Pokemon Virus Hits Saudi Internet
RIYADH (Albawaba) -The Japanese Pokemon computer virus has hit several computer systems in Saudi Arabia, causing damage and in some cases complete breakdowns.
About 75 Saudi computer users received the virus by electronic mail in the shape of the popular Japanese cartoon character Pokemon Monster. The Pokemon virus arrived mainly via free e-mail accounts with Yahoo and Hotmail, said Ghazwan Haqi, the technical support director at the Arab Advanced Systems Company (Naseej).
Yogi Nagashima, spokesman for Trend Micro in Tokyo that has developed an anti-Pokemon program, said the virus arrives as an e-mail attachment called Picaasho Pokemon and appeared in the United States at the end of July. He said it had not affected computers in Japan.
When the e-mail is opened, a rabbit-looking Picaasho appears on the screen with the English-language message: “From the millions in this world, I found you. Don’t ever forget this day my friend.”
Nagashima said the Pokemon virus was not as dangerous as the I Love You virus that caused millions of dollars in damages to computers around the world in May. Pokemon gives recipients a choice (Yes or No) to proceed with the message or not. If the answer is yes, the virus invades all e-mail addresses stored in that computer.
Haqi said Saudi companies offering free e-mail run a daily anti-virus program to protect subscribers and to keep them informed of the latest virus problems and ways to protect computers against the viruses.
Computer expert Anwar Hilmi of Al-Ufuk (Horizon) Computer Service Company said the best way to guard against viruses that come in different forms and from different places is to install original software that specifically targets viruses. Such companies constantly update their anti-virus programs and distribute new versions to customers.
An anti-virus computer company in Japan detected the Pokeman virus in the United States. The company said it had not spread and his company had documented only 10 cases.
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