Combining the reproductive capabilities of the Melissa worm with the destructive force of the Chernobyl virus, a noxious piece of code called Worm.ExploreZip is on the loose.
The Explore virus proliferates over e-mail based on MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface), such as Microsoft’s Exchange.
Masquerading as a benign zipped file attachment sent by a friend – the virus autoreplies to recent messages received by the victim – when the attachment is opened, mayhem ensues.
The worm searches drives C: through Z: of a computer and selects a series of files to destroy based on file extensions (including .h, .c, .cpp, .asm, .doc, .xls, .ppt), wiping out data.
Thousands of desktops have been hit in the United States, Germany and France, according to virus-fighters Network Associates. Corporate sites from Microsoft and General Electric, to market analysts Forester Reasearch and even Symantec – a leading antivirus software provider – were forced to temporarily shut down their mail servers Thursday to combat the virus.
The Expolre virus is believed to have started in Israel.
Complete details of how to identify and get rid of the virus are posted at http://www.zdnn.com.