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This was posted on another list. Thought you might be interested. Ron Bettencourt Cataloger Keeley Library B.M.C. Durfee High School 360 Elsbree Street Fall River, MA 02720 Internet: email@example.com ========================================================= >``JUNKIE'' COMPUTER VIRUS SPREADING > > 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 >spread. > 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 >factory. > 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."