New Word macro virus rated 'medium' threat

Network Associates has given a medium risk rating to a new virus posted to Usenet newsgroups over the weekend.

The Suppl Word macro virus, which was posted to over 25 alt.sex newsgroups was discovered by Network Associates' 24-hour Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team on Friday, the antivirus software vendor said in a statement. The recent Melissa virus was also discovered in the alt.sex newsgroups, the statement added.

The Suppl virus has destructive power similar to ExploreZip.Worm, which infected machines running Microsoft programs in June, according to Network Associates.

Users infected with Suppl will spread the virus, as well as suffer data loss, Network Associates said. After the user is infected, the virus automatically attaches a document called "SUPPL.DOC" to all outgoing mail. Approximately 163 hours after infection, the virus then renders files with certain suffixes, such as .doc, inaccessible.