Link to Polar E-Connections



The "W32.Sobig.F@mm" Worm Quickly Spreads Across The Web

Protect Yourself!
Virus Writers Are After Your PC

Ask The Help Desk
What Is An SMTP Server And A POP3 Server?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In September!

Short Tutorial
Shortcut Drag-And-Drop Method Of Adding Attachments To E-mails



Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

Welcome to our September 2003 eNewsletter! Be sure to check out our "Sites of the Month" section. There's an especially useful homework site that'll come in handy for the kids or grandkids. Also, this month's "Short Tutorial" section could help save you some time when sending e-mail attachments. Give it a try.

The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. To meet this goal, each monthly newsletter will usually contain information related to:

  1. Warnings on a recent virus or e-mail hoax that may affect you
  2. An update on new services and other local interests
  3. An answer to a frequently asked Internet related question
  4. Some fun, seasonal websites to check out
  5. A short, step-by-step tutorial on an e-mail or browser related task

We think you'll find the information contained in this newsletter to be a valuable tool for enhancing your Internet experience. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

To see what's inside this issue, take a look at the index to the left and thanks for reading!

- The E-Connections Team

ALERT! - The "W32.Sobig.F@mm" Worm Quickly Spreads Across The Web

You have no doubt heard about the recent discovery of the new "Sobig" e-mail worm variant known as the "W32.Sobig.F@mm" worm. The mass-mailing effects of this worm has caused the slow down of Internet connection speeds and network performances across the globe. In fact, this worm, which was first discovered on August 18th, 2003, is said to be the fastest spreading e-mail worm ever on record!

"W32.Sobig.F@mm" is a mass-mailing worm that sends itself as an attachment to all e-mail addresses found within an infected machine. (The worm only infects Windows based systems — not Macintosh, Unix or Linux systems.) The worm has a "spoofing" feature that disguises the actual source of the e-mail by randomly selecting e-mail addresses from the infected computer's system to be shown as the "sender" of the e-mail. So, if a person receives this e-mail worm from a co-worker or relative, chances are the person it shows being sent from was probably not the person who actually sent it.

Additionally, once a recipient of the e-mail opens the infected attachment, the worm can download files onto the infected computer's system in order to steal confidential information from the infected computer, i.e. passwords, spreadsheets, etc. "W32.Sobig.F@mm" can also set-up spam relay servers on the infected computer from which to then remotely send large amounts of spam e-mails.

An e-mail message that contains the "W32.Sobig.F@mm" worm as an attachment will have one of the following text messages within its subject line:

Re: Details
Re: Your details
Re: Re: My details
Re: Thank you!
Re: That movie
Re: Approved
Re: Wicked screensaver
Thank you!
Your details

The infected attachment will be either a .pif extension file or show as an .scr file. The body of the e-mail message says either "See the attached file for details" or "Please see the attached file for details."

Although the person who created this worm luckily programmed it to de-activate its mass-mailing functions on September 9, 2003, the worm is still programmed to continue its attempts to download files within the infected machine after this date. The infected computer can also still be used as a spam relay server from which to send spam e-mail messages.

Remember, receiving an e-mail attachment from a trusted friend or a reliable source may not necessarily mean they were the actual senders of the message and attachment. Also, the ultimate responsibility of protecting your computer against worms and viruses lies with you. Many viruses and worms not only spread via e-mail, but also through the sharing of files when using floppy disks, zip disks, CDs and networks, as well as when downloading software from the Internet. We encourage each of our users to install and utilize virus scanning software, to update this software on a regular basis and to scan all incoming attachments before opening them, even if the attachment shows coming from a reliable source.

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Protect Yourself! - Virus Writers Are After Your PC

Virus writers are working around the clock to attack you; antivirus vendors are working around the clock to help protect you.

Help protect your computer files and e-mail by using and updating your antivirus software. To help reduce the risk of a virus exploiting a vulnerability in your Microsoft software, make sure you have the latest patches and updates for your Microsoft® Office applications and Microsoft Windows® operating system.

Polar's antivirus program scans your e-mail. Besides picking up a virus from an e-mail attachment, you can acquire a virus or worm from free content you download from a Website or on a diskette someone shares with you. Viruses can spread around the world in less than 24 hours. But even after a virus is no longer in the news, it may still be active and can continue to harm computers that are not protected.

