New Computer Virus Considered a Serious Threat

May 9, 2001 12:00 PM

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A new email virus, which goes by the name Homepage, is spreading quickly throughout the world and once unleashed, the worm attempts to open numerous X-rated Web pages.

Antivirus firms Corp., F-Secure Corp., Command Central Inc., Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro Inc. all issued warnings or alerts Wednesday about the VBSWG.X worm, which also goes by the name Homepage.

The worm, which appears in e-mail in-boxes with the subject line "Homepage" and body text reading "You've got to see this page! It's really cool ;O)," spreads itself by e-mail using Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook e-mail client and VBS (Visual Basic script). When the Homepage file is double-clicked, a computer will send the same e-mail to all addresses listed in the computer's address book and will attempt to open one of four pornographic Web sites. The worm will then also search the computer's in-box and delete e-mail folders for e-mail messages with the subject line "Homepage," according Central Command.

The virus has been rated a serious threat by Internet security professionals and caused major infections in Europe, Australia and Asia on Wednesday.

Anti-virus companies, some of which posted Homepage disinfectants Wednesday, caution Internet users to avoid opening suspicious e-mails attachments.

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