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Responding to an infected executable

What if you saw an executable file in your e-mail and used Viruscan, which detected it to be a virus? I have this problem right now and don't know what I should do. Will delete solve this problem?

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If my malicious code detector found anything it would first quarantine that file or delete it based on my specifications. Since you have not enabled this option, I would recommend deleting it without opening or reading it. If you are using Outlook, turn OFF the preview option, highlight the e-mail, hold Shift and press delete. This will removed or delete the e-mail without first attempting to read or open. If you are using another e-mail software, look up the same option.

If you know the virus/malicious code type and name, try and find the cleaning tool if there is one. Otherwise, trust your local antivirus program to do the job for you.

I do not recommend trying to capture or save the virus. You would only be asking for trouble.

For more information on this topic, visit these other resources:
Best Web Links: Malware
Ask the Expert: Keeping unauthorized executables off the network
Security Policies Tip: Executable e-mail attachments -- Educate the end user

This was first published in June 2002

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