Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, February 2, 1999 Published at 15:39 GMT


Sci/Tech

Computer virus sparks fireworks

The virus sets off fireworks on screen

Happy99.exe is an irritating little creature even if it does your machine no harm.

The computer virus is being passed around the Internet at the moment through e-mail and through postings to newsgroups. Virus experts refer to it as a worm because it infects one particular Windows file - Wsock32.dll.

It arrives by e-mail and when launched shows a small fireworks display on your screen. It looks very pretty, but you will need to fix your machine otherwise you will pass it on to others.

"It's network aware - it is able to send itself by e-mail to other people," says Ian Whalley, Senior Programmer with anti-virus software company Sophos PLC.

Spanska creation

"It modifies part of your Windows system - Wsock32.dll - to patch itself in so that it is able to manipulate your network traffic and it uses this to send copies of its own binary to newsgroups and e-mail addresses."

It appears to be another creation from the virus writer who goes by the name of Spanska - the handle s/he uses to post material to Newsgroups from anonymous servers.

Fortunately, the worm does no damage to your own files. It is also easy to remove. A patch downloaded from the websites of many of the anti-virus companies should do the job very quickly.

"In the case of this virus it is very easy because the patch will find the virus in Wsock32.dll. And the virus has made a backup copy of the original called Wsock32.ska," says Ian Whalley.

"You can just replace your version with the backup copy the virus has already made for you."



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


Sci/Tech Contents

Internet Links


Sophos PLC

Internet Security Systems

The AntiOnline Network


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

World's smallest transistor

Scientists join forces to study Arctic ozone

Mathematicians crack big puzzle

From Business
The growing threat of internet fraud

Who watches the pilots?

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer