Love Bug inspires follow-ups

ILOVEYOU virus has spawned copycats, with names like "I love you Kevin" and "Funny Joke"

The Love Bug, which swamped email servers worldwide Thursday with messages declaring "ILOVEYOU", has spawned a few offsprings, according to virus experts.

One of the new email worms has the header "fwd: Joke" and simply carries an attachment called "Very Funny.vbs". The attached file seems to be simply a renamed version of the "LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs" attachment that accompanies the ILOVEYOU virus.

Other variants include one with the header "Good Joke" and another called "I love you Kevin", according to virus experts and other sources.

Kevin Street, technical director of security company Symantec for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, says altering ILOVEYOU and redeploying it is a simple matter. "It's quite easy to do that," he said. "And because it's written in Visual Basic, it's also really easy to go into the attachment itself and change its behaviour."

He said the best solution for businesses is to block Visual Basic Script attachments, and for users to exercise special caution in opening attachments.

For full coverage, see the Love Bug Special.

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