? How did they get my address? Who knows!? Maybe Person X is someone we both know, and who has both of our e-mail addresses in their Outlook addressbook. Maybe the virus simply sneaked a peek inside Person X's web browser cache looking for e-mail addresses on any pages they recently visted.

Either way, I had nothing to do with it, and Person X themselves probably doesn't even know they're infected, that their computer sent you something, or that it was made to look like it came from me.

Now, what can you do about it? It may be possible, by closely examining the full headers of the virus-infected e-mail you received (remember? the one you thought I sent, but really came from Person X?), to find out who this Person X is, so you can go tell THEM that they're infected.

Feel free to point them to this page, too, in case they have no idea what you're talking about. :^)

For further information on the Klez virus (one of the ones which does this kind of e-mail header "From" forging), please see:

  • Klez Worm, Not Sender, Hates You (Wired, April 24, 2002)
    "The virus arrives attached to an e-mail that typically appears to have been sent by someone the recipient knows. Many computer users say that friends, co-workers and business associates are angrily -- or patronizingly -- accusing them of sending out viruses. Some victims say they fear their professional reputations have been harmed."

  • Klez: Don't Believe 'From' Line (Wired, April 30, 2002)
    "Some Internet users have recently received an e-mail message from a dead friend. Others have been subscribed to obscure mailing lists. Some have lost their Internet access after being accused of spamming, and still others have received e-mailed pornography from a priest."

While you're at it, you may as well learn about other problems with viruses, privacy issues, security holes, and all sorts of other fun things:

  • Reasons to Avoid Microsoft (Linux Users' Group of Davis)
    "Microsoft Warns of Critical Instant Messaging Flaw... Security Flaws May Be Pitfall for Microsoft... New Hotmail settings might share your info, addresses... MSN Turns Users Into Spammers..."

Take care and have a nice day! Good luck with that virus I didn't send you!


Permission to copy this permitted, so long as you credit me.