Lately there has been an email that has been making the rounds that contains embedded images of child pornography that seems to be favoring Canadian inboxes more than other countries that have reported seeing this email.

Child porn spam warning

TORONTO -- Graphic photographs of the rape of a young girl were embedded in a spammed e-mail sent across Canada this weekend -- the latest in an increasingly aggressive campaign by online marketers of child pornography. When opened, the e-mail -- which has no subject and generates a false name for the sender -- automatically uploads a collage of images showing a sexual assault by an adult male on a prepubescent girl. Across the image are the words "CP COMPANY." The image links to a now-defunct website that was shut down several weeks ago after the spam first surfaced in Canada, said Signy Arnason, director of Cybertip.ca. People who receive child pornography spam should delete it and report the incident to Cybertip.ca. The public is advised never to open e-mails from unknown sources.


Those of you who want an extra level of protection have 2 options. Outlook Express 6 and Mozilla Thunderbird both have an option that will help.

These two mail clients have the ability to easily force incoming mail messages to display as "plain text" and in the process prevent any embedded images from loading. The plain text option is easy to set on both clients. If you use Outlook 2002 then you will have a harder time and it will likely involve editing the registry as Microsoft indicates here.

Outlook Express 6

To change the options in Outlook Express 6 all you have to do is go under the Tools menu at the top and then select Options. From there select the checkbox labelled "Read all messages as plain text" as shown below.

Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free email and newsgroup client that is very easy to set up to display as plain text. All you need to do is select the View menu and then the Message Body As... submenu. At that spot all you have to do is select Plain Text and that's it. One other thing that helps is to deselect the Display Attachments Inline option.

For those Canadians reading this, the recommended place to report this specific email to is CyberTip.

Links:

- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Outlook 2002

Nathan




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