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The threat of embedded HTML

Does secure e-mail software protect you from things like the recently reported bugs with embedded HTML?

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You are probably talking about the ability for people to hide JavaScript in an HTML page and have it "do something" whenever the e-mail is displayed. The short answer: no. "Secure e-mail" as I introduced in the Feb. 9, 2001 In Your Defense column, is mail that is confidential or signed or both. Someone can send you an encrypted, digitally signed virus. Anti-virus software is still required on both sides. In fact, anti-virus software is even more important when you are receiving encrypted e-mail, since the firewall or other network gateway that might screen for viruses will not be able to see viruses in encrypted e-mail.

This was first published in February 2001

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