Anti virus vendors have issued warnings over yet another Melissa variant, which hit several companies at the end of last week.
The virus is called Prilissa because it is a combination of the deadly Melissa virus, which hit thousands of PCs back in March, and another virus called PRI.
But Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, a UK based anti virus company, said he believed the virus would not be as prolific as Melissa.
He explained that, although Sophos had received some calls from customers who had been affected by the virus, they were far fewer in number than those following the Melissa outbreak.
"However, it's a bit disturbing that after Melissa in March, it's now November and people are still dumb enough to open attachments with these sort of messages. It's a bit depressing - maybe companies need to point out procedures to staff. User education is still a problem," he added.
Prilissa, like Melissa, infects Microsoft Word 97 documents and spreads itself by sending the infected document as an email attachment using MS Outlook to the first 50 addresses in each user's address book.
The subject line reads: "Message From (username)." The text in the body of the message says: "This document is very Important and you've GOT to read this!!!"
But when the infected document is opened, the virus disables virus protection security settings, conversion confirmation and recently opened file lists. It also checks the system date to trigger its payloads.
And on 25 December, the following text will be displayed in a message box when users boot their machines: "Vine... Vide... Vice... Moslem Power Never End...You Dare Rise Against Me...The Human Era is Over, The CyberNET Era Has Come!!!"
It will then overlay several coloured shapes onto the opened document, format the C: drive, and display the following text when the system is rebooted: "Vine...Vide...Vice...Moslem Power Never End...Your Computers Have Just Been Terminated By -= CyberNET =- Virus!!"
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