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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?

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 last published in February 2001

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