Virus Removal – E-Mail Attachment Viruses

Over recent years viruses that are spread in the form of e-mail attachments have become increasingly more common with widespread attacks taking place across the globe, the most famous of which being the CIH virus mail attack.

On 26 April 1998 the first wave of the much feared CIH virus (or Chernobyl virus) struck across the world. The initial spread of this virus was caused by the distribution of infected software and game demo’s, but later even big companies such as IBM were distributing newly built, complete PC systems blissfully unaware that these new systems were already harbouring the CIH virus.

Although the virus was first spread in April 1998, it was not set to activate until a year later on 26 April 1999. If virus removal had not been performed on infected PC’s prior to that date, the virus would be activated. Once activated, the virus had the ability to overwrite the majority of the data on the user’s hard drive, causing havoc within the file system and rendering the user’s PC inoperable.

In 2001 a new strain of this virus was created and distributed globally to thousands of victims in the form of an e-mail attachment. These two attacks combined caused an estimated $8 million worth of damage to computer systems around the world, but unfortunately a lot of this damage could have been avoided if the users had made simple adjustments to their e-mail security settings and updated their antivirus software. These simple adjustments help to protect your system from infection and avoid the difficult task of virus removal after an infection has been detected.

Always check your e-mail security settings to make sure you have the correct security measures in place to combat these attacks should they ever take place again. If you’re security settings are set up to allow JavaScript, Macros or other (possibly malicious) files to execute automatically, then it is vital that you disable these features as soon as possible to ensure that you are not vulnerable to an e-mail based virus attack.

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