For virus or Windows® updates assistance, contact our HelpDesk at 1-888-700-7652. Polar's Help Desk is open Monday-Friday, 9:00AM-9:00PM and Saturdays, 8:30AM-4:00PM.

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Ask The Help Desk - What Is An SMTP Server And A POP3 Server?

Question: What is an SMTP server and how is it different than a POP3 server?

Answer: Both types of servers have to do with handling e-mail messages. The acronym "SMTP" stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The SMTP server sits at our location (your Internet Service Provider's office) and is used to forward each of your e-mail messages to the correct destination. The acronym "POP3" stands for Post Office Protocol Version #3. The POP3 server is used to collect incoming e-mail destined for an Internet Service Provider's customers.

Here's how the SMTP and POP3 servers work: After you connect to the Internet, open up your e-mail client and retrieve your e-mail messages, your e-mail program logs on to the POP3 server at our office in order to retrieve e-mail messages that are addressed to you. When you send an outgoing e-mail, your e-mail program sends the message to a SMTP server located at our shop, which then forwards it out over the Internet. The message is collected at the recipient's POP3 server located at his/her ISP until the recipient retrieves the messages to read it.

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

The Emmy Awards Are Coming -  The Fifty-Fifth Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony will be telecast on September 21, 2003. This year's event encompasses ninety-one separate award categories including best comedy, best drama, best actor and actress awards, best miniseries and, of course, the all important best stunt coordinator award. Check out this site for a list of this year's nominees as well as an archive of winners since 1949.

Getting Help With Homework Online -  This easy-to-navigate site includes an almanac, atlas, dictionary and encyclopedia. FactMonster also provides conversion calculators, fun learning games, homework areas categorized by subject, daily spelling bees and word quizzes, and a lot more. This site is a good one to bookmark for the kids.

Become A Weather Expert -  Weather Satellites are a meteorologist's best friend. Become a weather expert yourself by checking out this site run by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's CoastWatch Program. It provides images in infrared that indicate areas of colder weather. Water vapor images reflect areas of moisture. The tropical Atlantic/Pacific images help track signs of approaching severe weather.

The Life And Times Of Bob Hope -  The USA lost a national treasure on July 27, 2003 with the passing of Bob Hope. His vaudeville, radio, television, motion picture and USO tour performances touched millions of people throughout the world. The Library of Congress provides an extensive exhibition of the life and times of Bob Hope. The collection includes the digitally scanned and indexed 85,000-page volume of Bob Hope jokes. It also provides links to Mr. Hope's vaudeville days, motion pictures, bits and sketches, a USO Shows section and much more.

The NFL Season Has Finally Arrived -  The National Football League's preseason is history and now it's time to button up those chin straps. During September, every NFL team is in the running for the Super Bowl. The NFL's official site provides team schedules, standings, stats, television schedules, ticket information, rosters, player bios, analysis/opinions from the experts as well as daily updates and stories. If it has to do with the NFL, you'll find it here!

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Short Tutorial - Shortcut Drag-And-Drop Method Of Adding Attachments To E-mails

To add an attachment to an e-mail message, most people click on the paperclip icon of the e-mail message to be sent and then search for the file to be attached via the "Insert Attachment" or "Choose Attachment" Dialog Box. There's an even easier and usually faster method to attach pictures or other documents to an e-mail message. It's called the drag-and-drop method. This method works whether you use Outlook Express, Messenger or Eudora on either Windows or Macintosh operating systems.

If you've already located the file you want to send as an attachment, you simply do the following:

  1. Create a new message in your e-mail client software (i.e. Outlook Express).
  2. Click your cursor arrow on the file you wish to attach to this new message with the left mouse button.
  3. Keeping the mouse button pressed, drag the file over to the message window.
  4. Drop the file when you have it positioned anywhere over the body of the message and release the mouse button.
  5. Your client software will automatically add the file to the message as an attachment.

Give it a try sometime!

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings at our shop. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

Thanks for your business!

Best regards,

The E-Connections Team

Polar E-Connections


©2003 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

Trademarks: All brand names and product names used in this eNewsletter are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.