Fix found for Melissa mutants

Major antivirus vendors have posted fixes for a new strain of the Melissa virus, plus patches for two other variants of the e-mail sending virus, found last week.

Melissa.U(Gen1) is the new culprit, which according to Symantec is a variant of the Melissa.U strain reported last week in addition to Melissa.V. According to Symantec representatives, "A couple" of major corporations have been hit by this virus, including one that experienced 30,000 infections.

Fixes to both the U and V versions of Melissa are posted on the sites of major antivirus vendors.

Computer users shouldn't mistake the new Melissa.U(Genl) for the original, or for the original variant, warns Darren Kessner, a senior virus researcher at Symantec.

"People need to get the latest update, even if they already have the fix for the U and V variants," Kessner emphasises. The fixes for those variants will not protect against the new modified variant, he says.

Identical payload

Melissa.U(Gen1) works much the same way as Melissa.U. The virus arrives in an e-mail with the subject line "pictures" followed by the user name registered in the local copy of Word. The body of the message will contain the phrase "what's up?"

Once received, the virus works by using Microsoft Outlook to e-mail a copy of the infected document to the first four e-mail addresses in the Outlook address book (these can include distribution lists). The virus also deletes several system files, all of which are necessary to boot up the machine, leaving the machine unbootable.

In addition, the virus infects Word's global template, thereby infecting all future Word documents. According to a description of the virus posted on Symantec's Web site, the following text will appear in infected documents: ">>>>>Please Check Outlook Inbox Mail<<<<

Symantec's latest update will catch all of the variants, according to Kessner.

McAfee.com has not posted a specific fix for this newest variant, and has no plans to do so, according to Eddy Hsia, director of development.

"We currently do detect the Gen1 variant of the Melissa.U virus" in the fix that McAfee posted for Melissa.U and Melissa.V last week, Hsia says.

McAfee representatives downplay Symantec officials' emphasis on the need for a new fix for new variants. Both companies emphasise the need to keep your virus detection data files current, however.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Liane Gouthro

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?