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Email Virus Notifications

Email is an inherently insecure communications medium. The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) through which almost all email is sent provides no safeguards whatsoever to insure that the email address an email claims to be sent from is accurate. Forging the "From:" header is trivially easy.

As a result, it is now common practice for email viruses to fake the email's sender address. When email virus scanners detect the virus payload, they often have no idea where the message really came from, and dutifully send a notification back to the fake sender, indicating that a virus was detected and quarantined, or deleted.

Because of this behaviour, it is quite common for people to receive virus notification emails that were triggered by messages that not only weren't sent by them, but weren't even transmitted through their machine or their service provider's machines.

So, depending on the virus, receiving a virus scanner notification is not necessarily a valid indicator that you have been infected with an email virus. Nevertheless, install, update, and use a virus scanner regularly!

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