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REFLECTOR: Chernobal Virus



Last E-mail may have been confusing, Sorry.

But the Chernobal Virus IS bad. For those of you without a Wall Street 
Journal, I enclose the below text. Get you virus protection updated this 
weekend.

Dale Alexander

        By DEAN TAKAHASHI Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
   Just when the business world thought it was safe from the Melissa virus, 
now it has to worry about another, more destructive virus that could strike 
Monday.
  Antivirus  researchers  are warning their customers that the so-called CIH 
virus has the capability to wipe out a user's data or disable a computer 
outright. The virus has spread via attachments to electronic mail and, upon 
hitting its trigger date of April 26, is designed to drop a ''payload," or a 
kind of electronic time bomb, that could wipe out a part of a user's system 
that begins the computer's start-up sequence. Variants of the virus may also 
strike on June 26.
   "It will leave your PC dead,'' said Vincent Gullotto, manager of an 
emergency antivirus team for Network Associates Inc.'s laboratories in 
Beaverton, Ore. "It's a fast infected and it spreads itself until its payload 
date."

   The virus infects Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT computers and 
disables a vital part of the computer known as the flash BIOS, which feeds 
the start-up instructions to the machine upon being turned on. If the 
computer has chips that are vulnerable to the virus, the computer won't 
start, or "boot." In addition, the virus can corrupt data stored on the 
personal computer's hard-disk drive, destroying a user's permanently stored 
data.

   The virus isn't easy to spot, because it copies its instructions into 
unused parts of programs that are already loaded on the user's computer.  The 
best protection against the virus, experts say, is to run an updated 
anti-virus program. They also advise against opening any unexpected email 
attachments.

  But many computers are already protected against the virus because it has 
been spreading since June, giving antivirus companies time to build CIH 
defenses into their software.  The virus spreads if someone uses an infected 
floppy disk or opens an infected e-mail attachment.
   Earlier this month, International Business Machines Corp. had to warn 
several thousand customers who bought some of its Aptiva personal computer 
models that their machines were infected. Network Associates notes that it 
has been getting reports of the virus from customers on a daily basis. The 
researchers are most concerned about small-business and ordinary users who 
don't regularly take precautions.
   The virus is believed to have originated in Taiwan, and Sal Viveros, a 
marketing manager at Network Associates, said he is concerned that Asian 
companies will be particularly vulnerable.