02NR12 - MRF Subscriber List Precautions

Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 1808
Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail)
http://www.mrf.org (website)


Contact: Tom Wyld
Phone: 202-546-0983
March 6, 2002
#02-NR-12 - MRF Subscriber List Precautions

TO: MRF E-Mail Alert Subscribers
FROM: Teri Stobbs, MRF Director of Communications

Unfortunately, a few of the MRF's E-Mail Alert subscribers received an e-mail yesterday containing a virus that appeared to have been sent from the MRF. I apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused, and I thank all of you who notified me so promptly for your patience and understanding. I can assure you that this virus did not originate from me, the MRF, or our new Internet Service Provider, BinaryBlocks. It did, however, originate from at least one of our E-Mail Alert subscribers. The following is an explanation provided by Jason Piercy, Founder and President of BinaryBlocks, followed by some suggestions on how you can avoid contracting e-mail viruses on your computer.

According to Jason Piercy, "Last week BinaryBlocks installed a security update from Sun/Cobalt on all our servers. Without our knowledge, this update unfortunately overwrote the allowed posting setting we had set up on the MRF's e-mail list, therefore allowing anyone on the list to send back through the list to all other subscribers. The original mailing from the MRF did not have the virus in it. Once the original message was sent out, however, one or more of the MRF's subscribers had a virus on their computer. This type of virus automatically replies to everyone in both their address book and inbox. Therefore, this member's computer automatically sent out the message with the virus back through the list to all the MRF subscribers.

"Fortunately, a large number of your subscribers have very good anti-virus protection and the e-mail was not delivered to their computers. Rest assured that I will be in discussion with Sun Microsystems to ask them why BinaryBlocks was not given notice of the overwritten configuration files for the mailing lists. To help alleviate this problem in the future, however, we have been working diligently with Exographics, the creators of the MRF web page, to install a new one-way broadcast system that does not have this problem, as it is not a multi-user mailing list like the majordomo software you were using before."

As Director of Communications for the MRF (and the person who sends the e-mail alerts), let me stress to all of you that the MRF NEVER sends an e-mail alert to our subscriber list with an attachment. If you receive an e-mail that is or appears to be from MRF-NEWS or broadcast@www.mrf.org and it contains an attachment, DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY! E-mails of this type with attachments DO NOT originate from the MRF, and they more than likely contain a virus.

Although the MRF, BinaryBlocks, and Exographics have taken every step possible to protect our subscribers from receiving e-mail viruses, it is unrealistic to think that we can provide security for every possibility. Each time a virus protection program is updated, someone out there finds a new way to infiltrate it. There are literally thousands of viruses floating around these days. In fact, because my e-mail address is so widely distributed worldwide through the positions I hold with the MRF and ABATE of Illinois, I receive e-mails with viruses attached to them anywhere from 5 to 15 times a week! It is a nuisance, but it is also a fact of computer life!

There are, however, several things you can do to protect yourself from these viruses. Below are a few tips that might help:

1. BE SURE YOU HAVE AN UPDATED VIRUS PROTECTION PROGRAM ON YOUR COMPUTER THAT AUTOMATICALLY UPDATES REGULARLY! I cannot stress this enough. In this day of multitudes of viruses, you MUST protect yourself with a virus protection program that updates regularly. Both Symantec (Norton) and McAfee have really good, yet inexpensive, virus protection programs.

2. If you receive an e-mail with an attachment (particularly an attachment that ends in .exe or .bat) and you were not expecting an e-mail with an attachment from that individual, send them an e-mail to confirm that it is legitimate BEFORE you open the attachment. This applies to e-mails you receive from people you know, as most viruses infiltrate e-mail address books and send themselves out to everyone in that infected computer's address book. It only takes a minute to confirm that the attachment is something that individual intended to send you, and it can save a lot of headaches.

3. If you receive the exact same e-mail with the exact same title from more than one person, it is probably a virus as well.

You can find much more information about computer viruses, virus protection software available, and how to protect yourself and your computer by going to your computer's search engine and simply typing in the words COMPUTER VIRUS.

- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -

The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

Voice: 202-546-0983, Fax: 202-546-0986, E-Mail: wyld@mrf.org, website: http://www.mrf.org

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