Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Blocking Zip attachments in Outlook

The majority of viruses reach users as "Zip" attachments in emails. How many people ever receive Zip attachments that are of any use to them? Very few, I would suggest. 

In my experience most users don't know, or care, what Zip attachments are. Yet so many emails come in every day with such files attached, virtually all of which are malicious.

So, how do we block Zip files from getting through to Outlook? There is a simple procedure, although it does involve messing with the "Registry". If you don't know exactly how to do this then you should ask for professional help.

1. Close Outlook

2. Open the Registry using Regedit (If you don't know how to do this you may wish to consider whether you should be doing this yourself.) Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK

3. Backup the Registry, just in case

4. Browse to the relevant Key for your copy of Outlook, i.e.
     a. For Outlook 2000 use HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Outlook\Security

     b. For Outlook 2002 use
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Security

     c. For Outlook 2003 use HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security

     d. For Outlook 2007 use
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security

     e. For Outlook 2010 use HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Security
     
5. Check for any other instances of this key, such as       HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Security and make the necessary changes to those keys as well.

6. Right-click a blank piece of white space in the right hand side of the screen and choose to create a new "String Value". 

7. Name the String Value "Level1Add" (Without the quotes and it is Case SenSitiVe)

8. Double-click the newly created String Value and add to the Value Data the type of attachment you wish to block - e.g. .zip. (You need the full stop at the start of the name)

9. If you wish to block more than one type of attachment use a semi-colon between each type, e.g. .zip; .exe; .bat

10. Close the Registry Editor and reboot the PC.
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© Michael Donkin 2013