Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
In last week's Newsletter I warned you of the CIH virus, which became active on Monday 26 April. It now seems clear that CIH has hit some parts of the world more severely than others. As can be seen from this page at Data Fellow Corp., and from subsequent media reports, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey seem to have been hit hardest.
There are 3 variants of the CIH virus. One that strikes every April 26th (the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster), another one which strikes on the 26th day of every month (both of these struck last Monday) and a third one that strikes on June 26th.
These variants were all discovered in 1998, so it seems strange that they caused such destruction. The toll as reported from South Korea & Turkey is in excess of 550,000 PC's!
There are several reasons for the higher toll in certain parts of the world. First of all, pirated software reportedly carries viruses about 20% of the time, and it is well known that countries in Asia have high levels of pirated software. Another reason why the US in particular, and to a lesser extent the UK & Europe, were spared a more severe CIH outbreak was the recent Melissa saga. In both countries, a lot of companies depend on Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, and because of Melissa, everyone updated their virus scanners and scanned their systems. In many cases, the more destructive CIH virus was discovered instead of the relatively benign Melissa. Asia was not heavily affected by Melissa, thus setting the stage for CIH to go undetected.
Initial reports from the US indicate that around 10,000 of some 50 million PC's were affected, most of these were PC's belonging to college students, another group of computer users who are widely known to download "warez", or pirated software.
Oh... and in case you were wondering... they have identified the author of the virus.... a Taiwanese hacker, who was a student at The Tatung Institute of Technology when he constructed the virus. He named the virus after his initials (his name is Chen Ing-hau). He is currently serving Taiwan's two-year compulsory military service, and officials of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation said they would seek permission to question Chen.
Microsoft releases Windows 2000 Beta 3.
Microsoft officials Thursday announced the release of Windows 2000 Beta 3. More than 650,000 CDs of the operating system will be delivered to customers within three weeks. Microsoft at the same time opened the doors for consumers to buy the beta 3 release. Microsoft is asking $59.95 plus shipping for this software. With this, you will get all beta updates and the following:
- Windows 2000 Evaluation and Deployment Kit—a two-CD set with planning and technical deployment guides
- Windows 2000 Corporate Preview Guide—a manual with step-by-step installation and how-to instructions
- Limited technical support from Windows 2000-trained Microsoft support engineers. Support services vary by country
- A subscription to Windows 2000 Beta Update, an e-mail newsletter that notifies you about new technical information on the Web
- Windows 2000 Advanced Server Beta 3 for an additional $19.95 U.S.
- Multilanguage versions of Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server Beta for an additional $21.95 U.S.
- Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server code for alpha processors at no extra charge
You can check the Windows 2000 Beta 3 Hardware Compatibility List, to see if your hardware is supported at this time.
To order, visit Microsoft.