"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 2, No. 10:  July 23, 2001.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. SERIOUS WORM THREAT: DON'T OPEN THAT EMAIL FILE ATTACHMENT!
2. WEB RESOURCES FOR LISTENING TO THE BIBLE (KJV, NIV, ETC.)
3. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER
_______________________________________________________________

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2001 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.  (To be
removed from the emailing list, also write to cati@traver.org,
but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.)
_______________________________________________________________

1. SERIOUS WORM THREAT: DON'T OPEN THAT EMAIL FILE ATTACHMENT!

This is no hoax -- the threat is a real one, and you need to
know how to protect yourself against it.  Here's Fred Langa's
description in his July 23, 2001 LangaList newsletter:

"An unusually aggressive, clever, and destructive worm is
spreading by email with unprecedented speed; I've already had
it unintentionally sent to me by *hundreds* of readers, most
of whom have no idea their PC is spewing out copies of the
worm."
  http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-07-23.htm#0

I myself have received _two_ copies of this destructive worm
within the past two days, so it is indeed spreading rapidly.
Here's what's important for you to know to protect yourself:
Don't open an email file attachment until you have checked it
out properly first!

If you've been following Crispen's Six Antivirus Rules, you
are already familiar with these two rules:

"3. NEVER DOUBLE-CLICK (OR LAUNCH) *ANY* FILE, ESPECIALLY AN
EMAIL ATTACHMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHO THE FILE IS FROM, UNTIL
YOU FIRST SCAN THAT FILE WITH YOUR ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM."
  http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati16.htm#4

"6. IF SOMEONE UNEXPECTEDLY SENDS YOU AN EXECUTABLE FILE OR
VISUAL BASIC SCRIPT FILE -- IN OTHER WORDS, A FILE THAT ENDS
IN .EXE OR .VBS -- THROW IT OUT."
  http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati16.htm#4

The same warning holds true, by the way, for files that end in
.BAT or .COM, which is one reason why it's a good idea NOT to
have Windows hide file extensions (I'll say more about that in
a moment).

McAfee.com (Web site for McAfee antivirus products) warns that
this new virus "is a HIGH RISK virus for consumers" and warns
further that "The infected email can come from addresses that
you recognize."  It notes that the name of the file attachment
varies (which makes it more difficult to guard against).  You
can find more information from McAfee about this dangerous new
worm here:

McAfee.com: W32/SirCam[at]MM Help Center
  http://www.mcafee.com/anti-virus/viruses/sircam/default.asp?cid=2371

Another source of information on this new virus is Symantec
(the company responsible for Norton antivirus products):

Symantec: W32.Sircam.Worm[at]mm
  http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.sircam.worm@mm.html

Like McAfee, Symantec notes that the distribution of this worm
is high.

In my case, the virus did not come from someone I knew, but in
your case, it may perhaps come from someone you know, so just
knowing the sender of an email with a file attachment does not
guarantee the harmlessness of that attachment!

The content of the email message itself varies, although it
usually has the same first line ("Hi! How are you?") and the
same last line ("See you later. Thanks.").  What is between
the two may vary (e.g., one of the messages I was sent said
something like "I send you this file in order to have your
advice.").  Likewise the name of the file attachment varies
(in my case, one was called story.zip.bat and the other was
called MERGE_1.doc.bat), but note that the filename has two
extensions (.zip.bat in one case; .doc.bat in the other).

If you save the file to your hard drive and you have Windows
set to "hide file extensions for known file types," you will
not see the last file extension (the .bat extension in the
two cases described; instead one file will appear as story.zip
and the other as MERGE_1.doc).  Thus it may not be obvious to
you that double-clicking on the file would actually start up
a malicious executable program.  (For example, ordinarily it
is safe to open up a .zip file as long as you don't start
running an executable file within that .zip file except when
you know it's safe to do so.)

For this reason and others, I recommend that you do _not_ have
Windows hide file extensions for known file types.  For the
other reasons and an in-depth explanation, see this article in
an earlier issue of CATI:

The (Un)Hidden Secrets of (Un)Hidden File Extensions
  http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati54.htm#2

By the way, many people know that a file with the .exe file
extension is an executable file (that is, if you double-click
on the filename in My Computer or Windows Explorer, it will
start a program running, and you may or may not know what that
program will do), but they may not know that files with a
.bat or .com extension are also executable files.  (In fact,
if you change the file extension of a particular file from
.exe to .bat, Windows will ordinarily not notice or care.)

