FBI hunts for cause of 'Killer Resume' virus

WASHINGTON - Computer experts and the FBI pursued yet another e-mail virus Saturday, this one using a guise of a woman's work resume to threaten the world's computers.

Unlike an earlier bug that claimed to be looking for love, the new threat was discovered Friday looking for a job. The virus - called ''Killer Resume'' - is spread through e-mail systems using the Microsoft Outlook program, FBI officials said. They refused to elaborate on the investigation.

The virus could spread as businesses open overseas on Monday and in the United States on Tuesday, after Memorial Day. FBI spokesman Rex Tomb said the long holiday weekend could give corporations and computer users time to update their anti-virus programs before resuming normal operations this week.

''We have done all that we can to alert the people of the United States and the world,'' Tomb said. ''We will now have to wait and see if in fact people around the world have taken heed of the warning.''

Several corporate e-mail systems already were infected and shut down by Friday, according to reports from the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center and computer security firms.

The document used by Killer Resume is called ''EXPLORER.DOC'' or ''RESUME.DOC,'' said the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Network Associates.

The FBI advised computer users not to open e-mail with the subject line ''Resume - Janet Simons,'' to deactivate the executive summary feature in Outlook, then to delete the e-mail without opening it. The executive summary feature will select, and essentially open, an e-mail file even as a user scrolls a list of incoming messages.

Earlier this month, the ''Love Bug'' virus, and a later variation, reached millions of computers purportedly bearing a love letter. Estimates of the damage ranged up to $10 billion, mostly in lost work time.

On the Net:

FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center at http://www.nipc.gov

Network Associates: http://www.nai.com

Symantec Corporation: http://www.symantec.com/

Microsoft Outlook: http://www.microsoft.com/office/outlook/default.htm


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