Variant of "I Love You" virus attacks

Almost 50 variants to "I Love You" have turned up in recent months. The attention-grabbing subject line for the latest mutant, which reads --"US PRESIDENT AND FBI SECRETS" -- made it especially troublesome. Users at around thirty US organisations reported being affected by the nasty program, which is named VBS/, according to officials at antivirus company McAfee.

The virus is a reason for concern, but not panic, the officials said. The latest variant appears to have affected only users who did not keep their antivirus protection software up to date, said officials at McAfee, a unit of Network Associates.

Vince Gullatto, senior director at McAfee's Avert Labs, said most of the variants that have appeared have stayed within a given company's networks. With the latest mutant, however, an unidentified media entity that had more communications with outside companies was affected, which lead to a wider distribution of the bug.

Like the original "I Love You," this variant spreads itself via Microsoft's Outlook software and can delete image files from a user's computer. Microsoft developed a patch for its Outlook software that helped companies fight off the variants of the virus, but some corporations simply failed to install the patch, leaving their systems vulnerable, Gullatto said.

Both McAfee and UK-based antivirus software vendor Sophos said they posted an alert to the variant on their Web sites. Users in both the US and in Europe have likely been affected, Gullatto said.

"We know of a large enterprise customer who has the original version, and they have this variant as well," he said. Gullatto added that companies should update their antivirus DAT files more regularly in order to avoid future incidents. Companies often do not realise that an employee has disabled the anti-virus software or fail to stay on top of available updates, he said.

"Some of the companies have not updated in the last year," Gullatto said. "We find time and time again that they believe they are protected."

He also added that mobile workers tend to give companies the most grief in deflecting the painful viruses. Mobile users, in particular, do not update their antivirus protection software while on the road.

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.

Ashlee Vance

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / 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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?