May 7, 2002 – The KLEZ virus is currently making the rounds and appears to be widespread in the Virgin Islands. KLEZ will be blocked by any currently updated, major anti-virus software.
Don't trust e-mail messages that suggest they offer a cure, no matter whom they appear to be from. Return addresses can be faked and the "cure" is probably the virus itself.
Once it has infected a computer, KLEZ sends out messages to addresses it finds in address books on the infected computer. KLEZ can also "fake" the return address of messages, so it is hard to tell who actually sent you the virus — the faked address will be from local addresses, though. It will keep doing this until it is removed.
The KLEZ payload is usually two files. One is a file that will pass the virus along to Windows machines, and the other is any random document found on the infected computer. The transmission of this second file can be embarrassing or infuriating to the sender, as it may contain information not intended for public distribution.
Protection is somewhat simple.
– First back up your data.
– Then visit the Windows Update or the Office Microsoft product update site, and/or update your anti-virus (AV) software.
If you don't have AV software, I use and recommend Norton, which you can download from amazon.com or buy from a local vendor (I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies.)
– In case you didn't catch it the first time: Back up your data first.
Even if you are not infected by KLEZ, the size of the associated files can be a punishment for persons with a slow connection.
On a relate note, you may be as pleased as I to learn that David Smith, the author of the Melissa virus, recently became the third person to be incarcerated for the offense of virus writing. (He is not to be confused with Dave Smith, University of the Virgin Islands physics professor and all-around nice guy.)
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