Two new mutations of the world's most infamous virus, Melissa, have been placed on the "watch list" by the AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team) at Network Associates.
Melissa U. and Melissa V. are the unholy offspring of the original Melissa virus that caused so much panic among computer users earlier this year. They operate in a similar way to the original miscreant program utilising Microsoft Word macro to gain access to MAPI email programs and proliferate.
Although anti-virus software will recognise and catch both strains, they have been placed on the "medium" alert list because of the sheer speed with which they can replicate.
Aled Miles managing director for Symantec Anti Virus UK and Ireland says that as far as his company is concerned the situation is not yet serious. "Symantec has not issued a warning about these viruses because our software will detect and destroy them. We have received no customer submissions about them whatsoever from customers or anyone else."
Miles also warns against whipping up hysteria over the potential of the situation adding: "There is so much hype about viruses that we have to be careful that we don't unnecessarily scare customers because that can cause just as much down time."