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`Virtual Card' could be a fatal e-mail virus

March 1, 2001 

February 28: A latest Internet virus, which comes as an e-mail attachment, is currently wreaking havoc among thousands of Netizens who have fallen prey to it.

The virus, whose slug states `you have received a virtual card' is barely 48 hours old, and has currently made its presence felt in the United States. It affects a critical part of the user's hard disk, thereby virtually disengaging most operations of the personal computer.

``The virus is relatively new, and has therefore not yet touched India, but if we don't take any precautions, then it won't take long before it corrupts the hard disks in Mumbai too,'' stated the chairman and managing director of Onward Novell Technologies, Harish Mehta.

Internet expert and author of several computer languages books, Vijay Mukhi, added that at least two big league computer viruses are created practically everyday by professional hackers or by deviant teenagers. ``A virus is basically a computer programme that intends to damage a particular user or on a mass scale. However, with the implementation of various virus alerts and shields available on online, the menace can be curbed to a great extent,'' said Mukhi.

Harish Mehta warned that the best way to deal with the new `virtual card' virus is to simply delete the e-mail file without viewing it.

The recent `Anna Kournikova' virus is still fresh in the memory of Internet users. Eager to see the picture of the shapely tennis star Anna Kournikova, the users were actually conned as the virus effectively ate through their stored files.

However, the McAfee virus shield had managed to deal with the Anna Kournikova virus, only after substantial damage had been done, the world over.

© 2001 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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