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Love Bug Virus Variant on the Loose

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NEW YORK, NY (19 May 2000)–A new variant of the now infamous ‘I Love You’ virus is infecting computers across the world. According to experts, it is smarter and more destructive than its predecessor. In fact, the new virus changes subject lines every time it is sent and destroys most of the files on the […]

NEW YORK, NY (19 May 2000)–A new variant of the now infamous ‘I Love You’ virus is infecting computers across the world. According to experts, it is smarter and more destructive than its predecessor. In fact, the new virus changes subject lines every time it is sent and destroys most of the files on the computers it infects.
“Each time the virus spreads, it mutates itself to evade detection,” according to Symantec Corp., an anti-virus software maker in Cupertino, California. The virus was detected at several large companies late Thursday. Reportedly 5,000 computers at one company were infected. 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. Like “Love Bug,” it will send itself to everyone in the user’s address book. It will then overwrite most files on the hard drive, rendering the computer useless until the operating system is reinstalled. The ‘I Love You’ virus infection millions of computers two weeks ago and caused damages estimated up to US$10 billion. The relatively simple “Love Bug” virus was followed some hours later by slightly modified variants, posing as jokes or confirmations on Mother’s Day gifts. None of the variants were very widespread. (JW)

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