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This was sent to me by my brother Jack
-----Original Message-----
From: MYMARCO@aol.com <MYMARCO@aol.com>
To: dgiff245@home.com <dgiff245@home.com>
Date: Sunday, March 28, 1999 5:33 PM
Subject: BUGS

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America Online

Don't Catch This Virus
  • Computer Virus Has Already Hit Corporations
  • Forced Companies To Shut Down E-Mail Systems
  • Bug Causes Network Overloads
Reuters A new fast-spreading computer virus could cause havoc Monday after already forcing several large corporations to shut down their email systems, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The virus, which is named Melissa and is spread by email, may have infected tens of thousands of home and business computers Friday, the Times reported, quoting network security companies.

The virus replicates itself by going into the address book of the computer's user and e-mailing itself to 50 addresses -- eventually overloading network systems to the point where they must be shut down. It does not appear to harm or disable the computers, the experts told the Times.

Email infected with the virus has a topic line which begins "important message from" followed by the name of the person whose computer address book inadvertently provided the recipient's e-mail address.

That is followed by the seemingly innocuous message: "Here is that document you asked for ... don't show it to anyone else.". A massive 40K document called list.doc is attached, the paper said.

While opening the email is harmless, opening the attachment unleashes the virus. It seeks out 50 addresses in the recipient's address book, sends itself off, and the whole process begins again.

The two email programs most likely to be affected were Microsoft Outlook and its slimmed down cousin, Microsoft Outlook Express, the newspaper said.

Eric Allman, a co-founder of Sendmail, told the Times that he was concerned that the problem would worsen Monday morning when employees find the messages in their email in-boxes.

"This will get into a lot of mail boxes and lay dormant," he said. "When employees come in at 8 a.m. and read these messages, it will cause an explosive growth of the virus."

Allman described the virus as "not the worst I'd seen, but it's pretty bad."

The virus brought the e-mail system to a halt Friday at the GCI Group, a public relations firm with offices nationwide.

Leigh Anne Varney said she got more than 500 messages over the course of the day. "I've never had this happen before."

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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