So be careful with files that have a file extension of .exe,
.bat, .com, .vbs, or even .doc (unless you have taken action
to disable macros in Microsoft Word).

Here's how to set Windows to show all file name extensions:
Click on Start, click on Settings, click on Control Panel,
double-click on Folder Options, click on the View tab, clear
the check box for "Hide file extensions for known file types,"
and click on OK.  I definitely recommend that you set Windows
to show _all_ file extensions.

So now you know what you need to know about this new serious
threat being passed around the Internet.  As Fred Langa says,

"It's a bad one: First, it's clever, and actually uses its own
mini mail server to propagate itself. But second--- and unlike
the vast majority of worms--- this one really can cost you
*all* your data!...  Again, this is an unusually aggressive,
clever, and destructive worm. Be careful!"
  http://www.langa.com/flash.htm

But there's a encouraging word from Fred as well (at least if
if you have been following Crispen's Six Antivirus Rules):

"Good news: Nothing will happen unless you actually run the
malicious attachment: Don't click on it, and you're OK."
  http://www.langa.com/flash.htm

Take care!

P.S.  A worm is a parasitic program that can make copies of
itself, can perform malicious mischief, and can very often be
transported through email.  It does not infect other computer
files like non-worm viruses (for that reason some people make
a distinction between worms and viruses), but it can do damage
equal to that done by any computer virus.
_______________________________________________________________

2. WEB RESOURCES FOR LISTENING TO THE BIBLE (KJV, NIV, ETC.)

You don't have to purchase audio cassettes in order to have an
opportunity to hear the Bible being read aloud.  There are a
number of resources on the Web where you can listen to the
Bible in English (e.g., in the King James Version or in the
New International Version) or, for that matter, in some other
language.

It is helpful to know a little about computer sound files, but
you don't need to know a lot.  We'll be concentrating on two
types of sound files:  Real Audio files (which ordinarily have
to be listened to while you are online) and MP3 files (which
you can download and listen to while you are offline).  (I
regret to report that most "audio Bibles" are in Real Audio
format.)

Although my articles need to be updated somewhat, you can
find more information about these two formats in some past
CATI articles:

The MP3 Music Revolution on the Internet: The Basics
  http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati02.htm#4

Real Audio: Intro Plus Some Christian Programs and Sermons
  http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati29.htm#1

To play Real Audio files, you can download a free Real Audio
player at the following location:

  http://www.real.com/player/index.html

Note well:  you'll have to hunt around the page to find the
link to download the free RealPlayer 8 Basic.  Don't download
RealPlayer 8 Plus (that version costs money!) unless that is
really what you've decided to do.

There are many software programs that will play MP3 files,
including Windows Media Player and Winamp.  Here's where you
can download Windows Media Player 7.1:

  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/en/software/playerv7.asp

(If you're running Windows, you probably already have Windows
Media Player installed, but you may want to upgrade to the
latest version.)  And here's where you can download Winamp
Version 2.76:

  http://www.winamp.com/download/

For MP3 sound files, I generally use Winamp (but I'm not sure
that I can supply a good reason for doing so).

ENGLISH: KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)

Here's where you can find the King James Version (KJV) in Real
Audio format, narrated by Alexander Scourby:

KJV: Audio Bible Online: Old and New Testaments
  http://www.audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html

KJV: Bible Gateway: Old Testament Only
  http://media.gospelcom.net/bgaudio/english/kjv/

Since it is in Real Audio format, you can listen to the Bible
being read while you are online, but you will not be able to
download the files to listen to while you are offline.  (If
you want to listen to the Bible offline, you will have to
purchase it in an appropriate format (you can get the entire
King James Version on one computer CD-ROM, 62 audio CD's, or
48 cassettes) from the Audio Bible site:

  http://www.audio-bible.com/orders.html

Here's some background on the recording:

"Back In the forties Alexander Scourby recorded the very
first narration of the Bible. It was produced by The American
Foundation For The Blind and distributed by The American Bible
Society as The Talking Bible.... The oldest Book in the world
is now available in multimedia....  Yes, with Audio Bible you
can listen to all 72 hours of audio without flipping a record
or tape. You may ask yourself, why you need Audio Bible?...
We remember better if we hear it and best if we read along
with what we hear. This is what Audio Bible is all about."
  http://www.audio-bible.com

