Report: New, More Destructive Love Bug Threat Spreads

Published May 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

There are reports that a variant of the Love Bug computer virus has started spreading and virus experts say although it may not spread as fast, it is much more destructive, said Friday.  

Computers at several large companies were infected late on Thursday, Dave Perry, spokesman at anti-virus software company Trend Micro Inc. in California.  

One company had all of its 5,000 computers infected, he told BBC.  

The new virus arrives in an attachment to an e-mail similar to the Love Bug scourge that spread to millions of computers two weeks ago.  

The bug caused up to $10bn damage 

However, it is not given away by an "I LOVE YOU" subject line, added the report.  

Instead, the subject line changes to a random word or phrase every time a computer is infected.  

"Each time the virus spreads, it mutates itself to evade detection," Symantec Corp, another anti-virus software maker, said in a statement that BBC quoted. 

The subject line of an infected e-mail starts with "FW" and includes the name of a randomly chosen attachment from a previous e-mail on an infected computer.  

The e-mail will have an attachment with the same name, but ending in "vbs".  

Clicking on the attachment will activate the virus. It will then destroy most of the files on the hard drive, rendering the computer useless until the operating system is reinstalled.  

Only recipients running Microsoft's Outlook e-mail program for Windows are vulnerable and there is no danger if the attachment is not opened, virus experts said.  

The larger size of this virus's attachments are more likely to crash e-mail servers, experts said.  




Dave Perry told BBC he hoped that increased awareness among e-mail users would hold back the spread of the new virus.  

"Any time a virus hits a week after another virus its potency is diminished," he said. "People tend to be a little more cautious."  

The report said investigators suspect the Love Bug originated in the Philippines, where several people have been questioned. 

What You Can Do To Prevent Infection 

According to ZDnet, the following steps should be taken to prevent infection: 

Backup your system onto tape or disk media  

Users of Windows 95 and 98 should turn off the Windows Scripting Host. Here's how:  

Click on Start (the button on lower left of your Windows desktop)  

Click on Settings  

Chose Control Panel  

Click on Add/Remove  

Chose the Windows Setup tab  

Click on Accessories to obtain details 

Uncheck Windows Scripting Host if it is checked  

Click on OK to save any changes 

Download the new Microsoft Outlook Security Patch when it becomes available. 



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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