FBI Warns of Dangerous New E-Mail Virus

Published May 27th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A new and dangerous computer virus that spreads through e-mail systems struck Friday and drew a warning from the FBI, reported CNN.com Saturday.  

The virus, carried in an e-mail attachment supposedly containing a job applicant's resume, was sent to corporate computers in the United States, said the report.  

It is capable of deleting computers' hard drives, according to computer industry experts cited by CNN. The Symantec AntiVirus Research Center said the virus is an "extremely fast-spreading computer worm that uses Microsoft Outlook to e-mail itself as an attachment."  

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.  

 

HOLIDAY WEEKEND COULD AID VIRUS 

 

CNN said the FBI is advising computer users to not open any e-mail with a "Resume - Janet Simons" 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.  

Genevieve Haldeman of Symantec, a company that specializes in anti-virus programs, told CNN the new bug is similar to the "Melissa" virus. If the e-mail and attachment are opened, it starts a program that wipes out the hard drive and then sends itself to everyone in that person's e-mail address book.  

This virus seems to be aimed at sales and marketing departments in corporations, Haldeman said.  

This virus is not related to the recent Love Bug virus, Haldeman said, and its spread capabilities are not as dangerous as that virus. So far, it looks to be contained in the United States.  

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.  

"Sincerely, "Janet Simons." – Albawaba.com 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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