It seems that love is in the air today. And it is infecting computers from Asia to Europe and now the United States in one of the worst outbreaks of computer viruses ever to hit the Internet.
First of all, before you read any further, if you see an email with "I Love You" in the subject line, BE SURE TO DELETE IT COMPLETELY FROM YOUR SYSTEM.
Now, the story. Pacific Bell, Merril Lynch and the US Department of Defense are just a few of the major organizations that have been hit with the latest virus, detected today and dubbed "The ILoveYou Worm.".
This virus, similar to last year's Melissa virus, arrives as an attachment to an email message from someone who has your name in their address book, so there is a good chance that you will recognize the name of the person. The subject line is "ILOVEYOU", and the message is "kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me." The worm goes on to infect a users Outlook file, and clones itself to everyone in the user's Outlook address book. The Melissa virus was limited to just the first 50 names.
Once activated, the virus will also attempt to corrupt your hard drive and rename files with the following extensions: MP3, JPEG, VPOS, JS, JSE, CSS, WSH, SCT and HTA.
What can you do to protect yourself? There are a number of resources to turn to, including: