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PC World

Antivirus vendors offer updates to kill 'worm'


       In-Depth Special: Insurgency on the Internet

   Message Board: Computer viruses

   For more computing stories


June 15, 1999
Web posted at: 12:09 p.m. EDT (1609 GMT)

by Margret Johnston

(IDG) -- Leading antivirus software providers have released updates and other services to prevent their customers from falling victim to the destructive Worm.Explorer.Zip Trojan horse virus.

Symantec, Network Associates, Trend Micro, and Panda Software are among the companies that have posted virus-definition sets that can detect the new virus.

Information about the virus, which affects Microsoft Outlook and Exchange users, circulated broadly last week. The virus spreads when a user receives a message that appears to be from someone they know and unwittingly opens the attachment within the message.

Microsoft recommended that users install the latest antivirus software and keep their digital signatures up to date. The company also said users who have set their Attachment Security to "high" within Outlook will receive a warning before attachments run.

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Norton AntiVirus users can download the current virus definitions through a service called LiveUpdate or from the Symantec Web site, Symantec said in a news release. The Symantec Antivirus Research Center received a copy of the virus June 6 from a user in Israel and made its Norton AntiVirus definitions available for download on the night of Wednesday, June 9.

Network Associate's Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team also posted its remedy on June 9 after receiving information about it at 2 a.m. that day, said Sal Viveros, group marketing manager for Network Associate's Total Virus Defense.

Users who want to avoid a download and just want to find out whether the virus has been sent to them can go to McAfee's site (see link below) for an online scan. Traffic at that site has increased 600 percent since word of the virus came out, Viveros said.

About 60 percent of Network Associate's top tier customers suffered severe damage caused by the virus, Viveros said. The virus apparently originated in Israel and all the information Network Associates researchers collected has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he said.

The European company Panda Software also has added a free solution to detect the virus and disinfect infected software to its Web site, and Trend Micro's patch is available online.

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Year 2000 World
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Microsoft Corp.
Symantec Norton AntiVirus
Network Associates McAfee Anti-Virus
Trend Micro alerts
Panda Software
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