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What the world needs now is love, sweet love

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Network Associates has produced a fix for the I Love You virus that has crippled systems all over Europe. Customers can download the cure at the Dr Solomon's Web site. It is estimated that the worm virus, which seems to have become active overnight, has affected around ten per cent of UK companies. Those hit are believed to include the BBC, BT, Cable & Wireless, and Compaq. The House of Commons has also shut down its own network to stop the virus spreading, while many companies in the City have been affected by the amount of email traffic the virus has created. According to Rob Eatwell, business development manager for anti-virus at Network Associates, the Iloveyou virus is believed to have originated in Manila. "We have the name of who we think it is, but we're not saying," he said. Kevin Street, technical director for EMEA at Symantec – which has also developed a fix for its customers, said: "A lot of very large companies have been hit by this. The virus has spread far faster than Melissa." The virus shows Iloveyou in the subject of the email, has the text: kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me, and comes with an infected attachment: LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbshas. Once the attachment is opened, it sends an email to everyone in the victim's address book – unlike Melissa, which mass mailed the top fifty in the address book. It is not thought to damage the victim's hard drive, but is bringing down several email gateways due to the sheer volume of traffic created. "The problem is that the US will be waking up to this right now. Luckily, many large corporations in the States will be able to forestall what companies in the UK couldn't because they should be aware of it in advance," said Eatwell. "This will get worse before it gets better. And the mopping up operations will take some time." Symantec and @Software are among other companies that have produced a fix for the virus. And check out Securitywatch, if you're interested in the full technical lowdown on ILOVEYOU. ®

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