Question: I’ve heard there’s a new worm out there causing a lot of trouble, called Explore Zip. What do we know about it? – R.L.
Answer: A new e-mail-transmitted computer virus swept the Internet, showing up in thousands of computers around the world. It also led to the shutdown of some companies’ e-mail systems.
The new nasty, called the ExploreZip worm, can delete data files from a computer, making it more dangerous than the Melissa virus.
ExploreZip is not a virus. It’s known as a worm because it can’t reproduce itself. Melissa, which appeared in March, was written with the ability to reproduce automatically, which made it a true virus.
The ExploreZip worm is implanted in an e-mail that states: “I received your e-mail, and I shall reply ASAP. Till then, take a look at the zipped docs.” Computer experts say to simply delete that message. People who answer by clicking on the attached file will deploy the virus into their computer. It then destroys Microsoft Outlook, Express, and other e-mail-related documents.
There are two ways to deal with it – do both:
- Update your anti-virus software.
- Delete any e-mail you are not expecting.
There are patches available. Symantec Corp. (http://symantec.com) and Trend Micro Inc. (http://www.antivirus.com). Both offer protection patches you download from their sites to identify and eliminate this worm.
Most anti-virus software works well against worms.
You can get a good one (and download it immediately) here: eTrust EZ Antivirus
ZDNet covered ExploreZip in depth. Read about it here.