John Bryant
Arizona Computer Consultant
(602) 861-1738

KLEZ Virus Warning

(September, 2002)

Every once in a while a computer virus comes along with the potential to create serious havoc with both your computer and your business reputation. Such appears to be the case with the KLEZ virus. As far as viruses go, this KLEZ worm should be old news by now. The original version was discovered in October 2001 and was actually not particularly serious. Unfortunately, this relatively innocuous vermin has mutated into a savage threat to your system.

Several aspects of this virus contribute to it's longevity and ability to remain uncontrolled or "in the wild". First, you are actually fighting two separate viruses - KLEZ and Elkern. Second, the "H" variant of KLEZ has been mutated to include a sly piece of programming - after it steals your email address book - it takes the name of someone else and places it into the FROM line of the email. This viral contortion (called "spoofing") gives the appearance that the infected email came from someone else - NOT the person actually infected. This red herring makes it very difficult to trace - because you don't know who really sent you the email to begin with. Finally, these viruses bury themselves deep within your system and are difficult to root out. Add these all up and you have a particularly evil menace to your system.

This unruly and dangerous worm seems to be particularly prevalent here in Arizona. Problems stemming from the KLEZ virus have suddenly arisen for more than a few clients recently. You need to stay alert to this one, and if you become infected, consider having this infestation removed by a trained consultant. This one even scares me!

Preventing an infection

The cardinal law of virus safety applies here:

Your virus scanner is only as effective as it is up-to-date. If you haven't updated recently, you aren't protected. If you arenít protected, youíre probably infected.

In some ways, the KLEZ virus and itís mutations are like vampires - they can't come in unless you invite them. Since the worms steal email address books, these devastating computer viruses often come from someone you know. Don't assume that the file is OK because it was sent by a friend.

Don't open unexpected email attachments - ever! If you don't know what it is, send it back and ask the sender. Youíll stay safe and the sender is better informed about email attachments.

Special Note:
If you or someone you know has contracted the KLEZ virus, call me at (602) 861-1738 for further assistance.

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