Advertisement appearing in an email

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by TKHgva, Feb 23, 2009.

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  1. TKHgva

    TKHgva Registered Member

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    Greetings,

    Can anyone help me understand the following:

    1. Can malware be included in an email in the form of a hyperlink? Or is malware only sent in emails through attachments?

    2. I sent to myself a test email to try a new email service. When opening the email, it contained the initial short message I sent, but also at the bottom an advertisement with a hyperlink, that I had in no way whatsoever included in the test message. The email service from which I sent is, presumably, trustworthy and spam free.

    Is this hyperlink a form of spam or is it potential malware?

    I've seen that in Gmail there are advertisements related to the content of the message, but always in the control panel, never inside the email itself.

    Does anyone know in which cases an advertisement along with a hyperlink can be inserted inside an email?

    Is this a known practice from third parties which may have been included in the terms of agreement, but overlooked? Or is this in all cases a malware of any sort?

    Thanking you in advance for your time, I look forward to reading any replies.
     
  2. Timmo

    Timmo Registered Member

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    I was reading the Thunderbird manuals yesterday . Malware can only com thru attatchments. I suggest using Ad Block Plus extension available for both Thunderbird and Firefox
     
  3. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    TKHGeneva, perhaps this article: Sending and receiving electronic messages over a computer network will help you understand email threats and how to prevent them.

    In regards to ads inside emails, there are free services, like Hotmail & AOL, that embed ads at the bottom of ALL their messages, unbeknownst to its users (unless you send a message to yourself), but their actions are usually spelled out somewhere in their terms of service, which most people don't read prior to signing up for the service.

    These embedded ads and links are more of a nuisance than dangerous, however, you should never click on a link found in any email because it could take you to a malware Web site. You'll find many tips in the above Carnegie Mellon University article link.
     
  4. TKHgva

    TKHgva Registered Member

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    JRViejo,

    Thank you for the reply. I always appreciate a useful link.

    What you say is most certainly the case: advertisements are probably included in the terms of agreement as I am using a free service.

    Well, at least now I know I am sending embedded ads to the people I email. I'm not so pleased about that though. Good thing to find out. As from now on I'll always check by sending an email to myself when using a new email service.

    I was however surprised because the email in question was sent using Hushmail (free version). I thought Hushmail would never do this. Guess it's reality of business.

    Thanks again for the exchange,
     
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    TKHGeneva, you're welcome! Sending a BC (Blind Copy) to yourself serves 2 purposes: you can see how the ads are tailored to your email's content and you know that the original email went through. Should the ads get too racy, you will know it's time to switch services. Take care.
     
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