Submit Response


Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the technology category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

Virus Emails As Social Software?

I don’t pretend to understand the inner workings of your average email virus, but checking my Spam folder in Mail for false positives today, it struck me that you could use them as fodder for an ad hoc social network building tool.

I mean, those viruses that spread themselves by hijacking a user’s collection of email addresses - the ones that tend to have .pif attachments and subjects like ‘Re: Your Message’ - seem to either pretend to come from someone you know, or at least has your email address, or from someone they know, by spoofing email headers. Therefore, by tracking the spoofed email addresses of apparent virus senders, you could end up with a useful set of addresses that could be analysed to find out where you fit into a given social or, more likely, business network.

Hmmn, not sure I explained that too well, but by way of an example, I just found a virus-bearing email in my Spam folder which purported to come from someone I’ve met, but didn’t - until now - have an email address for. So, now I can email the person in question, thanks to the virus. And, if some application was tracking these virus spam emails, I could build an address book of contacts and contacts of contacts, effortlessly. Which would be a good thing, if it weren’t for the fact that the people at two degrees of separation and above have never given me permission to find out their email address.

Anyway, if this does make any sense, and I haven’t made false assumptions about the way these viruses do their thing, it’d be nice if something useful could be made out of the malicious practices of virus-writers.

Posted at 4pm on 24/11/04 by Jack Mottram to the technology category.
Permalink · Add to
Tags: , ,

Comments are closed

Comments are currently closed on this entry.

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts