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Computer Associates says new virus can flood e-mail systems

IDG.net

May 29, 2000
Web posted at: 10:55 a.m. EDT (1455 GMT)

(IDG) -- Computer Associates this week warned of a new computer virus that has the potential to jam e-mail networks and reformat users' hard drives. However, while CA is raising a red flag over the virus, other antivirus software vendors said they are less concerned about its possible impact.

Dubbed Cybernet, the virus mails itself to the first 50 entries in a user's Microsoft Outlook address book, and tries to reformat a user's hard drive the next time they reboot, CA said in a statement issued Thursday. E-mails carrying the virus arrive with a subject line "You've GOT Mail!!!" and the text of the message advises users that the document attached is "virus free."

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

CA said Cybernet has been reported in the wild, and compared it to the notorious Melissa virus.

Other antivirus software vendors played down its significance. McAfee.com Corp.'s current software already detect the virus and none of its customers have reported being affected by Cybernet, company spokeswoman Mary Kay Larson said.

"It's on a medium risk assessment, but that's only because of its potential to spread fast," Larson said in a phone interview. "We see about a hundred of this type of virus a month that are similar."

Cybernet was first detected Thursday, and originated in Indonesia according to information in the text of the virus code, Larson added.

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Security software specialist Finjan Software has assigned the virus a "low-threat" rating, a company spokesman said.

"We haven't seen anything yet, and no customers have reported it it," said David Kroll, a director with Finjan, in a phone interview.

Nevertheless, CA maintained that the virus presents "a high threat to all eBusinesses and home users due to its ability to completely flood mission-critical e-mail networks."

CA said its InnoculateIT antivirus software can protect users against the Cybernet virus.




RELATED STORIES:
FBI warns of dangerous new e-mail virus
May 27, 2000
Microsoft Outlook update impedes functionality, but enhances security
May 16, 2000
Investigator: Dropout may be admitting role in virus attack
May 12, 2000
Authorities seek to question pair in "Love Bug' attack
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Hotmail, Yahoo scramble after email security flaws exposed
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RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
CERT urges users to install Office patch
(Computerworld)
Microsoft to delay Outlook patch
(IDG.net)
New virus knows how to hide
(The Industry Standard)
Microsoft squashes 'Paperclip' bug
(Computerworld)
McAfee.com updates Clinic
(PCWorld.com)
No sure prevention for e-mail attacks
(InfoWorld.com)
I was bitten by the Love Bug
(PCWorld.com)

RELATED SITES:
Computer Associates International
McAfee
Finjan

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