Thu

8

MAR

2001

Deadly Computer Viruses

Possibly the most deadly computer virus to attack for awhile is nicknamed the Naked Wife virus. It’s another one that, when activated, spreads via Microsoft Outlook. This one is an especially costly one because it attempts to delete so many critical files to your computer’s functioning—all .EXE files (which are your computer programs!), .INI, and .LOG files, as well as .BMP, .COM, and .DLL files.

A couple of years ago when I thought my anti-virus program was totally current and had all the settings correct, I managed to get a Word macro virus, which slowly ate my Word program and infected all my Word files, including my backup copies. When I checked my anti-virus program, it turned out that it wasn’t as up-to-date as I’d thought. So I hope you can learn from my mistake! Needless to say, I’ve been quite attentive since then, too.

I frequently receive files from clients, colleagues, and friends. Don’t assume that people you know won’t send you a virus, as they may send you one without even knowing it. This is actually a common way for viruses to spread, so don’t take anything for granted. (I got the Word macro virus from one of my most trusted clients in a big company.)

Have you also noticed that often these viruses play on something appealing? "Naked Wife" is the subject of this new worm that deletes important Windows and System files. The "I Love You" virus that was especially rampant not too long ago caught our attention, too. So before you open those attachments, make sure it’s a legitimate file that you’re expecting and that your anti-virus program is totally current. Even a file you’re expecting could potentially be infected.

If you haven’t updated your virus protection program for awhile, there’s no time like the present. Most virus programs include updates for a specified period of time. Popular and trusted anti-virus programs are made by McAfee, Symantec and more. See the links and resources below.

Well-meaning friends and colleagues also continue the spread of virus hoax messages. It is strongly recommended to always check out a message you receive about a virus before sending it off again to all your friends. The major anti-virus product companies have information about hoaxes, too. There are also other sites devoted to virus hoaxes. See the resource listing below for links to some of them.

Further information about the Naked Wife virus and how to remove it from your system:

W32/Naked@MM (NakedWife Virus) Help Center
McAfee’s information about the virus and its removal

NakedWife worm deletes Windows files
By Robert Vamosi, ZDNet

NakedWife virus hits U.S. military, companies
by Robert Lemos, Tech News - CNET.com. Reports that over 68 organizations were hit with the virus by Tuesday, March 06th.

New Computer Virus Destroys Key Files in Windows Operating Systems
Symantec’s article about this new virus and its destructiveness

Anti-virus Products

McAfee
Wide range of anti-virus products, including downloadable software, an online clinic, and more.

Symantec, Norton
Another popular maker of anti-virus products - wide range available.

Virus Hoax Information

Virus Hoaxes
McAfee’s extensive area on virus hoaxes

Anti-Virus Hoaxes Information
Symantec, Norton’s information.

Related Resources, Information

Help and How-To: Alerts and Solutions
ZDNet’s very helpful and extensive area on viruses and solutions, related news, virus protection, hoaxes, and more.

Reviews of Anti-Virus Utilities
NBC Internet partnered with Epinions.com provide consumer reviews of anti-virus utilities. Read reviews on utilities by Symantec/Norton, McAfee, Dr. Solomon, Panda, Sophos, Norman, Lockdown, Command, Aladdin, and more. Also includes links to their Web sites.

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