FBI: New Computer Virus Spreading

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FBI: New Computer Virus Spreading By David Ho Associated Press Writer Friday, May 26, 2000; 11:40 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON  A new and dangerous computer virus is spreading through email systems using Microsoft Outlook, the FBI said Friday night.

Anti-virus industry sources are reporting that a number of corporate e-mail systems have already been infected, and some shut down, according to a statement issued by the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center.

The virus is carried in e-mail with the subject "Resume - Janet Simons" and once opened, spreads itself to everyone in a user's e-mail address book. It also attempts to delete a number of files.

The FBI is advising computer users to not open any e-mail with this subject line, TO deactivate the executive summary feature in Microsoft Outlook, and then delete the e-mail without opening it. The anti-virus industry is working on software patches to stop the virus, the FBI said.

The warning said the upcoming holiday weekend could allow the virus to spread over the next three days with a potentially rapid surge in activity as business open overseas on Monday and in the United States on Tuesday.

The Symantec AntiVirus Research Center said the virus was "extremely fast-spreading computer worm that uses Microsoft Outlook to e-mail itself as an attachment."

Symantec said the e-mail message containing the virus reads:

"To Director of Sales/Marketing,

Attached is my resume with a list of references contained within. Please feel free to call or e-mail me if you have any further questions regarding my experience. I am looking forward to hearing from you.


Janet Simons."

Earlier this month, the spread of a computer virus that could have done more damage than the "Love Bug" was slowed by U.S. companies that had strengthened their defenses against attacks from the Internet.

The virus, dubbed "NewLove," infected thousands of computers around the world, but failed to become an epidemic like the Love Bug that reached millions three weeks ago.

Safeguards put in place on corporate e-mail systems against the earlier virus stopped NewLove's spread. The FBI said the virus shared some characteristics with the Love Bug and have launched a search for the creator.

The Love Bug arrived in e-mails with an "ILOVEYOU" subject line that enticed millions of recipients to open the attachment that activated the virus. Once news spread of the threat, infected e-mails were easily detected and deleted.

Estimates of the damage caused by that virus range up to $10 billion, mostly in lost work time.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), May 27, 2000


New computer virus strain surfaces

By Chris Kraeuter, CBS MarketWatch Last Update: 8:28 PM ET May 26, 2000 NewsWatch

SANTA CLARA (CBS.MW) - Another variant of the Melissa virus is circulating in the guise of a resume attachment, according to McAfee.com.

The virus has already hit five Fortune 500 companies, and McAfee (MCAF: news, msgs) has posted a fix on its Web site.

According to a McAfee statement, this is a destructive virus that has the potential to create e-mail storms leading to network performance slowdowns. It also has the ability to delete all the files on a user's hard disk drive.

The virus carries the subject line of Resume: Janet Simons with the body of the subject line addressed to Director of Sales/Marketing.

When the attached "resume.doc" or "Explorer.doc" is opened, it first forwards a copy of itself to everyone in the user's address book. And then when the attachment is closed, it deletes files on the user's hard drive.

"We're hoping that since this new virus did not start appearing until the Friday afternoon ahead of a three-day weekend, the immediate damage will be controlled, said Patti Dock, McAfee director of marketing The real danger may come Tuesday morning when people return to work and open the "Janet Simons" resume."

The new virus is believed to be related to the "Melissa" virus, which circulated more than a year ago. The "Melissa" virus was estimated to have flooded e-mail inboxes of more than 100,000 computer users in a matter of days. That virus, however, did not do any direct damage to a computer's memory or programs

http://cbs.marketwatch.com/archive/20000526/news/current/mcaf.htx? source=blq/isynd&dist=isynd

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), May 27, 2000.

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