(IAAC) Viruses via our lists (was Re: read this now!)

Just a short note to all MeteorObs and IAAC readers:

**The 'meteorobs' & 'netastrocatalog' lists DON'T allow binary attachments!**

This was done precisely to avoid our lists becoming "vectors" for Internet
viruses or worms. What has been happening recently is far more insidious than
that, however: rather than viruses merely replicating themselves via address
books of individual readers, there appears to be a new class of viruses which
spread themselves by using lists of email address gleaned from the Web!

Thus there now appears to be a virus (or more properly a hybrid worm) which
is capable of emailing itself NOT to 'meteorobs@atmob.org' - the address for
"posting" to meteorobs which you all know and love, and which is protected
from this sort of attack - but rather via email addresses used internally by
our mailing list software, the so-called '-outgoing' addresses, which just
happened to have appeared in the past on our Web archives!

In addition, there is now spamming software out there which can cause spam
to appear on our Web archive, without even causing any of us to be emailed!
This is not a "virus" per se - in fact, it is "legitimate" advertisers who
abuse the power of the Internet. However, I still consider these as attacks.

I am working right now, to ensure that ALL such email addresses are removed
from our Websites - and stay off our Websites for good. However, that will
not prevent those who have already gleaned these addresses, from continuing
to abuse them: in order to accomplish that, I will have to perform somewhat
delicate "surgery" on the way our lists are currently configured! I'll try
to complete this "surgery" by next Monday morning at the latest.

In the mean time, my personal apologies for any inconvenience that may have
been caused through our lists, by these nefarious misusers of the Internet.

Clear skies to all!
Lew Gramer

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