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Windows-Help.NET Newsletter03 Apr. 1999, Vol 2 No. 14

 Melissa Virus

by Arie Slob

Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,

Well, by now you have probably all heard about the Melissa virus spreading its malicious mischief around the Internet. We sent out a special bulletin on the 29th of March. If you missed it, just go to our Web site and check out the News Headlines on the home page.

New variants of Melissa continue to spread as hackers try to outdo each other. Anti-virus experts expect the variant strains to continue over the next few weeks before the whole incident dies down. One of these variant strains is known as the "Papa" virus, and spreads by using an infected Excel (97 & 2000) document.

How to protect yourself:
Microsoft Office 97/Office 2000 applications including Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel are designed to protect you from macro viruses including the "Melissa" and "Papa" viruses and any variants. Macro virus protection is provided within these applications and is turned on by default. With the macro virus protection enabled, every time you open a document that contains macros, a dialog box appears and asks you to choose whether to enable or disable included macros. By choosing to disable macros, you will prevent any macro viruses from running, preventing infection by the virus. The virus is only activated if you open the attached document and choose to enable the macros or if your macro virus protection settings have been previously turned off when you open a macro-enhanced attachment. It is important to note that even if the document containing the virus is not opened, it could still infect others if it is forwarded.

Like I said at the time when the Happy99 worm was first mentioned, Beware of any file sent by someone you don't know. Beware of any file sent by someone you DO know. If you did not request a document (or file) from a friend, don't open it. Always check with the sender first. Of course, email attachments from unknown sources should be deleted upon arrival! And even if you open attachments (documents or files you received attached to an email), it's considered safe practice to first save them to your disk, and run an anti-virus scanner on them. But be aware that new strains of viruses are entering the Internet community all the time, and even the most up-to-date virus database with a major Virus Detection Software like those from McAfee or Norton, may not yet be able to detect the very latest viruses.

If you would like to know all the details of the ongoing Melissa saga, the hunt by the FBI for the originator and more, take a look at ZDNet's Special Report.

Yahoo! announced plans to buy, the Internet's leading search and directory service, the top provider of TV and radio programming on the Web. The deal is thought to be in the region of $5.7 - $6.08 billion.

According to Jeff Mallett, the president of Yahoo!, three companies will dominate the Internet by the end of next year and Yahoo! aims to be one of them. Read more on Yahoo!'s Internet strategy in this Washington Post article.

Patch Available for File Access Vulnerability in Personal Web Server

Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a vulnerability in certain versions of Personal Web Server running under Windows© 95 or Windows 98, which could allow files on the server to be read by an unauthorised user who knew the name of the file and requested it via a specific non-standard URL. Users running web server products on Microsoft Windows NT© are not affected.

A fully supported patch is available to fix this vulnerability, and Microsoft recommends that customers download and install it if appropriate.

For more information, and links to download the patch, see the following Knowledge Base (KB) articles:

  • Q216453 - FP98: Security Patch for FrontPage Personal Web Server
  • Q217765 - FP97: Security Patch for FrontPage Personal Web Server
  • Q217763 - File Access Vulnerability in Personal Web Server


Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 Corporate Deployment Guide
A comprehensive guide to deploying custom installations of the Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 browser using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit 5. This kit provides tools and recommended practices for creating custom packages.

A must if you manage publicly accessible computers (schools, libraries)!

Microsoft PhotoDraw 2000 Tutorial Update
This self-extracting executable file contains an upgrade that corrects a display problem encountered when the PhotoDraw 2000 tutorial is used with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0. The upgraded tutorial is compatible with Microsoft Office 2000, as well as with Internet Explorer version 4.0 and later.

Download [941KB] - US English More information

Corel Announces Bundle Deal
Corel announced it has inked a deal with motherboard maker PC Chips that will load 18 million computers a year with Corel's WordPerfect Suite.

The deal announced on Tuesday means WorldPerfect software will be packaged with "almost one-fifth of computers shipped annually," according to Corel. PC Chips shipped 15 million units last year.

Microsoft Announces Reorganisation
Microsoft President Steve Ballmer and CEO Bill Gates announced a sweeping reorganisation designed to refocus the company on the needs of customers. The heart of the restructuring is the creation of distinct customer-centered business groups.

Microsoft Releases Office 2000 to Manufacturing
On the 1st of April, Microsoft announced that they have released Office 2000 to manufacturing. The business software suite is scheduled to be available to volume license customers in April and to retail customers on June 10, 1999. More details on Office 2000 can be found on Microsoft's Office 2000 Preview site.

The best choice for Windows Clipboard enhancement.

Recommend this Newsletter to a Friend!

Ask your Windows 95 / 98 / NT questions here!

Internet Explorer 5 questions? get your answers here!

  Microsoft Releases More Y2K Tools

Microsoft has released two new tools to help users assess and ensure the Y2K compliance of their Microsoft applications .

The Microsoft Year 2000 Product Analyzer scans a computer's hard drive, looking for core Microsoft software and generates a report with year 2000-information. The Microsoft Year 2000 Product Analyzer, in an English version [485KB] now, will be available in 14 languages within the next sixty days.

The Microsoft Year 2000 Product Analyzer performs the following tasks:

    * Identifies installed software products on specified drives by scanning the drives for
      executable files
    * Compares the resulting list of products to the products listed in a compliance database
    * Generates a report of the compliance levels of the products it discovered, based on
      the information in the compliance database

The Product Guide Workbook provides product details online and is updated daily.

  Web site updates

We'd like to remind you to stop by the / combined Web site if you have not yet done so. The site was completely redesigned last month and greatly expanded with many new features and resources. These pages were added/updated in the past week. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.
Added: Microsoft Releases More Y2K Tools
Updated: Web Design Resources page
Added: Melissa Virus for Word 97 Virus warning
Added: Internet Explorer 5 Security Flaw

Windows 95
Added: Start- and Favorites Menu Not Listed in Alphabetical Order
Updated: Update your Scripting Engines (IE 4)

Windows 98
Added: Start- and Favorites Menu Not Listed in Alphabetical Order
Added: Internet Explorer 5 Tips: Web Accessories
Updated: Internet Explorer 5 Tips: System Requirements
Updated: Internet Explorer 5 Tips: Setup
Updated: Internet Explorer 5 Tips: AutoComplete for Passwords & Forms

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