E-mails with Windows executable programs refused as of 15 February 2005

Nederlandse versie: http://webnotes.vub.ac.be/&noteid=161
Version Française: http://webnotes.ulb.ac.be/&noteid=163

Update January 2008: the .eml attachment type has been removed from the list below

To limit the propagation of viruses through e-mail, it will no longer be possible to send e-mail to and from VUB/ULB e-mail addresses containing Windows executable attachments as of 15 February 2005.

The newest generation of e-mail viruses have become much more aggressive, more difficult to clean up, and require a great amount of time from VUB/ULB staff members and students to clean up infected computers.

Therefore, as of 15 February 2005, it will no longer be possible to send e-mail messages to and from VUB/ULB e-mail addresses with Windows executable programs in attachment, such as .COM,.BAT,.PIF,.HTA,.EXE,.CPL and others (see below for the complete listing). These files are the most common format used to propagate computer viruses by e-mail and are in most cases of no use to most users.

Attachment types used by popular Windows applications such as .DOC (Word), .XLS (Excel), .PPS and .PPT (Powerpoint) as well as the popular .ZIP will continue to be accepted.

We do remind users that there are a number of viruses using the .ZIP format - protected with a password or not - to propagate, but we count on the receiver not to open suspiciously looking e-mails and their attachments.

Identical measures have been taken by other renowned academic institutions and companies who, like the VUB/ULB, wish to react pro-actively on e-mail virus issues.

List of refused attachment types dd 15 February 2005 (last update 7/01/2005):

Attachment Application/File Type
ade Microsoft Access
adp Microsoft Access
bas Microsoft Visual Basic
bat Batch Processing
chm HTML Help (Compiled Help File)
cmd Command File
com Command File
cpl Windows Control Panel Extension
crt Certificate File
eml Outlook Express Electronic Mail File (removed from list on 7 Jan 2008)
exe Executable File
hlp Windows Help File
hta Hypertext Application
inf Information or Setup File
ins IIS Internet Communications Settings
isp IIS Internet Service Provider Settings
jse JScript Encoded Script File
lnk Windows Shortcut File
mdb Microsoft Access
mde Microsoft Access MDE File
msc Microsoft Management Console Snap-in Control File
msi Windows Installer File
msp Windows Installer Patch
mst Visual Test Source File
pcd P-Code Compiled Visual Test Scripts
Kodak Photo-CD multiresolution Image
pif Windows Program Information File
reg Registry Data File
scr Windows Screen Saver
sct Windows Script Component
shs Shell Scrap Object File
url Internet Location
vbs Visual Basic for Applications Script
vbe VBScript Encoded Script File
wsf Windows Script File
wsh Windows Script Host Settings File
wsc Windows Script Component


VUB/ULB Computing Centre
Created: 7 January 2005, Modified: 7 January 2008
Email: User Support Group