Virus Warning: Grinch

KDean75206 at KDean75206 at
Sat Aug 21 21:35:24 MDT 1999

You don't have to worry about it until christmas...but I pass this on as an

) Grinch Virus affects Windows 95 / 98 / NT

Tom Stein, Chronicle

Ever heard about the computer virus that stole Christmas? You will. On
December 25, a newly discovered computer virus could wipe out all data on
machines running Microsoft Windows software.

``This is the most malicious virus I have ever seen,'' said Keith Peer,
president of Central Command Inc., an Ohio firm that makes antivirus
protection products.

The new virus, dubbed Win32.Kriz.3862, or Christmas for short, invades
computers that use either the Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT
operating systems.

The virus can be contracted by computer users who download software
applications, such as screen savers or computer games, over the Internet
and then install them on their personal computers. The virus can then be
transmitted to many more people via e-mail attachments, according to

The trigger date for the Christmas virus is December 25, which means it can
harmlessly lurk within a PC for months before it begins to wreak havoc.

If the virus remains undetected, on Christmas Day it will attack all the
drives on a computer, erasing all data, from Word files to e-mail
documents, as well as wiping out data that resides on a network to which
the infected computer is attached.

``This virus has real evil intent,'' said Peer. ``You won't even be able to
turn your computer on. This makes the recovery of the PC very difficult.''
He said the Christmas virus is even more malicious than the infamous
Chernobyl virus, which knocked out about 300,000 computers across Asia last

``Chernobyl only worked on Windows 95 and Windows 98, and not NT,'' he
said. ``Plus Chernobyl only went after a computer's C-drive. Not this one,
it erases data on all your computer drives, including the network.''

Carey Nachenberg, an antivirus expert at Symantec Corp., said he first
became aware of the Christmas virus last week. He said his company, which
makes antivirus software, was contacted by a customer who discovered the
virus on one of its computers.

While he admitted the virus poses a serious threat to computer users, he
said there is no need to panic. That's because users have at least four
months to detect the Christmas virus.

He also said that this is a more ``visible'' virus than Chernobyl and
easier to detect before it causes damage.

``Computer users can actually see this virus in that it occupies hard-drive
space,'' he said.

Both Command Central and Symantec said they have updated their detection
software and databases to identify and disable the Christmas virus. Users
can download patches that recognize the virus from and

Microsoft, for its part, said it was unware of the latest threat to its
operating system. ``Software is a powerful tool that allows you to do
incredible things,'' said Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn. ``But the bad side
is that sometimes you can use it to do malicious things.''

He said users should regularly update their antivirus software, and they
should not open any program or attachment unless they know its original

There are about 200 known Windows viruses in existence, according to

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