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This was posted on another list. Thought you might be interested.

Ron Bettencourt
Keeley Library
B.M.C. Durfee High School
360 Elsbree Street
Fall River, MA 02720
Internet: rbettencourt@umassd.edu
>   ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 14  -- A new breed of computer virus
>that outsmarts anti-virus software has cropped up nationwide and as
>far away as London's financial district since its discovery in Ann
>Arbor, experts said Tuesday.
>   The virus known as "Junkie" and its relative "Smeg" are part of a
>technological breakthrough by the underground hackers who create
>viruses for the thrill of infecting computers and destroying data.
>   Junkie was discovered last month after an Ann Arbor man bought a
>new computer for his son.
>   The virus shut down the computer and went undetected until local
>computer consultant Jim Shaeffer found it using a special program.
>   Shaeffer reported the virus to Frank Horowitz, a specialist in
>anti- virus software in Brier, Wash.
>   "This is the first time we've seen this," Horowitz told United
>Press International. "And there're going to be many others like this."
>   After computer users were electronically told about the discovery,
>Horowitz said, the Smeg virus was found in computers used by London
>financial services firms.
>   It's unclear how many computers have been infected by the new
>viruses, which Horowitz said are far more dangerous than the well-
>publicized "Michelangelo" virus, which was designed to shut down
>computers on Michelangelo's birthday several years ago.
>   Horowitz said he's received reports from across the country about
>the new virus. But he said it's impossible to tell how far it's
>   By breaking Junkie's code, Horowitz said, he could tell the virus
>was created in 1994. The code also contained the virus name, a
>standard procedure for hackers who want to know when their creation
>gets publicity.
>   Junkie is unique because, unlike other viruses, it can attack a
>floppy disk, a computer's boot sector, or its executable files. Other
>viruses only attack one of those three crucial areas of a computer.
>   It's also dangerous because Horowitz said standard, scanner-type
>anti-virus software can't find Junkie. The virus is "polymorphic,"
>meaning its characteristics are always changing to avoid detection.
>   Horowitz compared the relationship between the new virus and anti-
>virus software to updated police radar devices that go unseen by
>civilian radar detectors.
>   Also disturbing is that Junkie was found in a new computer.
>Horowitz said the computer might have been infected at the computer
>   The discovery indicates that viruses are entering a new phase of
>destruction, Horowitz said.
>   "Viruses are continuing to be developed with a lot of expertise,"
>Horowitz said. "They're definitely a growing number of viruses out
>there with new technology, and we're beginning to see the distribution
>of those viruses more quickly."

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