By now, you certainly know not to open any e-mails that have ILOVEYOU in the subject line. But beware: Someone has taken the ILOVEYOU worm engine, made it much more destructive, and given it a new name: VBS/NewLove.a.

Same idea, different name, enhanced payload
VBS/NewLove.a, the new variant of the ILOVEYOU worm, has recently begun spreading worldwide. It works much like ILOVEYOU; however, the e-mails it sends carry random subject lines, and the worm itself has a much more destructive payload.

So how can you tell, just by viewing an e-mail subject line, whether you’ve indeed received the new worm? According to ABCNews , the subject lines in the e-mails are random, but one item is constant: “FW:” begins every subject line. Knowing that will help eliminate at least some suspect e-mail messages.

The biggest difference between this new worm and ILOVEYOU is its destructive payload. Whereas ILOVEYOU deleted only image and audio files, VBS/NewLove.a destroys every file on machines it infects. It does so by shrinking files down to 0 KB on both the local and network drives.

AntiVirus to the rescue!
This worm was discovered on Thursday, May 19, 2000. It is expected that by the end of Friday, antivirus software companies will have an update for this particular worm. For more information on this worm and updates, visit the Trend Micro or Symantec Web sites.

Microsoft to release Outlook patch
Microsoft will soon be releasing a patch for its Outlook 97, 98, and 2000 programs to help stop these kinds of worms, and other viruses, from spreading. For more information, visit the May 19, 2000, Exterminator column .

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