Melissa variant pokes fun at Gates

A new variant of the Melissa virus, called VBS.Monopoly and specifically targeting Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, has been posted to virus list sites and is purported to be spreading across networks.

VBS.Monopoly spreads using the MS Outlook client, but unlike Melissa it utilises and was created with Visual Basic Script instead of MS Office Macros, according to ThunderStore, an antivirus company in the Netherlands, which posted an alert regarding the virus.

Supposedly spreading through e-mail, an infected message contains the subject line "Bill Gates joke", the message "Bill Gates is guilty of monopoly. Here is the proof. ;-)", and an image of Gates' face on a monopoly board. However, like Melissa, the virus will then send itself to all addresses in the Outlook address book.

VBS.Monopoly will also send another message to several public mail boxes at monopoly@mixmail.com, monopoly@telebot.com, monopoly@ciudad.com.ar, mloponoy@usa.net and yloponom@gnwmail.com. In this message, the virus will send a list of names and addresses from the Outlook address book, as well as information from the infected user's computer. The virus also modifies the system registry so that the information will not be sent again if a client is re-infected.

When the e-mail attachment Monopoly.vbs is activated by users, it creates the image file monopoly.jpg in a temporary folder, as well as a monopoly.wsh file and monopoly.vbe. The VBE file contains an encrypted VBScript and is executed with the WSH file, according to ThunderStore.

Not all antivirus vendors are overly worried about VBS.Monopoly, however, as they have not as yet received any cases of infections through their users or that the virus was in "the wild" and rampant among systems.

"This is interesting because of the payload, showing Bill Gates on the monopoly board, but it's not in the wild," said Sal Viveros, group marketing manager for Total Virus Defense, for Network Associates (NAI). "A competitor sent out an alert on it even though it wasn't in the wild, and they kind of jumped the gun. We have it at a low risk assessment."

NAI does admit that as more malicious individuals become aware of VBS.Monopoly's existence, that it may find its way to infecting networks.

"We do have it on our watch list of viruses that may become an issue," said Viveros. "As always, we recommend that customers get their anti-virus software updated."

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.

Matthew Nelson

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?