EVEN antivirus softwares are now in danger. Klez.E, a worm virus that can delete and overwrite MS Word, Excel, video, image, and Internet files, can also track down and remove anti-virus programs. The most recent virus that started attacking computer systems last March 6 alarmed computer security companies based in Finland.

Any computer running an electronic-mail system may be infected because the worm displays catchy subject lines in the inbox, sometimes disguising as a virus warning. Once the system is infected, the worm starts to replicate and send itself to recipients in the address book of Microsoft’s Outlook.

The worm, according to www.bbcnews.com, was found out to be a follow-up of a non-destructive and slow-spreading Klez.E virus last November. Experts found relative proofs that the worm may have been made by an expert programmer in Southeast Asia since it includes messages like: “Made in Asia,” “I want a good job, I must support my parents” and “I want a salary of $5,500 a month.”

Somewhat similar to the Love Bug virus last 2000, Klez.E is also unique because it overwrites the content of files rather than simply deleting it. Data are harder to trace when this happens because they have been destroyed or obscured. Unlike deleted files that can be recovered because it still has some references left in the computer.

The worm has already infected computer systems in more than 97 countries, according to a data released by Central Command, an e-mail service provider.

Although the virus cannot penetrate corporate e-mail gateways, Trend Micro antivirus experts in Tokyo advised that trashing suspected files and regularly updating anti-virus programs can save computers from damaging viruses from the Internet. John Ferdinand Tejero Buen

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