A harsh lesson in love

More than two-thirds of Australian businesses were hit with last week's "Love Bug", but e-commerce security executive Steve Crutchfield believes there may be a valuable lesson amid the mayhem.

He said the virus would act as a catalyst to coerce businesses into implementing internet security technologies and procedural policies -- initiatives he believes should have been in place long ago.

The virus, which began its rampage on an estimated 70 per cent of Australian corporations last Thursday night, is automatically distributed via the recipient's address book in Microsoft Outlook. It is carried as an email attachment with "ILOVEYOU" in the subject line; however, it may also appear in an email with the subject line "Fwd: Joke". The variant attachment is labelled "Very Funny.vbs".

Once activated, the virus sends the infected email to all addresses listed on the recipient's inbox, in addition to replacing some files located across all drives and directories. Additionally, it is believed that PCs operating on Microsoft's Windows 2000 are infected by the virus, but cannot spread it.

Users receiving such emails are advised to delete it without opening or launching the attachment.

Analysts have dubbed the virus "Melissa on steroids", because it has affected more than 90 per cent of US corporations, compared to the 20 per cent affected by the Melissa virus last year.

Global repair bill estimates grew rapidly from $1 billion to $17 billion over the weekend, but Crutchfield expects the damage done to corporations will only fall between $5 billion and $10 billion worldwide.

Local companies hit by the virus include the CSIRO, Gateway, Compuware and Goldman Sachs. Authorities have traced the source of the bug to the Philippines, where a woman has been apprehended regarding possible involvement in the spread of the virus.

However, it is also believed an untraced German student based in Australia, referred to in cyberspace as "Michael", may have created the dastardly program.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?