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Latest Melissa virus fails to impress

"Killer resume" bug under control

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says the latest varient of a new computer virus capable of toppling information systems worldwide via email attachments appears to have been contained.

Antivirus software vendors were warning over the weekend that yet another variant of the Melissa virus was making the rounds. Dubbed Killer Resume, the virus surfaced on Friday morning in at least ten large U.S. businesses, according to antivirus software vendor McAfee.

The virus is carried in an email with an attachment called either Resume.doc or Explorer.doc. If a user opens the attachment, the virus emails itself to all of the names in a user's Microsoft Outlook address book. When the attachment is closed, the virus sets about deleting files on the user's hard drive.

Users who receive an email containing the virus are advised to delete it immediately and all users should update to the latest version of their antivirus software. McAfee.com has posted a fix in its Update Clinic section of its Web site.

Symantec's Antivirus Research Center has also posted an update to Norton AntiVirus that combats the Melissa variant. It notes that the virus also travels under the names ResumeWorm and W97M.Resume.A.

The hacker responsible for the virus probably started with a copy of the Melissa virus and altered it slightly to create Killer Resume.

The Melissa virus hit computer networks around the world in March 1999 and caused an estimated £50 million in damages, mostly in terms of compensating network administrators for the time they spent cleaning up the fallout after the virus activated.

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