A Year Ago: Funlove virus wreaks havoc at Dell plant

First published: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 17:05:00 GMT

Not much fun for Dell: £14m in damages, 12,000 computers recalled

The Funlove virus has ransacked Dell's manufacturing plant in Limerick, Ireland, a disaster that could cost the computing company millions of pounds in damages.

Work was suspended for two whole days at the Limerick complex and more than 12,000 computers were recalled for servicing after the virus had had its way with them.

Some units that had been sent out to customers were also recalled, although Dell has announced that none of these computers were in fact infected.

Although Dell has not revealed the total cost of the damage caused by Funlove it has been estimated that the bill may reach around £14m.

When Funlove was discovered a week ago anti-virus companies unanimously declared it of minimal risk. Mikko Hypponen, manager of anti-virus research at Data Fellows, maintains that Dell only have themselves to blame for getting infected. "Fun is simple to stop," he says. "You have to be up-to-date. This was a relatively new virus but if you have automatic, Internet-based daily updates in place, you're covered against even the latest threats. This is a good example of how a relatively harmless virus can cost you millions."

Funlove is named after the popular rock outfit The Fun Loving Criminals and once it has infected a computer it displays the message "Fun Loving Criminal" whenever certain files are opened. In a disturbing coincidence the band was appearing in Dublin at the MTV awards around the same time that the virus struck.

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