Microsoft Math

It is now safe to turn off your computer Once in awhile, I will open a spammy email, which annoys me enough to complain about it. This happened recently, what appeared to be an innocent message from Microsoft, could have unleashed a virus. It looked like this:

Click Here!
About this mailing:
You are receiving this e-mail because you subscribed to MSN Featured Offers. Microsoft respects your privacy. If you do not wish to receive this MSN Featured Offers e-mail, please click the “Unsubscribe” link below. This will not unsubscribe you from e-mail communications from third-party advertisers that may appear in MSN Feature Offers. This shall not constitute an offer by MSN. MSN shall not be responsible or liable for the advertisers’ content nor any of the goods or service advertised. Prices and item availability subject to change without notice.
(Etcetera)

The original email also contained an MSN logo. It fooled me until I examined Click Me! which linked to a Windows executable file.

Send In The Clowns

I had just received this annoyance, so I immediately notified the company which gave us Windows 95 and Bob, hoping to reduce the workload of some beleaguered support person.

Microsoft’s remarkable reply arrived in a few seconds. It began:

Thank you for reporting spam to the MSN Support Team. This is an auto-generated response to inform you that we have received your submission. Please note that you will not receive a reply if you respond directly to this message.

Unfortunately, in order to process your request, MSN Support needs a valid MSN hosted account.

Microsoft Math

If that message infected 1000 Windows computers, around the world, but only one MSN subscriber is affected, then it really only infected one computer.

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