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A computer worm called W32.Mypics.Worm with a trigger date of
Jan. 1 began infecting computer systems on Thursday, marking the
start of what experts believe will be a number of destructive
programs disguising themselves as Y2K problems. The worm has
already shown up at a number of corporations, and anti-virus
firms say they have released code that rids systems of the worm.
W32.Mypics.Worm targets Windows users and spreads as an e-mail
attachment in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. An infected
system will send the worm to as many as 50 people in the user's
Outlook address book, with an e-mail that reads, "Here's some
pictures for you!" When users try to open the attachment called
"pics4you.exe," the worm infects the Windows registry. After Jan.
1, the worm is set to deliver two payloads, the first of which
tries to overwrite the system's BIOS so the computer will be
unable to reboot. However, many of today's computers protect the
BIOS from this type of attack. The second and more significant
payload overwrites Windows' autoexec.bat file in order to reformat
the hard drive and cause the system to lose all programs and data.
(New York Times 12/04/99)
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