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      Issue No. 9 June 1999     

 

Virus Alert: The Zipped Virus


By smbea (mabelle@msc.net.ph)

March saw Melissa wreaking havoc among the computers in the world while April saw the deadly CIH virus erase data from hundreds of thousands of hard drives globally.

And now an even deadlier virus has sprung out this June.

This one's another e-mail virus. Tagged as the Worm.Explore.Zip virus, this latest computer virus is a destructive bug that disguises itself as a friendly e-mail reply bearing a gift (read: attachment).

When the attachment is activated or run, the worm is released and unless you have the latest anti-virus software, you can kiss the data in your hard drive goodbye. The virus goes gun-ho and starts hunting for your documents, spreadsheets and other important data and wipes them all out.

The worm was first detected in Israel and since then, it has spread to other countries such as the United States, where Microsoft even had to shut down its email for two hours as a precaution. Motorala, GE and Intel were not spared from the virus and they, too, had to shut down their e-mail.

Actually, the techies say that the Worm.Explore.Zip virus is not really a virus. Because of the way it works, it is technically a Trojan horse. It operates by stealth, disguising itself and then launching an attack, very much like the way the Greek soldiers went to battle by hiding themselves inside a wooden horse and then making a surprise attack on Troy.

You'll get the worm when you receive an e-mail bearing the message, "Hi (your name)! I received your email and I shall send you a reply ASAP. Till then, take a look at the attached zipped docs." Open the zipped docs and you've unknowingly released the worm. The worm then proceeds to use the computer's e-mail software and starts sending a copy of itself to the address of any e-mail that arrives.

Once activated, the worm destroys all files with extensions .h, .c, .cpp, .asm, .doc, .ppt, or .xls on any mounted drive, by setting their file length to zero.

If you receive this e-mail, delete the message right away without opening the attached file and empty your delete items folder.

As always, it is a must to have an updated anti-virus software running in your computer to prevent you from executing or running any virus that may cause serious damage to your hard drive data.

Sites with fixes for the Worm.Explore.Zip:

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