“Melissa virus infects Word 97 documents and the NORMAL.DOT file of Word 97 and Word 2000. The virus code is contained in one macro named "Melissa"” (Melissa Virus). This virus comes with a harmful capability especially in Word 97. It has the power to spread its virus rapidly by using an email. When it is opened for the first time the virus checks if the user’s computer have the program MS Outlook installed. Then if it finds the program, the virus will then sends email to the email addresses found in the address book. “The email that is sent by the virus will contain the following subject header: ‘Subject: Important Message From ,’ where is the full name of the user sending the message. While the content of the body contains ‘Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)’ with an attachment ‘list.doc’ ...view middle of the document...
Melissa Virus was created by a computer programmer David L. Smith of Aberdeen Township, New Jersey in around March 1999 when it was first found. He named it after a Miami stripper. “He was caught and sentenced for 5 years and prison and fined for $5,000. The success rate of the virus was big when thousands of computers were infected worldwide in 1999 and cause over $80 million damages” (Melissa Virus Author Sentenced). It was first distributed in the Usenet discussion group and flooded corporate networks with email messages. The method of the virus spreading has inspired other authors to copy its technique with that there is also other Melissa variants like Meliisa. V, Melissa.W and Melissa. AO and copycats like Mad-cow, Papa, Syndicate and Marauder.
To protect your computer from this virus is to not open the attachment and get a good anti-virus program. Also, email the sender that sent you the virus and let them know that they have been infected by the virus. It is important to utilize virus scanners because they can detect and clean macro viruses. Lastly, “never double-click or open any file, especially an E-mail attachment, until you first scan that file with your antivirus program” (The Melissa Virus).
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