Does the "!0000" trick really work?

Question

Does the "!0000" trick really work?

Answer

This question was answered on September 7, 2001. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Most of you have received one of many variations of an e-mail message that claims to be a tip for tricking the current generation of Mass Mailing worms that auto-send themselves from infected computers.

The tip involves creating a bogus contact "!0000" to the Windows Address Book The premise is that when the virus tries to send itself out to everyone in the address book, the e-mail program will falter on the bogus address and the attempt to send will fail

There are a couple of serious problems with this tip It assumes the virus intends to do a "send all" in the first place, but most of the modern day viruses prefer to randomly select individual addresses or supplement the addresses with those found cached on the system

Some versions of the tip suggest the use of the email address "[email protected]" for the !0000 contact If an email address is included with the contact, the entire tip fails under any scenario.

The result of this version would be that a virus that attempts a "send all" would go out to every address in the address book with the exception of the [email protected] address which would most likely "bounce" because it is undeliverable

Another clear cause to steer clear of the "tip" is the reference to an authoritive source, such as an "ex-FBI agent" or "University".

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on September 7, 2001