In lieu of Tips... : Virus Alert - Two new viruses are causing havoc - safeguard your computer

In view of extremely rapid spread of two very destructive viruses - we replace regular article with this virus alert - specially what you should do to safeguard your system

Threat from two recent viruses that are going around is very real. They mostly affect people who use Microsoft's Outlook Express.

Goner Virus

There is a outbreak of computers infected with W32/Goner@MM, also known as Pentagone, Goner or Gone. This is a NEW, HIGH RISK virus that spreads via Microsoft Outlook email and ICQ instant messaging programs. This mass-mailing worm will arrive from someone you know with the following email message:

>Subject: Hi
>Body: How are you ?
>When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you
>I am in a harry, I promise you will love it!
>Attachment: GONE.SCR

Goner is extremely destructive. When the attachment is opened, it will look for a variety of anti-virus, firewall and other security programs and attempt to delete them, along with ALL FILES in the same directory. This worm will also place a trojan, REMOTE32.INI, on the system, which contains instructions to attempt Denial-of-Service attacks on other IRC users.


Over past two weeks, I have received hundreds of blank emails of size 40.4 Kb. The emails have a _ character before the sender's email address. I am sure many of you have experienced the same. It means the sender's computers is infected, though he/she may be blissfully unaware. What's worse, may be you are also sending the same virus-laced mails to others if your computer is infected.

It is a new virus called W32/Badtrans@MM

Badtrans is a potentially destructive new generation virus called blended threats. Blended threats are amalgamations of worms, viruses and trojans.

What is a Trojan ?

A trojan, like the Horse of Troy in Greek Mythology, surreptitiously enters your computer and opens the gate for a hacker to get into your computer and steal private information. It also tracks your key-strokes (i.e. your password, credit card number etc. as you type in keyboard) and faithfully conveys to its master.


The best way to safeguard yourself is to never open a file attachment unless you are confident about its origin. However, there are a few viruses that can spread through e-mails WITHOUT attachment or through Chat or Instant messenger.

You should have a good anti-virus software with latest virus definition and preferably a firewall. You should also install e-mail scanner that comes with standard anti-virus software.

Following free and priced resources will help you detect and remove virus from your computer and keep you up-to-date on virus and other security threats.

Priced Anti Virus Software:

Norton Anti Virus

McAfee Anti Virus

Dr Solomon's Anti Virus Software

Free Resources in the Net

HouseCall online virus scanning
A free service that offers online virus scanning. There's nothing to install; HouseCall scans for and cleans viruses via the Web through ActiveX and Java technology.

This free program help you protect from receiving virus infected E-mails. When an incoming E-mail or file is suspected to be containing a virus, VCatch automatically deletes it and notifies you.

A freeware Net security tool that protects your Net ports from hacker attacks and other illicit activity. ProPort monitors local ports for trojan and nuke attacks and can monitor an unlimited number of ports.

AntiVir Personal Edition
This easy-to-use freeware antivirus utility detects over 40,000 viruses and includes a resident monitor and desktop program. Scans for DOS, Windows, macros and Java viruses.

Free Online Virus Scanner
This site offers a free online service that lets you scan your computer for viruses. They also offer free detection and removal tools here that'll rid your PC of the various viruses and worms that are currently circulating around the Net.


Virus Bulletin
The international publication on virus prevention, recognition and removal.

Virus Hoaxes
Virus hoax messages are all too familiar to just about all email users. One of the main reasons for this is that they play on peoples ignorance - users are understandably concerned about viruses, and so consider it 'helpful' if, as suggested by the majority of hoaxes, they forward the message on to their entire address book.

Related Links:

Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol II, Issue 27' December 12' 2001

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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