Although most "audio Bibles" online are available only in Real
Audio format (which means that you have to be online while you
listen), Audio Scriptures International presents the King
James Version in both Real Audio and MP3 formats (narrator
unknown):

KJV: Audio Scriptures International: New Testament
  http://www.gospelcom.net/asi/audio.html

Here's the advantage of an MP3 file:

"Unlike Real Audio the file will not play until you have
completely downloaded it. The files are large at about 10MB
each so they will take a long time to download, but once you
have them on your hard disk you can play them over and over
again using MP3 player software."
  http://www.gospelcom.net/asi/audio.html

ENGLISH: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (NASB):

Here's where you can find the New American Standard Bible
(NASB) in Real Audio format (narrator unknown):

NASB: Bible Gateway: New Testament Only
  http://media.gospelcom.net/bgaudio/english/nasb/

ENGLISH: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)

Here's where you can find the New International Version (NIV)
in Real Audio format, narrated by Max McLean:

NIV: Bible Gateway: Old and New Testaments
  http://media.gospelcom.net/bgaudio/english/niv/

NIV: International Bible Society: New Testament Only
  http://www.gospelcom.net/ibs/bibles/audio_niv.php

Actually, "performed" may in some respects be a more accurate
term than "narrated," for Max McLean's background was in the
theater, although he came to recognize the power of the Bible:
 _________________________________
/
"...Max’s involvement in the theater began at the University
of Texas....  After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he
acted and directed for American troops in West Germany
before continuing his theatrical education.... While in
Germany he was invited to a Bible study where for the first
time he was confronted with the power and insight of the
Bible. Within weeks he became a follower of Jesus....

"He realized that an actor is nothing more than a hired hand
whose job is to communicate other people’s ideas regardless
of his own feelings about them. Aware of the fact that 'you
cannot serve two masters', he made the decision to leave the
theater. To fill the void, he became active in his local
church and began to study the Bible more closely. He attended
seminary and listened to great preachers and teachers who
inspired him.

"In 1982 he had an epiphany that would redirect the course of
his life. 'Why not use the skills and techniques from the
theater and apply them to present and interpret books of the
Bible?' It was an event waiting to happen. From his first
memorized Bible presentation the impact on those who received
the word in this unique way was immediate and profound.

"Since 1983 presenting the Scriptures dramatically has become
his life’s work. Max has performed the Bible to millions of
people of all ages and from across the religious and cultural
spectrum. His work includes Genesis at the Edinburgh Theater
Festival in Scotland, Lamb’s Theater in New York, Pegasus
Theater in Chicago, and the Dallas Theater Center; Mark’s
Gospel at Stratford Festival Theater, and Acts of the Apostles
at the Playwrights Theater. He maintains an active touring
schedule of colleges and houses of worship across America and
his radio program of Scripture presentations is heard on 400
radio stations."

  http://www.bibleonstage.org/max_mclean.html
\_________________________________

OTHER LANGUAGES

Bible Gateway, which has made available the Bible (in part or
in entirety) in three English versions (KJV, NASB, and NIV),
also makes available in Real Audio format the Bible in other
languages:

Chinese: New Testament Only
  http://media.gospelcom.net/bgaudio/chinese/

Italian: New Testament Only
  http://media.gospelcom.net/bgaudio/italian/

Portuguese: New Testament Only
  http://media.gospelcom.net/bgaudio/portuguese/

Spanish: New Testament Only
  http://media.gospelcom.net/bgaudio/spanish/

Here's the home page for the Bible Gateway audio Bibles:

Bible Gateway: Audio Bibles
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg/bgaudio.html

Note that -- except for the KJV which can be downloaded in
MP3 format from Audio Scriptures International -- all of the
preceding files are in Real Audio format and thus can only be
used while online (although some can be purchased in a format
that can be used offline).

This list is not complete (audio versions of the Bible in
languages other than English are also available), so if you
are aware of other good resources on the Web for listening
to the Scriptures, please let me know.  In the meantime, I
hope you find these references to be helpful.
_______________________________________________________________

3. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER

This is the fifty-fifth issue of a free newsletter devoted
to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy,"
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the
"Internet").

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe
to CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your
real name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.

Past issues:  you'll find archives of past issues of CATI
available online at   http://traver.org/cati/.  ("It's not a
pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.)
________________________________________________________________

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2001 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.