SirCam.worm Virus Poses New Threat - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SirCam.worm Virus Poses New Threat

You're a lucky computer user if you haven't been hit by a virus lately. Plenty are making the rounds these days.  The virus du jour is the "Sircam" worm.    Actually worms and viruses are not the same, but there's getting to be very little difference between them.  Worm or virus, you're in trouble if you get one -- so here's what it's all about. Worms and viruses are renegade pieces of computer code devised by people who get their kicks from making life miserable for other computer users.  New viruses are turned loose on an unsuspecting public every day...the Code Red virus was a flash in the pan last week -- but dangerous enough to shut down Pentagon public web sites for a while.  Now it's the w32.sircam.worm virus -- an executable file that unleashes an attack on your PC when you click on it.  It can delete all the files and directories on your C:/ drive.  It borrows a random document from the infected PC and uses that file in the subject line of e-mails it then sends to everybody on your e-mail list.  Hackers love to write viruses for Microsoft products.  Partly because they're so widely used, like Microsoft Outlook for e-mail, and partly because it's widely known they have big security breaches.  Including programs that corporations use for company-wide communication.  KFVS' parent company RayCommedia, for instance, had 120 Sircam virus attack attempts Tuesday alone.  So what's the difference between a virus and a worm?  "...With a virus, there's an attachment to an e-mail that you actually have to actively do something -- open it for example -- before it will actually execute itself.  A worm on the other hand, as soon as it arrives on your system, it starts doing its own thing.  There is no way you can sanitize it, and that's why virus updates are so important," says James White, an Computer Security Expert at Automation Services in Cape Girardeau.  Virus updates are updated hourly by the reputable anti-virus software makers.  The top two are Symantec, maker of Norton Anti-virus, and McAfee's Virus-Scan.  The most important thing to do, though, is make sure you install your virus protection software immediately, and then set up the software to scan your computer automatically.  Download updates to the program weekly, and be cautious about opening any and all e-mails, just 'cause they're there.  Even though Microsoft is an easy target, they're also very fast to offer patches to their known security breaches, and post them for free on their web site.

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