To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Friday May 5, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
That's the way (uh huh, uh huh) we skulk it

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To use the links in this newsletter, you must be connected to the Internet.  PC Eudora users: to see this and other html mail properly you must check the box "Use Microsoft's Viewer" in the "Viewing Mail" options.

WebSkulker will be taking a two week business/vacation trip from Monday, May 8 through Friday, May 19.  The next issue of the newsletter will be on Monday, May 22.

Skulkers in love

WebSkulker hopes none of you jr. skulkers minded receiving the special newsletter from us yesterday about the "ILOVEYOU" worm, Trojan Horse, virus, or whatever you want to call it.  The link above gives a lot more detailed information about it's effects and how to get rid of it.

Jr. Skulker Jorge Handl pointed out that it is dangerous to pay too much attention to warnings about a particular virus going around.  Yes, you should be wary of email that fits the warning (if the warning is legitimate -- almost all are hoaxes), but don't assume that email not fitting any warnings is therefore safe.  Anyone with a programming background can make minor modifications to this type of email worm so that the email messages it sends out will have different wording in the subject and body of the email, and a different name for the attachment.  You need to think carefully before opening any email attachment that could contain an executable program, such as attachments with extensions of .com, .exe, or .vbs.  Never open an attachment like that unless you are expecting it and know in advance what it is and why the person is sending it to you.  If you aren't sure, call the sender and ask them.

This episode could have been a lot worse, because the executable program can do any damage it wants.  This one overwrote certain types of files, but it could just as easily have erased entire hard drives if the author chose to do it that way.

The most important way to protect yourself from viruses, as well as hard drive crashes, software glitches, and human mistakes, is to make regular backups of your entire system using a tape drive.  Or at least make copies of the data that is most important to you using, for example, a Zip drive.  Keep the backups up to date, and make more than one copy.  Keep one copy near your computer to restore files easily and quickly.  Keep a second copy at another location for emergencies such as a fire or theft where your computer and the nearby copy of the backups are both lost.

For the bright jr. skulker

Jr. Skulker Chris Gray works at and we have been meaning to write about it for some time.  Yesterday's news gave us a good reason.  Brightmail's mission is to block spam from getting into the email boxes of companies and individuals who subscribe to their service, and it is completely free for individuals.  They identify and block spam by this process:  "Spam traveling through the Internet is captured by the Probe Network, a massive collection of email addresses that Brightmail uses just to attract and receive spam. Messages caught by the Probe Network are sent directly to the Brightmail Logistics and Operations Center (BLOC).  At the BLOC, spam experts evaluate incoming messages to determine if they are spam. If so, the spam experts immediately write rules to block those spam messages. The spam experts send those rules to the Spam Wall, which is the software that actually filters the messages."

The free filtering for individuals will work for anyone with a POP3 email account, not AOL or web-based email addresses.  If you use Eudora, Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, etc. to read your email, then you probably can use their service.  Sign up by clicking on the "Individuals Register Here" link on their home page and follow the instructions.  When done, you will continue to read your email through your normal program and the filtering process will be transparent.  Instead of fetching your email directly off your ISP's server, your email program will contact Brightmail's POP3 server.  Their server will read the email off your ISP's POP3 server, filter it, then present it to your program with almost all of the spam removed.

If you are concerned that the Brightmail filters might accidentally filter a legitimate message, you can sign on to their web site at any time to view the  recent messages they removed from your mail, and hopefully you will find that all of it was indeed spam.

We said earlier that yesterday's virus news was a good reason to mention Brightmail today.  At this time Brightmail only looks for spam, but they are about to start filtering email attachments using the Symantec (formerly Norton) anti-virus definitions so your inbox will not only be spam free, but virus free.  They will offer this virus filtering to their commercial customers, and possibly their free individual subscribers.  The virus filtering hasn't started yet, but Brightmail still managed to filter out the ILOVEYOU worm because they noticed this attack very early and wrote filters to treat these messages like spam.

Skulkers and spies

Spyonit is a free service that periodically queries web pages and search engines looking for new information their subscribers are interested in, builds custom reports on their web site, and optionally sends alerts by your choice of pager, email, and various instant messengers.  As an example, WebSkulker built a spy to tell him whenever any other web site adds a link to, and to notify him if's server fails.  There are hundreds of other types of spies you can specify, like notification that a FedEx package was delivered and a warning you that your stock just dropped 5%.

WebSkulker learned about this from the Netsurfer Digest.

Don't eat your fellow jr. skulker

"IFILM attracts the highest quality and most innovative films from individual filmmakers around the world, and offers a place for distribution and consumer entertainment. Film fans can enjoy the largest selection of films anywhere and at any time. They also have the opportunity to rate the films, providing feedback to the filmmaker and guiding other viewers for their selections. The viewing experience is enhanced with additional information about the film and/or filmmaker."

This all sounds quite serious, but many of the films are short animations of the type found in the Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival.  You view these films online in RealPlayer or Windows Media formats.  WebSkulker's favorite was the second link above: "The Beckers: Cannibalism and your Teen.  For years there have been rumors about the growing phenomenon of cannibalism as practiced by suburban teenagers. Now, see it for yourself in this story about the Becker family, their son and his peers during a near fatal flirtation with the attractions of the other, OTHER white meat!"

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Ed Gerson, who claims this is better than the Polish blond joke on our web page.

One day while on patrol, a police officer pulled over a car for speeding. He went up to the car and asked the driver to roll down her window. The first thing he noticed, besides the nice red sports car, was how hot the driver was! Drop dead blonde, the works. 

"I've pulled you over for speeding, Ma'me.... could I see your drivers license...?" 

"...What's a license...???" replied the blonde, instantly giving away the fact that she was as dumb as a stump. 

"It's usually in your wallet..." replied the officer. After fumbling for a few minutes, the driver managed to find it. 

"Now may I see your registration..." asked the cop. 

"Registration..... what's that....?" asked the blonde. "It's usually in your glove compartment..." said the cop impatiently. After some more fumbling, she found the registration. "I'll be back in a minute..." said the cop and walked back to his car. 

The officer phoned into the dispatch to run a check on the woman's license and registration. After a few moments, the dispatcher came back; 

"Ummm.... is this woman driving a red sports car?" 

"Yes...." replied the officer. 

"Is she a drop dead gorgeous blonde?" asked the dispatcher. 

"Uh... yes" replied the cop. 

"Here's what you do...." said the dispatcher. "Give her the stuff back, and drop your pants..." 

"WHAT!!? I can't do that. Its..... inappropriate..." exclaimed the cop. 

"Trust me..... just do it...." said the dispatcher. 

So the cop goes back to the car, gives back the license and registration and drops his pants, just as the dispatcher said. The blonde looks down and sighs..... "Oh no... not ANOTHER breathalyzer."


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