Love bites again

It's activation day for a new variant of the Love Bug virus, and it's been detected roaming through the tropics of Australia infecting a central Queensland power station.

It's activation day for a new variant of the Love Bug virus, claimed to be even more destructive than the original, and it's been detected roaming through the tropics of Australia infecting a central Queensland power station.

AUSTRALIA (ZDNet Australia) - "VBS_COLOMBIO is very similar. We've received more reports of this than any other variant," Trend Micro Australian spokesperson told ZDNet.

Currently rated number two of the top viruses in Australia, the Love Bug variant, LOVELETTR.AS - otherwise known as VBS_COLOMBIA - has been scheduled to execute itself as an attachment to an infected user's address book.

If the date is November 7, the virus will remove all connected network drives from the system. Placing today as a new event on the calendar - "VBS_COLOMBIA Activation Day".

The Gladstone Power Station - a joint venture of the Australia's Comalco and NRG Minneapolis - detected the virus through its anti-virus software program before it managed to infect the company's server.

However, according to a company source, the program "didn't cure it."

"So far only two computers in the company have been infected, mainly files in the network drive were infected, the virus hasn't infected the servers," Superintendent Telecommunications & Computer Services NRG-Gladstone Power Station Kerry Anger said.

According to Trend Micro spokesperson, the new variant is much the same as the Love Bug virus in the way it e-mails itself to the list in the user's address book.

However, "when it executes itself, this one is more destructive."

The VBS_Colombio virus removes all connected network drives from the user's system, so the user is unable to gain access to the server. It also deletes all image files and web development files.

"This file can travel through email or network drive. It makes it so hard to get rid of, it's a continual fight," the Trend Micro spokesperson said.

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