What is Melissa Virus? How to Stay Protected from them

August 19, 2018 | By Natasha Devotta
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Melissa Virus

Melissa is a macro virus that was wide-spread through a suspicious e-mail attachment in 1999. It was initially sent as a Microsoft Word file, which when clicked to open, emailed the malicious content to another 50 contacts of the victim’s address book.

It does not infect any of the files or any other computer resources, while it distorts the email servers as the wavelet of the email dispersal begins to grow bigger n bigger. Reports reveal, that the Melissa attack has spawned the Microsoft Corporation to close down and stop incoming emails on March 26th 1999.

It does not infect any of the files or any other computer resources, while it distorts the email servers as the wavelet of the email dispersal begins to grow bigger n bigger. Reports reveal, that the Melissa attack has spawned the Microsoft Corporation to close down and stop incoming emails on March 26th 1999.

How Melissa Works

Melissa comes in the form of genuine looking attachment to the user’s email with a subject mentioned as “Important message from the person’s name” and the body text -“Here is that document you asked for…don’t show anyone else ;-)”.The attachment comes in the name LIST.DOC. When the victim tries and opens the attachment, the malicious file moves in to the computer storage. The file incepted in an Internet newsgroup while it contains a actalog of passwords for a range of websites that demands a membership. The malicious file holds a script in Visual Basic. It generates an entry in Windows registry:
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice”Melissa?”=”…by Kwyjibo”
The malware then generates an outlook object deploying the Visual Basic Code, that helps to access the 50 contacts from each Address Book while the malicious mails are sent to the 50 contacts with the malicious attachment which causes the same infection. This virus targets only Outlook. This virus impairs the existing security system
In certain cases, the following text is written at the existing cursor position which states:
“Twenty-two points, plus triple-word score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game’s over. I’m outta here.”

How to Prevent Melissa

You cannot avoid receiving and reading e-mails – be wary and do not open attachments if you find them suspicious. Especially if you get an email with “Important Message from [the name of someone],” and do not attempt to open an attachment especially if you find a doc with the name LIST.DOC – do not click on it. Make a note of the email address of the sender and delete the email. Inform the sender that the computer is infected.

What are the Symptoms of Melissa Attack

The following are the basic symptoms

Unpredictable behaviour of computer
Uncertain error messages
Windows showing Blue screen errors
A downtime in system performance
When programs abruptly stops responding
Random Spam messages
Abrupt deletions of files and folders

How to stay protected from Melissa? 

Install an efficient antivirus software or an internet secuirty suite like Comodo Internet Security Suite as it features robust threat and virus protection techniques like containment and malware verdict system called the valkyrie. which can help users to filter out even the most notorious unknown and zero day threats from infecting the normal operations of the system. Also update all the software as and when there is a patch release from the vendor – this can be done by configuring the system for automatic updates so that you will not miss on any updates. Enable the antivirus protection always enabled to ensure absolute protection from virus.

Comodo Free Antivirus

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