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Aunt Edna Virus & postcards.gif.exe

This Is Not A Real Postcard, And No, It Didn't Come From Our Site

If you got here with a pickup code (something like "a16-didnt-skins-caliba", "35-dodge-treads-aunt", "d21-sea-sunset" or "a91-valets-cloud-31337"), then you should know that the message you received was not a real postcard from our site.

On December 10th, 2004, some jerk released onto the internet what has come to be known as the "Aunt Edna Virus." Basically, that person faked one of our notification emails by switching out the links for links to an infected website. (No, our site is not infected.)

Update: Now there's a second person out there spamming people with a fake greeting card notice, slandering our site. The title of this newest abomination is "You've received a postcard from a family member!", and actually links to a malicious exe file. We believe it was sent by someone that refers to himself as "Dani MAD". If you happen to know who he is -- we're assuming it's a he, since most she's have better things to do -- please, let us know. And if you happen to hit him with a fast-moving car, we won't be displeased.

Update 2 (June 13, 2007): Now there's a third person. This is ridiculous. Of course, this person was dumb enough to use their own email addresses:

caliba_br@yahoo.com and calibabraila@gmail.com

from the IP address:

at exactly 4:02pm PDT, so if you're in a position to track down the actual person responsible, please do. It's apparent the person lives in Romania (judging from the IP address and the fact that the person found us through google.ro). Once again, if you happen to know who this person is, and you happen to push him or her in front of a bus, we'll forgive you.

Anyway, you should delete the email immediately, and, if you clicked on any of the links with Internet Explorer, use a virus scanner to check your computer for viruses.

Never open up any postcard sent from "Aunt Edna" -- period. (If you actually have an Aunt Edna, just get her to call you. It's nice to hear her voice.) Postcards sent from anyone other than Aunt Edna are safe.

And if you receive a postcard from someone you've never heard of -- or any email from someone you've never heard of -- you should always be at least a little suspicious. There's a lot of crap out there, and until the world starts using the death penalty for spammers, we're all going to have to sift through it.

The Short Definition Of What Is Safe And What Isn't Safe

Postcards from someone you don't know, like Aunt Edna, "a family member" or "a friend": Not Safe!

Postcards from a person you actually recognize: Safe!

Answers to Questions about the Aunt Edna Virus and similar malware

Q: What should I do if I receive a postcard from Aunt Edna?
A: You should delete it immediately. Come to think of it, you should delete anything you receive from "Aunt Edna." Who actually refers to themselves as "Aunt" or "Uncle" in their email settings?

Q: What if I receive a postcard from someone other than Aunt Edna?
A: Of course common sense plays a part here. First of all, do you know who sent it? If you don't, then skip it, or talk to them first and make sure they actually sent it. And, as a general rule, when you click on any link in an email, always make sure that the link you're going to matches the link text. And if you can't read the link (if it's something like then you almost always do not want to click on it. Most importantly, if you're really not sure if it's safe or not, then go to our homepage, and plug in the pickup code. That's guaranteed to be safe.

Q: Oh no! I clicked on one of the links in the Aunt Edna email! What should I do?
A: First thing: delete the email. Then use a newly-updated virus scanner to check your machine for any infection. Next, download the free version of Ad-Aware, and check your computer for spyware and adware. And finally, if you really want to be safe, you should stop using Internet Explorer (which is very, very unsafe to browse with nowadays) and download Firefox, which is a safer, faster, more modern and totally free browser from the fine folks at Mozilla.

Q: How does the virus part actually work?
A: Someone at Dynamoo put together a page explaining the virus and how it works.

Q: Who made this virus, and why would someone do something so evil?
A: We don't know who it was, but we hope they get hit by a bus real soon. The only thing we do know is that the postcard was originally sent by someone at the IP address, at exactly 3:43:10am PST on 12/10/2004. Of course, the likelihood is that the computer the person used was hacked into, and didn't actually belong to the virus' creator. However, if you can figure out anything about the original creator of the virus, please let us know.

Q: Why do the Aunt Edna emails look like emails from 1001 Postcards?
A: Because whoever wrote the virus decided to steal our notification message and bastardize it into the Aunt Edna menace. Frankly, we'd like to know why they chose to attack our site with this nonsense. Why not go after one of the corporate websites like MSN, Yahoo or American Greetings? Why go after our site, run by 2 people, paid for out of our own pockets?

Q: Why don't you stop people from sending these virus emails?
A: We can't stop them -- they're not coming from our site. In fact, other than the fact that the virus' creator copied the email text from our postcard notification message, the virus has absolutely nothing to do with our site.

Q: Is there anything I can do to help? A: Not directly. You can keep using our site, and keep telling friends how much we've been screwed by all of this. You can slap anyone that admits to writing viruses. And, if you're feeling ultra-generous, we accept donations to help pay our server hosting fees.