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CNET News.com: [Outlook/IE W32/Mypics.worm] Virus set for Jan. 1, 2000

Dec 04, 1999, 18:23 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Erich Luening, Wylie Wong)

"The virus--the latest in a series of increasingly flamboyant viruses that prey on vulnerabilities in Microsoft desktop software--is called W32/Mypics.worm and is triggered by the date Jan. 1, 2000. The worm, limited to Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer users, is received as an email attachment disguised as a picture.

Once opened, it infects the host computer and attempts to send itself using Microsoft Outlook to up to 50 people in the users' address book. It also changes the Home page in Internet Explorer to a site containing adult content, Symantec warned in an alert sent out today. Symantec, which discovered the virus, rates this as a medium to high-risk virus.

But the damage to the unsuspecting user doesn't truly happen until Jan. 1, 2000. The virus works by masking as a Y2K problem, which will prompt users to reboot. When an infected computer is rebooted, however, the virus will attempt to format the local hard drives and erase all data, Symantec said."

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