By Stas Bekman.
Published: May 15th 2006
The third villain is an email containing a virus. Viruses have been in existence pretty much since the invention of the personal computers. But the age-old problem has received a new spin in the 21 century, as almost everybody is connected nowadays, and it's really easy to spread spam via email.
If you are a MS windows user there is no way you couldn't have heard of viruses, Mac/OSX users start getting a few viruses nowadays, and finally for UNIX-flavor users this is not a problem. Viruses usually attack systems that have the biggest amount of users, therefore MS windows users suffer the most.
To add injury to insult, viruses are now spread in the form of worms, which once affecting the target system distribute themselves to everybody in the user's addressbook (or via other methods).
The usual suggestion to the virus problem, is that you shouldn't be opening any attachments, even if the email is coming from what seems to be your mother (since headers could be forged). Unfortunately it seems that there are quite a few other ways to infect your computer via an email, even if you don't open any attachments. I feel your pain, but I don't have any suggestions other than getting off the beaten pass and try a different OS which is less targeted by attackers and is designed with security in mind.
While SPAM, phishing and viruses are quite different in their nature and purpose, certain solution discussed in the Remedies can deal with all of these at once.
And here are some pointers for additional information on the subject:
your Email from Viruses and Other MalWare (http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Protecting_Email_Viruses_Malware.html)
with Computer Viruses (http://www.all.net/books/virus/part5.html)
Computer Viruses (http://librenix.com/?inode=80)
Virus Information Center (http://www.bullguard.com/virus/)
And here you can find books that will provide an indepth coverage of phishing and related material:
Anti-Virus consumer level:
Anti-Virus technical level: