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Email Abuse

It has come to our attention that email messages have recently been distributed which have been marked as having been sent from members of our staff (e.g. from "executive-editor@hsafinder.com," "andy@hsafinder.com," etc.). Many of these messages have in fact not been sent by our organization, and have rather been sent by other individuals in an illegal attempt to hide their identity by "spoofing" our organization's email addresses and corporate identity (see below for details).

Email misuse is a significant and growing problem, and we all suffer from its effects. We at Information Strategies hope to engage our customers and partners in a fight against the criminal misuse of email. What can we do? We hope that you'll find the following information helpful.

PROSECUTION OF EMAIL ABUSE

The misuse of Internet email services is illegal and is punishable under federal and local laws, including the Lanham Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Economic Espionage Act, among others.

The courts have already recognized that such misuse causes economic harm and can adversely affect a company's reputation; judges have awarded affected companies sums in excess of the assessed damages and also the costs incurred during litigation.

What is "misuse"? The standards have been clearly laid down by the courts, and there are established legal precedents. In interstate commerce, designating goods and services in a way that is likely to cause confusion and to deceive consumers with regard to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of a company's goods or services is clearly illegal and is a form of fraud.

Information Strategies will not hesitate to bring legal action against any individual or corporation when there are grounds to believe that such individuals/companies are or have been deliberately and intentionally "spoofing," misrepresenting, impersonating, or in any way misappropriating any of Information Strategies' Internet domain names or other corporate identifications. Both criminal and civil redress will be sought; all suspected criminal misuse will be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Trade Commission.

KLEZ VIRUS

Much of the malicious email that now permeates the Internet is generated by the "Klez" virus. This takes addresses from an email client on an infected computer and sends infected mail to everyone in that client's e-address book. The "from" address is randomly set to one of these addresses to deceive recipients that they know the sender's identity and that the message may therefore be safely opened. To avoid propagating this pernicious virus and to protect your own system, virus-protection software is absolutely essential.

CONTACT US

Information Strategies, Inc. encourages all who receive email that appears to be impersonating an Information Strategies entity as its sender and contains unsolicited "spam" or malicious attachments, to notify the company immediately by contacting customerservice@hsafinder.com. Be sure to identify yourself and to include the message and the header information.

LINKS

For more information about address spoofing and other forms of email abuse, we recommend these links:

http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/email_spoofing.html

http://www.computerbits.com/archive/2002/0600/
bridges0206.html


For information about the Klez virus and how to protect yourself against it, please visit:

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/
data/w32.klez.h@mm.html


Virus protection software:

Norton: http://www.symantec.com/

McAfee: http://www.mcafee.com/

We appreciate the attention you have given this matter and encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Information Strategies values and respects the privacy of all users of the Internet. Further information about our email policies is available in our Privacy Policy.


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