With Tuesday 27th March marking the second anniversary of the
outbreak of the Melissa virus, Sophos Anti-Virus is asking what
users have learnt in this time. The recent widespread outbreaks of
viruses such as the Love Bug and the Anna Kournikova worm would
suggest that many users have failed to take heed.
In an attempt to raise user awareness, Sophos has published its
new safe computing guidelines outlining the simple steps that users
and IT administrators can take to help protect against virus
There are two versions of the guidelines available,
one for network administrators and another for everyday computer
"Many computer users are still being caught out by the same old
tricks," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos
Anti-Virus. "Anti-virus software combined with safe computing
practices can dramatically reduce your chances of virus infection.
The second anniversary of the Melissa outbreak seems a fitting time
to announce the release of these guidelines."
The Melissa virus, written by David L Smith, was one of the
first viruses to use mass-emailing techniques to spread itself
around the world. Since then, many viruses have used similar
techniques. Smith pleaded guilty in December 1999 to causing over
$80 million dollars worth of damage. However, he has not yet been
"It is surprising that the US authorities have still not dealt
with the architect of one of the world's largest virus incidents,"
added Cluley. "What sort of message is society sending to
youngsters who are considering writing and distributing