First British companies report NewLove virus

Two UK companies have been hit by a new, much nastier version of the LoveBug dubbed NewLove, according to anti-virus firm, Symantec

Aled Miles, managing director of Symantec Europe says the level of damage caused by the NewLove virus to these companies is unclear although he warns that this virus is vicious. "This virus has the capability to spread very fast," says Miles. "It has the power to proliferate and we'll keep a close eye on it."

So far, however, the virus has not been reported in anything like the volume of the original ILoveYou virus, although most anti-virus experts are classifying the risk as very high.

Network Associates shares Symantec's concern but says that reports are limited. "There have been nothing like the reports there were for the ILoveYou virus," says NA's product manager Rob Eatwell. "It is hopefully because users have become more aware although it may also not worm its way around as well."

The outbreak also appears to have been largely confined to the US according to Eatwell. "There are no infections in Asia or the Pacific and none in Europe. Infections have been in the US although it appears to have been received from Israel," he says.

Since first appearing in the US, the virus has been heralded as a far more nasty version of the LoveBug because it randomly changes the subject line to the name of a file on a host computer, helping to confuse even the most wary of users.

It also changes its "fingerprint" while spreading, making it more difficult for anti-virus software to detect.

More news to follow

In the light of the recent Denial of Service attacks and the ILOVEYOU virus John Dvorak worries that we ain't seen nothin' yet. Go with him to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.

Go to ZDNet's ILOVEYOU Special Report

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