The UK Government learned Melissa's Ultimate Lesson. The Register reported today1 that UK firm Messagelabs caught e-mail messages intended for UK government recipients with Windows Metafile exploted attachments before Microsoft released a patch to correct the WMF vulnerability in Windows XP.

While John Leyden seemed more interested in the theme of repeated and increased attacks from Chinese hackers, especially since US security firms hand virus technology to the PRC regularly, I was far more interested in how Messagelabs caught the offending messages.

Unfortunately The Register didn't include a date, only stating it occurred before January 5, 2006. Surely by that time, anti-virus vendors released updates to their products. Messagelabs likes to brag about how effortlessly they can catch zero-day exploits in e-mail, but they're not the only ones capable of catching unwanted software before the fact.

I'll risk a few downvotes by saying my own firm also effortlessly caught this exploit before the fact.2 But I'm not daylogging this just to risk a short ad blurb. Rather, I'm daylogging this so E2 readers know I'm not kidding. We can stop these things before the fact.

  1. -- John Leyden of The Register
  2. -- Myself

Things I've let strangers overhear

If you like amusing yourself at the expense of others, you and your friends need to practice the beautiful art of eavesdroppable fakery. So that when you’re in an elevator with your friend, and a stranger gets on, you can sigh and say, “Yeah so anyway, that’s the story of how I became a woman….” (Especially good if you are, like me, a big hairy manly-man.)

Other suggestions:

Also good at parties, in clubs, or on public transportation.

chaotic_poet says re: things I've let strangers overhear: My friends and I love doing this. Our favorite is "So we set her pubic hair on fire and everything was fine."
geneva says this is excellent
(jessicapierce) Klaproth says I ate your writeup things I've let strangers overhear. Explanation forthcoming. Node Heaven will become its new residence.
jessicapierce says re things I've let strangers overhear : E2 does have plenty of other "humorous eavesdropping" nodes, but they're mostly from days past, and these days we are trying to encourage stronger content. That said, feel free to submit this as a daylog if you
jessicapierce says like. The E2 Quick Start is worth a look - it will help you settle in.
Erik Fish says re things I've let strangers overhear: I didn't think it was a bad writeup.
geneva says deleted huh? lame.

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