'Postal Service' e-mail delivers computer virus
E-mails claiming to be from the post office contain a virus, and computer experts from Carnegie Mellon University and others are trying to contain the bug.
The advice from a postal inspector is to not open the e-mail or its attachment, and don't forward it to the U.S. Postal Service, FBI or police to get them to investigate.
"We already know this is out there," said Postal Service Inspector Andrew Richards.
The e-mails have resurfaced in the Pittsburgh area this week.
The Postal Service doesn't send e-mails to customers, according to Richards. It normally contacts people through letters delivered in the mail, he said.
The bogus Postal Service e-mail tells people who read it that a package couldn't be delivered.
It asks them to click on the e-mail link to see the label.
Doing so opens an attachment, said Ed Schlesinger, chairman of CMU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
The attachment launches malicious software known as a computer virus.
"The virus gets into their computer before they know it's a virus," he said.
The virus can track key strokes and give the intruder access to financial or other private information, he said.
"Don't open an e-mail that claims to be from the Postal Service," Richards said. "And if you open the e-mail by accident, make sure you don't open the attachment."
If you don't know the sender, don't open up an e-mail, Schlesinger said.
Richards said CMU and other universities are looking for a way to defeat the virus.
While it's unclear where the bug originated, the intent of the virus is to harm individual computers.
Postal Service spokesman Tad Kelley said the office is telling its employees and contractors to be careful about opening unsolicited e-mail.
"People should always be way of any e-mail and be careful what they open up. Unfortunately, this is not the first e-mail that purports to be from the Postal Service and it's not," he said.Additional Information:
Postal Service warning
To learn more about dangerous e-mail viruses, go to the Postal Inspector Web site and click on the scheme alert info. People can also telephone the Postal Service at 1-800-ASK-USPS.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues
- Artis leads Pitt to lopsided victory over Cornell
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Emotional send-off awaits Pitt seniors
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work
- Starkey: Artie Rowell’s incredible odyssey
- Penguins notebook: Blues defenseman Bortuzzo sticks to brutish ways
- SWAT incident in Ross ends peacefully
- Pirates sign free agent 1B-OF Goebbert, RHP Webster
- Year’s worth of rain floods Qatar