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The Melissa Virus

Warning! Melissa Virus

Microsoft Word and Outlook users

By Libby Thompson


The Cargo Letter

But First, forget the quacks and all the rumors at our center for understanding Real Virus - Click Here

A new Microsoft Word 97 and Microsoft 2000 virus named Melissa was discovered on Friday, March 26, 1999, and is said to be spreading widely on the Internet.

You can become infected with this virus by downloading and opening an infected Microsoft Word document attached to an e-mail. The e-mail may look similar to the sample e-mail provided below, or it may have no subject line at all. You can also become infected by downloading an infected file inadvertently sent to you by an infected friend or colleague. Once the downloaded file is opened, the virus spreads to all Microsoft Word files created or edited on the infected computer.

Note! This infected e-mail may come from, or look like it came from someone you know! Be alert for short e-mails that ask you to download an attached file. And always be cautious in downloading files from people or sources you do not know.

Once your computer is infected, it will spread the virus in one of two ways. If you also use Microsoft Outlook, the virus will be automatically e-mailed as an attached file to the first 50 people in your Outlook address book. Those 50 people will receive an e-mail like the one provided below. Second, you will inadvertently infect others if you send them infected Microsoft Word files attached to an e-mail message. Once infected, the virus will make changes to your Microsoft Word settings that make it easier for it to spread itself.

If you think you may have downloaded this virus, please go to one of the sites listed below for instructions on how to remove it.


** Begin sample e-mail message **

From: (name of infected person)

Subj: Important Message From (name of infected person)

Date: 3/28/99 8:51:41 AM Eastern Standard Time


File: LIST.DOC (or other Word document)

Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)


** End sample e-mail message **

How to protect yourself from the Melissa virus:

* Install anti-virus software on your computer as soon as possible, if you haven't already done so. To purchase anti-virus software go to the AOL Computer Protection Center at Keyword: Virus Info. Free demonstration versions are also available in the Computer Protection Center. If you choose to download the demonstration version, be sure to download the free update driver.

* If you already have anti-virus software, make sure it is up to date. Most anti-virus companies have posted updates on their Web sites that combat the Melissa virus. Some of those sites are listed below.

* If you use Microsoft Word, there are steps you can take to protect yourself by turning on macro virus detection in your Microsoft Word application.

For more information on the Melissa virus, how to protect your computer and how to remove it from your computer, visit these sites:


CERT Advisory CA-99-04-Melissa-Macro-Virus (for a description of the virus, its impact and possible solutions if you think you are infected)

CIAC: W97M.Melissa Word Macro Virus (for instructions on how to protect your Microsoft Word software and analysis of the problem)

AVERT -- Virus Alerts -- W97M/Melissa (virus software updates for Network Associate software users)

SARC: W97M.Mailissa (virus software updates for Symantec software users)

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The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel

Eleventh Floor LAX Airport Center

5933 West Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, California, 90045

(310) 342-6500 Voice

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