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MSNBC: Pro-Linux virus infecting companies

Dec 01, 2000, 08:21 (27 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bob Sullivan)

"A computer virus that poses as a Shockwave movie and urges victims to install the Linux operating system has infected at least four Fortune 500 companies according to antivirus firms. Known as "Prolin," or pro-Linux, the bug politely places instructions on how to recover from infections on the victim's computer. Experts are concerned that it might spread quickly around the Internet...."

"It renames all JPG and ZIP files on the victim's computer with the appendage "change atleast now to LINUX." It then drops a text file called MESSAGEFORU.TXT, which offers the following advice:

"Hi, guess you have got the message. I have kept a list of files that I have infected under this. If you are smart enough just reverse back the process. i could have done far better damage, i could have even completely wiped your harddisk. Remember this is a warning & get it sound and clear... - The Penguin."

"The bug spreads in Melissa-like fashion, sending itself to everyone in the victim's address book. When that's finished, it apparently calls home and reports in, sending a note to an e-mail address presumably owned by the author. The subject line of that note is "Job complete," and the message body says "Got yet another idiot."

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