New Love Packs a Wallop

As expected, several variations of the Love Letter worm are making their way around the Internet. However, the latest rendition, named New Love, is far meaner and trickier than the rest. As with Love Letter, New Love spreads by sending itself as a file attachment to all addresses in the Outlook address book. The difference is that New Love attaches itself to an email using a random filename derived from the victim's list of recently opened documents (as seen under Start, Documents), but the attachment always has a .vbs extension. The email message that the worm sends to spread itself always has a subject line beginning with "FW: " When executed, New Love overwrites all files not in use except for those located in the root directories. Damage includes the deletion of files on mapped network drives. New Love is polymorphic, meaning that the worm inserts as many as 10 lines of randomly generated comments into all copies of itself, making detection harder than usual because the actual code changes each time the worm reproduces. According to Symantec, although not widespread, the virus has affected more than 1000 users at at least nine different sites. I urge you to update your virus signature files as soon as possible.

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