When I go find said attachment, it’s named something like:[color=blue]
attachment 1.date.time.name.of.author.pdf, and of course we’re
stripping off attachments with multiple extensions. People I guess
don’t understand extensions…sigh[/color]
I’m not trying to be contrary, but this is contrary to that statement.
The problem with extensions is that people DO understand them, better than
most IT folks. Here’s a test:
What is in this file: somefile.txt
Now windows will helpfully hide that last bit, so you’ll actually just see:
IT folks incorrect answer: plain text.
Pednatic IT folks: plain text, probably ascii-based, with either newlines
only (on *nix platforms) or carriage-return/newline combinations (for
windows) or just carriage returns (for old Mac OS boxes).
End user: I dunno.
And who is correct? The end user. Extensions don’t mean anything, at
all, ever. It is only because some programs act based on this text that
happens to be at the end after a dot that we think extensions mean
something, but they don’t, and really never should have. IT folks moved
away from books and probably forgot what “Don’t judge a book by its cover”
means, so they used extensions as covers that meant something even though
they are just a cover for whatever happens to be inside. This affects
people from a security perspective (probably why e-mails with attachments
with multiple extensions are stripped) because that evil extension-hiding
feature in windows lets you send crap like this:
and because the last bit is stripped off (asinine, really asinine) it
looks like awesome-pic.jpg and then people open it. While stripping these
attachments out fixes this specific use case, it does nothing for the real
problem: end users running things that they should not. Phishing? Sites
with questionable content that they willingly install (“It’s just a screen
saver…”)? The problem isn’t extensions, the problem isn’t file names,
we like to partition files into buckets based on extensions but they
really don’t mean more than any scapegoat does. The problems is
understanding what is really in the file (regardless of the extension) and
understanding why users are going after it in the first place (or in your
case, why they are using really long file names in the first place).
The last time I saw a file with a name like that it was because microsoft
word didn’t require users to specify a file name that they made up;
instead, it took the first line of the document and made that the file
name. When the user opted to save it they took that default and voila,
long file name. That’s not microsoft’s fault, or word’s fault… it’s the
user’s choice and in a vacuum of better ways to name things that’s what