Virus infects Corel scripts

A new wrinkle in computer viruses appeared this week with the discovery of a virus that infects the script language used by Corel products. But experts say the GaLaDRiel (or C.S.Gala) virus will affect few users, and is not destructive.

The virus is not contained in the company's applications, according to a Corel representative. You can get it only by receiving an infected script file from another user via disk or download. When it triggers, all the virus does is display text.

GaLaDRiel is "in the low-risk category," according to Sal Viveros, a spokesperson for Network Associates, maker of McAfee Antivirus. The virus is rare, doesn't spread easily, and causes minimal damage, Viveros says.

Although GaLaDRiel has the potential to infect other Corel Script files, it doesn't launch automatically. You have to run the infected script for it to spread. And the virus doesn't infect program files.

After GaLaDRiel infects a Corel Script file, it will run its payload on June 6 only, displaying seven lines from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Lord of the Rings". As far as virus researchers have been able to ascertain, GaLaDRiel does nothing else.

All major developers of antivirus software plan to add detection and removal of GaLaDRiel to their latest virus updates within the next two weeks.

How to check for the Virus

Corel recommends taking the following steps to see if your scripts have been infected and to remove the virus if they have been:

1. Using Windows Explorer, browse the directory that contains the potentially infected scripts.

2. Right-click on a Corel file and select Open.

3. When the Corel Script Editor opens, examine the first line of the script. If the text begins with REM ViRUS GaLaDRiel, then your script is infected.

4. To cure the infection, delete all the script lines from REM ViRUS GaLaDRiel to REM END OF ViRUS.

5. Resave your Corel Script file with the same name, overwriting the infected version.

6. Repeat the above steps for all .csc files in the same directory. (This final step is important, because running any infected Corel Script file will infect all other .csc files in the same directory.)

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