Computer Grinches Deliver Unwelcome Season's Greetings

Published 12.16.2004


Two new e-mail viruses have arrived just in time for the holiday season. According to an advisory from Information Technology Services, both of the viruses work along the same line: They infect a computer, harvest all the e-mail addresses from the system, and then replicate through e-mails to those confiscated addresses.

The e-mails usually contain the subject line of "Merry Christmas" and an infected, misspelled attachment called "Happy Hollydays." A new twist with this virus is the ability to look at a country code of an outgoing e-mail and translate the greeting to the proper language.

CNN reports that European countries were hit hard on Wednesday morning, but the threat level to the United States is moderate. The time difference gave U.S. anti-virus manufactures time to update their software. Penn College computer systems run a version of Symantec AntiVirus that automatically updates. However, home users will need to manually update their anti-virus software to get the latest definition files.

If you have any problem running the Live Update feature of Symantec on your home computer, please contact the Help Desk at ext. 7329.