A variant of the !0000 hoax, this “tip” instructs users to add the fake name [email protected] to their email address book in an effort to thwart email worms. The author assumed that the worm would try to send itself to all addresses listed in the address book and would fail due to the spoofed address.
Because it does not work
Email worms rarely send only to the Windows address book. Even fewer worms send to all addresses at once. Most of today’s email worms collect email addresses from the entire system, including .TXT, .DOC, and .HTM files, as well as the Windows Address Book. Most of the newer worms also contain their own SMTP engine, so they work independently of the mail client and the supposed alert would never be generated.
what makes it dangerous
This variant of the !0000 tip is so bad that it may have been created by a virus writer. The tip promises that you never have to worry about opening email again. The reality is that the tip does not work and believing it will lead to a very dangerous false sense of security. This, in turn, can lead to an infection which, in turn, will spread to friends and colleagues. In short, this “advice” is part of the problem, not part of the cure.
Fake email example
I don’t know if this works or not, but it’s easy and seems harmless, so I did it!
As you may know, when a worm virus enters your computer, it goes straight to your email address book and sends itself to everyone there, thereby infecting all your friends and associates.
This trick will not prevent the virus from reaching your computer, but it will prevent it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact that the worm has entered your system.
This is what you do:
First, open your address book and click “new contact,” just as you would if you were adding a new friend to your list of email addresses.
In the window where you would type your friend’s name, type “A.”
For screen name or email address, type [email protected]
Now here’s what you’ve done and why it works:
The “name” “A” will be placed at the top of your address book as entry #1. This is where the worm will start in an effort to send itself to all of its friends.
But, when you try to send to [email protected], it can’t be delivered due to the fake email address you entered. If the first attempt fails (which it will because of the fake address), the worm won’t go any further and your friends won’t get infected.
This is the second great advantage of this method:
If an email cannot be delivered, you will be notified in your InBox almost immediately. Therefore, if you ever receive an email informing you that an email addressed to [email protected] could not be delivered, you will immediately know that you have the worm virus on your system. You can then take steps to get rid of it!
Pretty sneaky, huh?
If everyone you know does this, then you don’t have to worry about opening your friends’ mail.
FYI: Another way….to find this by doing a web search:
Put as the first email address in the address book the name:!0000 and the email address must be ONLY !0000 (So no @ and only a name !0000
>). They will ask if this is ok – the answer is yes…).
If an email comes that tries to enter your address book and spread the virus in it, it will be returned directly.