Current Worldwide Computer Virus Problem - SoBig.F
By Janet Delph
Aug 22, 2003 - 12:18:00 PM

The SoBig.F virus spreads when unsuspecting computer users open file attachments in e-mails that contain familiar headings as "Thank you," "Re: Details" or "Re: approved."

Once the file is opened, SoBig.F resends itself to scores of e-mail addresses from the infected computer and signs the e-mail using a random name and address from the infected computer's address book, which makes tracing it back to the source extremely difficult. Anti-virus software is very effective at protecting your computer (though not fool proof), if you are getting returned mail messages on mail you did not send, someone with your email address in their address book has the virus, and anti-virus software is what made that message 'addressed from you' bounce.

SoBig.F also leaves a back-door program on the infected computer, which experts say may be used later to turn infected PCs into spam relay machines, as previous versions of Sob did.

What to do?

Protect yourself with anti-virus software, make sure it is automatically running when you are connected to the internet and has live updates. We at are pleased with Norton, but there are several brands to choose from.

Be suspicious of any attachment you were not expecting to receive. Receiving a 'thank you' or 'approved' message from an addresses you are unfamiliar with is a good indication there could be a problem. At Expert Magazine we do not open attachments we are not expecting and inform those who may want to send information to us to include it in the body of the email, that way we are sure to see it rather than delete it.

Last, keep abreast of developing news. Learning all you can about the problem and keeping informed is your best defense from being one of the next victims.

Janet Delph is the managing editor of and director of EXPERT Speakers and Trainers, providing training and program solutions for meetings, conventions and in-house T&D.; Contact her at 352-438-0261 or [email protected] or

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