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New virus makes little impact

Medium-sized earthquake – few casualties

The latest and potentially more destructive variant of the "ILOVE YOU" worm, has so far failed to wreak the same degree of havoc as the original Love Bug.

"It looks like most people woke up early to this and warned just about everybody they knew," says Chris Christansen, an analyst with IDC.

Still, Christiansen warns that the new Visual Basic Script worm, dubbed NewLove, is not to be taken lightly. NewLove attempts to catch its victims off-guard by changing the subject field of the e-mail it travels in.

Also, it draws the name of the attached worm file at random by picking up a file name from a user's list of recently used files.

If launched the worm immediately e-mails itself through a Microsoft Outlook address book and deletes all accessible files on the local hard drive and any attached network.

The .VBS restrictive "patch" that Microsoft plans to release this week for Outlook would have adequate measures to prevent NewLove from spreading, says Chris Le Tocq, research director for Gartner Group.

He says the recent rush of worm and virus attacks proves how much the world depends on one homogenous platform. The situation creates the breeding ground these malicious code bombardments need in order to succeed.

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