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E-mail virus on the loose

May 10, 2001

Computer users are being warned about a new virus known as "Homepage."

Telecom Xtra spokesman Chris Thompson said the virus, an e-mail "worm," was spreading rapidly last night. Xtra was deleting about 1000 infected e-mails an hour yesterday afternoon.

The virus was similar to the "I Love You" bug, which caused world-wide havoc last year.

It overloaded e-mail servers, a real threat for companies with large address books.

"If it goes to a large corporate where there are three or four hundred people in everyone's address book, you can quite quickly get a flood."

Arjen de Landgraaf, of E-Secure-IT, said the virus was spread by sending an e-mail with the subject "Homepage" and a message reading: "Hi! You've got to see this page! It's really cool."

If the recipient clicked on the attachment, which was called Homepage. HTML.vbs, the virus pretended to open a webpage and randomly selected one of four pornographic images.

It then sent itself to every address in the recipient's addressbook, causing a "denial of service" by flooding e-mail servers.

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