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I am reposting this query from a thread that seems to have died. Have recently been receiving spam with .htm files attached, several in the past couple of weeks, with come-ons like "A good little tool" and the like. Haven't opened any of the attachments, but I'm wondering whether this might be some sort of virus. I know most Win viruses are .exe programs, and these attachments certainly don't appear to be executables. Any ideas out there?
 

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.htm and .html are the two extensions to denote a HTML file. Email can be sent as plain text, Rich Text (default for Mail) or the much larger HTML. Webpages you view and such are all done in HTML, or a derivative of (eg. XHTML).

HTML emails are not viruses themselves, but because it is just like viewing a web page, weird results can occur. Most often the HTML is used for formatting or showing a picture like a jpg, which allows spammers who send say a viagra message to circumvent a filter by having the words in an image. The image can't be read as words, so it skips right by the filter. Its highly unlikely you'll get a virus from an HTML email. Although .htm is an old way of putting .html, since only Windows 3.1.1 required .htm, while every other operating system and browser supports .html which was the original extrension for such files.

In case you are wondering, HTML = Hyper Text Markup Language.
 

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sputnik - They can be, but just like visiting any web page, the user has to say yes to installing the software, eg. Install Gator, or Comet Cursor or some other lame, horrible, computer killing piece of spy and adware.
 
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