VBS/Stages-A (aka Life Stages) is a worm that spreads via
Microsoft Outlook email and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
The virus appears to have been written by the Argentinian virus
writer Zulu - famous for having also written the viruses VBS/BubbleBoy and
For further information on VBS/Stages-A and how to detect it
please click here.
In June 2000 the virus spread quickly across the internet,
infecting many companies. Although it did not spread as quickly as
WM97/Melissa or VBS/LoveLetter and does not contain a deliberate
data-destroying payload it still caused some companies to shut down
their email systems.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the VBS/Stages-A outbreak
is that many users have fallen for the same trick once again. In
the past viruses have been seen that arrive by email which claim
that the attached file is "sexy", "cool" or "funny" and entices
unsuspecting users into double-clicking.
VBS/Stages-A underlines that users need to do more to protect
their systems than simply keeping their anti-virus software up to
Computer users need to be cautious of unsolicited attachments,
rather than imagining every single file they receive via email is
Sophos recommends that companies also practise safe computing,
and has published a short list of tips which can
be used to dramatically reduce your chances of virus infection.
Some companies may also wish to block certain types of
attachments at the email gateway. For instance, are there any
circumstances under which you want to receive an SHS or VBS file
from outside your company?
If you think you might have difficulty persuading your
corporation to buy into these ideas, why not use the argument that
it will make your employer stand out as a glowing example of
digital responsibility? If they are still unconvinced, then you
might try pointing out that this policy might actually act as an
insurance for them against the threat of personal or corporate
litigation: it mitigates the risk that they might send something
inappropriate or dangerous outside the company by mistake.