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'July Killer' virus may hit Thursday

The original version of this story didn't note that the virus so far seems to be primarily affecting users running the Chinese-language version of Windows. An antivirus vendor that has posted a warning about the virus says "Unless users are running Chinese Windows or frequently exchange word documents with Chinese Windows users, this virus is not considered an immediate threat."

July 1, 1999
Web posted at: 8:44 a.m. EDT (1244 GMT)

by Winnie Lai
   New 'Trojan Horse' strain may go mainstream

   Message Boards:
   How do you define a hacker?
   Computer viruses

   In-Depth Special:
   Insurgency on the Internet

   For more computing stories

HONG KONG (IDG) -- A computer virus dubbed July Killer is expected to strike July 1. Active only during July, it will infect Microsoft Corp.'s Word 97 documents via a Visual Basic macro, according to antivirus specialists.

"The virus was discovered only recently and has a destructive payload," said Michael Lai, a system engineer at Trend Micro Inc. in Hong Kong. "It can wipe out the hard disk's contents."

"It is fierce because when an infected document is opened, it will first infect the global template,, and thus opening other documents would lead to infection as well," Lai said.

During July, users who open an infected Word document will see a dialog box entitled "A wake up call for the generation." If the user clicks the OK button, a message will appear that says, "You are wise, please choose this again later. Congratulations."

If the user chooses the "cancel" button three times, another message appears: "Stop it! You are so incurable to lose three chances! Now, god will punish you."

The virus will then open the autoexec.bat file and add the command line "deltree/y c:\" to the file. The next time the user boots the machine, all files in the hard disk will be deleted, according to Lai.

He noted that users who have updated their systems recently will likely have the current fix for July Killer and should be safe.

"Users who don't renew their antivirus software regularly are vulnerable," Lai warned.

Insurgency on the Internet

Computer viruses
How do you define a hacker?

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Hackers attack Senate Web site again
June 11, 1999
FBI investigates computer 'worm' virus
June 11, 1999
Feds batten down the online hatches
June 9, 1999

Warning for new 'Heathen.A' virus released
(InfoWorld Electric)
Intel motherboards to get virus killer inside
(PC World Online)
Viruses, other attacks cost businesses $7.6B
Sun's Gosling says Windows more vulnerable to viruses than other OSes
(InfoWorld Electric)
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Microsoft Security Advisor
Trend Micro Inc.
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