An e-mail message formatted as a Web page (HTML document). Like a Web page, it can include different fonts and graphics, which regular text e-mail does not support. It enables the publishing of fancy newsletters and reports as well as elaborate advertising, all of which is sent as an e-mail message. In order to view HTML e-mail, the e-mail client program must support it, typically by calling functions within the Web browser to do the actual rendering on screen. HTML e-mail can also be disabled by the user.|
A Security Problem
In an effort to make ordinary e-mail as appealing as a Web page, HTML-based e-mail creates more vulnerability to viruses. Like any Web-based HTML page, HTML e-mail pages support scripting, which provides another avenue for exploiting security loopholes. The Nimda worm used HTML e-mail to run an executable attachment automatically. Contrast with text e-mail. See HTML-Lite, Nimda and BubbleBoy virus.