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.

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

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

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.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?