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Kit Menkin

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(26) Melissa—A real virus, but more a promotion by a leading software company.

This was sent to me by a friend. It basically is a promotion by a company called "Send Mail." While the warning is true, it primarily is a good promotion by the software company. Don't panic.

There are literally thousands of viruses on the internet. They are spread by downloading a file that is infected with the virus. Never download a file from a person you do not know or a major corporation you do not know. I also suggest a anti-virus program. There are many of them on the internet. I also suggest you don't download a file unless you know the person checked it out first, even if sent to you by your brother.

My point is we get thousands of viruses on the internet. The newspapers like to make a big deal about nothing. I don't know how many warnings you have seen that a "virus" is being sent.

Number one, don't run any attachment or download unless you have checked personally with the sender that it is "clean." And then be careful. Run an anti-virus program always. ( although I say this over and over again, it does not sink in for many people---What Part of "No" Do You Not Understand ).

The Melissa e-mail can be identified by the subject field, which reads: "Important Message From USERNAME". Inside, the text reads, "Here is the document that you asked for. Don't show anyone else ;-)."

You must run the Melissa attachment or download it. They are not spread just by receiving the e-mail. This also is really a "joke virus." It does no harm to a system. If you are not fast enough to stop the "automatic" sending of fifty e-mails ( yes, fifty ), it will send to others.

If you would like a free virus scan of your computer, please go to:

Here is a free Virus Check---"Home call" Click on the icon...follow the directions for your workstation. Don't forget, you can avoid viruses by not downloading or opening up attachments from your friends, unless sent it and you know its clean plus you run an anti-virus program, and most important: Keep It Current.

Network drives, recommend search one at a time, not all. Sometimes have trouble if do them all.


The Wall Street Journal on-line edition has an article about a computer virus "that spread quickly across the Internet Friday afternoon, shut down e-mail servers at some companies and overloaded others with infected e-mail".

The virus enters a computer in an e-mail message called "Important Message From" It replicates itself when the recipient opens the e-mail. The virus sends infected e-mail to 50 other names it finds in the recipient's address book.

Apparently Microsoft's servers were shut-down because of Melissa and Lucent Technologies was also affected. ( this was not verified--ed. note ).

A company called "Send Mail, Inc." has a program to combat the virus. Their address is: The program identifies an e-mail with the label "Important Message From" and returns it to the sender.

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