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[A new virus] [Ask Dr. Know]
  I've got the W32/Aliz@MM
  virus in email.
  What should I do?
  Noella D'Mello

[Bubbles Helps out]

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Noella, the W32/Aliz@MM worm does indeed come via email, with differing subject lines. The phrases of the subject are combined at random from words like cool, hot, weird, funky, pics, mp3s, check it :-), and even shit. They generally resemble forwarded mails, with the virus coming as an attachment called whatever.exe. Once the worm infects your computer, it sends itself to all the contacts in your address book. Logically therefore, the mail will seem to have come from a familiar person.

WEB RESOURCES:

This virus was first discovered in May last year, and is currently rated medium risk by McAfee. It is also on the MessageLabs threat list for this month.

McAfee characterises the worm as a short encrypted mass-mailer written in assembly language, that sends emails in HTML format. Its propagation is quick. Sophos.com says the email exploits certain versions of Outlook Express 5 to launch the attachment automatically. According to McAfee, IE 6.0 is not vulnerable to this worm. However unpatched versions of IE 5.0 or 5.5 are. Microsoft has released a patch that fixes the vulnerability exploited by this worm. It can be downloaded here.

It is as easy to protect yourself from this virus as it is to get infected by it, because it can be detected even without anti-virus software: Whenever you see the file WHATEVER.EXE, simply delete the mail. The good part is that it is not left on your hard disk, nor does it modify the registry.

Find more comprehensive removal instructions here. You can disinfect your computer using an anti-virus program like McAfee, Norton Anti-Virus or Cybersoft. As anti-virus companies are constantly upgrading, it is advisable for users to update their software on a regular basis. These guidelines for safer computing, can also be followed.

Look up RediffSearch for more on this virus.

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