High-risk virus hits Net users
6th December 2001 (The Star)

KUALA LUMPUR: A new high-risk computer virus dubbed "Worm_Gone.A" (Goner) was confirmed to have been attacking the Internet since Tuesday night.

The highly infectious virus was reported to have hit almost 17,000 workstations and 30,000 Microsoft Outlook users globally.

The rapid spread of the Goner bug is said to rival the outbreak of the Love Bug virus which caused millions of dollars in damage in April last year.

Trend Micro country sales manager Wong Joon Hoong said yesterday the pattern of the virus was detected in this region at 10.30 last night and could be categorised as a high risk due to its fast spreading nature.

"Like other computer worms, Goner spreads through Microsoft's popular Outlook email programme. The file arrives as an attachment to an email with the subject line of 'Hi.' The email contained in this virus will read 'How are you? When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you I am in a harry, I promise you will love it'!" he said in an interview.

Wong said that if a recipient opened the attached file, called "goner.scr," the computer would appear to install a screen saver until a bogus error message apparently stopped the process and the virus would have attached itself and sent it to all the email addresses in the Outlook programme.

He said the virus was also capable of spreading through a popular instant message programme known as ICQ as well as MIRC chatting.

Goner would begin to delete any security files, including the anti-virus software, and install itself within the Windows operating system so that whenever the infected computer was restarted, the virus would spread unless it was removed, he said.

On prevention, Wong said the users could protect their computers from being infected by downloading the virus pattern file from Trend Micro's Web Site at www.antivirus.com." Bernama