Ian Hameroff, director of antivirus solutions at Computer Associates, says this virus first appeared in the United Kingdom and started spreading to the United States on Wednesday morning. "We received many reports from our large customers indicating that thousands of computers could be infected," and that the spread is in line with other viruses the company has deemed high risk, Hameroff says.
The virus, named Reeezak, is a mass mailer and will attempt to attach itself to E-mails it finds in an address book. It arrives with the subject line "Happy New Year" and the message reads: "Hi I can't describe my feelings But all i can say is Happy New Year :) bye"
The virus is carried within a 37,376-byte attachment named Christmas.exe. Users of Outlook 2000 and 2002 who've installed Microsoft's Security Update should not be affected by Reeezak. Most antivirus vendors have updated their software to catch Reeezak before it stifles too much holiday cheer.