Blaming Anti-Virus Companies For Adding To Spam Mess

from the catch-up-with-what's-going-on dept

I’m sure I’m not the only person who noticed that plenty of the annoying myDoom related messages that found their way into my inbox in the last few days came from anti-virus companies telling me (incorrectly) that I had sent someone a virus. I didn’t send anyone the virus. As everyone knows, myDoom works by spoofing the “from” address – just like almost every other virus/worm these days. So, why exactly, do anti-virus companies continue to send out these messages? Found over at Politech is a nice little rant about just how stupid it is that these anti-virus companies are continuing this practice. In fact, the author claims that they’re just as bad as spammers. First of all, they know that these viruses and worms are spoofing return addresses – yet they continue to send out such “you’ve sent a virus” emails, even when they can be pretty sure it’s not true. At the very least, they should be smart enough to not send out such a message on viruses that are known to spoof emails. Second, many of these messages include annoying advertising for the anti-virus product itself. Thus, it’s unsolicited commercial email advertising – and it even violates the CAN SPAM law by not offering an opt-out. So, from now on, when you get such bogus anti-virus reports, you should report them as spam to the proper authorities.


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Comments on “Blaming Anti-Virus Companies For Adding To Spam Mess”

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9 Comments
Vegard Riseng says:

Antivirus software sending warnings...

You said a guy claimed that this practice by antivirus software of sending “Your mail was infected” messages is just as bad as spamming. I beg to differ. I think it’s much worse. Fortunately, the last time my inbox was drowned by these messages I teached my junkmail filter to recognice these “warnings” as spam, and it’s been sending “520 – Junk Mail Not Accepted” back ever since.

drteknikal (profile) says:

you can turn off the bounce messages...

Rather than blame the anti-virus vendors for including the option to generate a non-delivery report or other bounce messages, why not blame the system administrators who accept the default settings without question?

All the products we work with allow us to modify or disable these messages, which we do. We notify our own internal users when we munge their mail because it was infected, but we don’t bother notifying senders that their message wasn’t delivered because it was infected or spam.

We looked at the volume during spam or virus outbreaks, and found that the bounce messages were clogging our system more than the spam or viruses. Beyond their being futile, we disabled them because our systems perform better without them.

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