Silicon Valley - Public Access Link

Virus Filtering

Disabling Executable Attachments

In order to protect our users from viruses, SVPAL implements an attachment filter to disable executable email attachments. The vast majority of these attachments contain viruses. This process does not affect typical email that contains plain text, HTML (Rich content), email, images, videos, flash animations, or sound files.

Most virus scanning software functions by detecting previously identified viruses.  This means that new unidentified viruses are not caught. The filter used by SVPAL functions by disabling ALL executable attachments, thereby catching most all viruses whether or not they have been identified. 

The following is a partial list of attachment types that are considered "unsafe" and are disabled by the filter: EXE, PIF, LNK, SCR, VBS, DLL. Unsafe attachments have their file name extensions renamed to TXT. Microsoft Windows does not execute files with the suffix of TXT. It instead opens such files with the Notepad program and displays their contents. This is harmless as it does not launch the virus. 

On rare occasions the filter may disable legitimate executable attachments. In this case, the following section describes how to restore the attachment to executable status.

Enabling a Disabled Attachment (use with caution)

If you receive a legitimate executable attachment in email, you can still execute it. However, be certain that you want to do this and that it is not a virus. If there is any doubt, do not execute the attachment. Use these directions at your own risk

Save the attachment as a file on your computer. If the file's original attachment type was EXE, then rename the file so that the extension is again EXE. For example if the filename is currently SETUP.TXT, then rename the file to SETUP.EXE. If the file is a ZIP archive, for example STUFF.TXT, then rename the file to STUFF.ZIP. Windows will warn you against renaming the file extension, but you may proceed. 

After renaming the file, double-click it to activate the program, or open the ZIP archive. 

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Last Updated: Wednesday July 8, 2015
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