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Thursday - May 11, 2000

Warning Issued for "South Park" Virus

Computer Associates International, Inc. (CA) has issued a warning to eBusinesses and home-users about "Win32/SouthPark.Worm," a dangerous new Worm that spreads by attaching to outgoing email. The Worm has been deemed dangerous because it sends itself to all recipients in a Microsoft Outlook address book. Since it does not have a limit on the number of recipients, it spreads to every address book entry and can overload email servers due to the volume of mail sent automatically.

The email is written in German and carries a Worm with the subject "Servus Alter!" (translation -- "Hey Dude"), the message "Hier ist das Spiel, das du unbedingt wolltest! ;-)" (translation -- "Here is the game that you desperately wanted!;-)" and an attachment named "SouthPark.exe." Instead of .vbs, "South Park" uses the more recognized .exe extension. CA antivirus researchers will be monitoring the situation 24x7, since there is strong possibility that new variants of the Worm will emerge within the coming hours.

"SouthPark " is not a variant of the recent "ILOVEYOU" Worm that wreaked havoc on email systems worldwide last week.

"Although an unrelated Worm, 'SouthPark' has the potential to cause the same financial damage as the recent 'ILOVEYOU' Worm," said Simon Perry, CA vice president, security solutions. "If left undetected, 'SouthPark' can cause serious financial damage and inconvenience."


Network Associates Addresses Love Virus to Congress
Network Associates, Inc. testified yesterday at a congressional hearing on the LoveLetter virus attack. At the hearing, entitled: "The Love Bug Virus: Protecting Lovesick Computers From Malicious Attack," Sandra England, senior vice president of McAfee, a Network Associates business, provided expert insight and strategic counsel on anti-virus trends and policy issues affecting Internet security.

The Technology Subcommittee of the House of Representatives' Science Committee called the hearing to investigate the features of the "love bug" computer virus, explore its impact on the public and private sector and examine possible solutions and measures to prevent emerging threats from impacting the global Internet infrastructure.

"This hearing brings attention to the rise in cybercrime and recognizes the need for increased cooperation between industry and government in helping thwart malicious intrusions that threaten Internet security, safety and privacy," Sandra England, senior vice president of McAfee. "As the leading provider of security and availability solutions for e-business, Network Associates' goal in participating in the hearing is to educate policy makers and industry leaders about technology issues and to advocate policies that will make the Internet a safe and secure place for business."

The LoveLetter worm is the most widespread virus ever, causing an estimated $6.7 billion in worldwide damages thus far, according to independent research firm Computer Economics. This compares to Computer Economics' estimate that $12.1 billion in damages were incurred worldwide due to viruses in all of 1999.

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