Christmas virus warning

Thursday, December 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

There is a computer virus making the rounds and could spoil your Christmas.

The 'Reezak virus', which appears as a Christmas animation, can disable a Windows computer by deleting critical system files, according to Ian Hameroff, business manager for security solutions at Computer Associates. CA deems Reezak a major threat for another reason: The fact it's a holiday-themed virus being released during the festive season means many people may let their guard down and forgo their normal computing habits of not opening suspicious mail.

The e-mail containing the virus attachment has a subject line reading "Hi." The attachment containing the worm is called Christmas.exe. The virus infects and is spread by computers that use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express e-mail clients. The virus first appeared in Europe; it's expected to make its way to the United States.

Hameroff says systems that are infected will likely need to have their operating systems reinstalled and have data restored from a backup. Antivirus software should be able to catch infected e-mail. But the best safeguard is for people simply to avoid opening suspicious attachments.

For more information, please visit Computer Associates website.