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Articles - Nimda Virus Alert - 19 September 2001

Most of you would be aware of the Nimda virus which became active in Australia on September 18. It has been very quick to spread and is causing a great deal of disruption to the Internet. Many companies have been hit, which has brought down servers while network administrators try to clean it from their systems. It is spread via email, network shares, compromised servers which then scan for other servers to infect, and via browsing affected web sites. This virus does not behave like a "normal" worm virus, so please exercise great caution.

Some of you may still not have an up to date virus scanner installed on your system. Even if you do have an AV program operating, if the virus signature files have not been updated for some time, it will offer little protection against the Nimda virus, so please update them as soon as possible. 

There have been a number of media reports that say that the virus cannot be "caught" simply by visiting a web page. This is NOT true, this virus is particularly nasty and I witnessed a PC being hit by it today - just by visiting a certain web site and clicking the "refresh" button on the browser toolbar. Luckily, the virus was intercepted by AV software. It also poses a threat by distributing itself via email, so if you are running Outlook or Outlook Express with the preview pane, I strongly suggest you turn it off. All attachments should be treated as suspicious as this virus does not attach itself in the usual way.

In my years of Internet experience, I have not witnessed a virus like this one. I find it particularly disgusting that it has been released at this point in time. I hope the author of it is tracked down, publicly humiliated and locked up. Internet communications are particularly important at present and this virus seriously threatens the flow of information.

Free Antivirus Software:

We've been using AVG from Grisoft for some time now, on a Windows ME and Windows 98 system and are happy to say that even though we are bombarded by hundreds of viruses every month, not one has slipped through. If you would like a totally free copy of AVG, go to:

http://www.grisoft.com 

It's great to see some AV companies are still providing high quality freeware AV programs that actually work as well as their premium counterparts. AVG has been an absolute dream to use.

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It is very important that you check for regular updates, via the Auto Download option. We hope that the program offers you the protection you require

For further info on the Nimda virus:

Article follow up - A lesson called Nimda - the implications and further information on the virus.

McAffee

http://www.mcafee.com/anti-virus/ viruses/nimda/default.asp?cid=2444

Computer Associates

http://ca.com/virusinfo/encyclopedia/

Symantec (Norton)

http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/ venc /data/w32.nimda.a@mm.html

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
http://www.tamingthebeast.net
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