A number of viruses have been reported to strike on 25 Dec 99 or 1 Jan 2000. To protect computers from such attacks, IDA would like to remind the public to be vigilant during this period and use anti-virus ...
Singapore, 23 Decmeber 1999 | For Immediate Release
Issued by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT)
A number of viruses have been reported to strike on 25 Dec 99 or 1 Jan 2000. To protect computers from such attacks, IDA would like to remind the public to be vigilant during this period and use anti-virus software that are updated with the latest virus signature files. The public is also advised not to run executable programs (those that end with *.exe) that are received through electronic means such as electronic mail.
In particular, the public should be wary of malicious programs that masquerade themselves as solution programs to solve Y2K issues. Do not download or execute any program that purports to fix Y2K problems without proper verification of its source. The following websites from anti-virus vendors have documented such masquerading programs with embedded viruses that will activate around 1 Jan 2000.
Symantec SARC Year 2000 Awareness Centre http://www.symantec.com/
McAfee Y2K Viruses http://www.mcafee.com/
Trend Micro Y2K Virus Watch http://www.trendmicro.com/
In addition to using updated anti-virus software, IDA recommends the following safe-computing habits to reduce the chances of virus infections:
- Do not execute or forward software that are delivered via email or downloaded from the World Wide Web, without scanning by an updated anti-virus software.
- Enable the Macro Virus Protection in Microsoft Word. This can be activated via the Macro Virus Protection check box under the Tools/Options/General menu of Microsoft Word.
- Perform regular backups of important data onto a removable media such as a diskette.
- Make the "normal.dot" file Read-only. Most macro viruses need to modify the Word file "normal.dot" to spread themselves among Word documents. By making this file Read-only, it cannot be modified. Use the "Find Files" function to locate the file, right click on it, select properties, and check the box labelled "Read-only".
Members of the public can visit the anti-virus websites listed below to obtain or verify information on viruses or possible hoaxes that may have been received via emails
Symantec Virus Activation Calendar
McAfee Virus Calendar
Symantec Virus Encyclopaedia
McAfee Virus Information Library (VIL)
Trend Micro Virus Encyclopaedia
Symantec website on Virus Hoaxes
Trend Micro Hoax Encyclopaedia
If a virus does strike, the various virus encyclopaedia on the Internet may also be consulted for solutions. If necessary, the public can also call SingCERT at tel: 874-6666 for assistance. SingCERT is set up by IDA and the National University of Singapore (NUS) to assist companies in handling computer incidents such as computer hacking and viruses. It regularly alerts and educates users about viruses on its website at http://www.singcert.org.sg.
As of mid-December this year, about 30 different types of virus infection had been reported to SingCERT, up from about 10 cases last year. Among these, the CIH or Chernobyl virus was reported to have caused the most damage when it struck in April 99 and erased the BIOS chips or hard-disks of many computers. Despite the increase in number of virus infection cases, SingCERT's General Manager, Mr Goh Seow Hiong said, "Singaporeans are now more aware of the potential damage and harm such viruses can cause. Hence they have become more conscious about the need for and usefulness of anti-virus software and good practices to prevent infection. It is a good sign that the public is becoming more aware of how to protect themselves against virus infection."
ANNEX A : LIST OF KNOWN Y2K VIRUSES
Knowledge is your best defense! Wonder what are the Y2K viruses that will activate around this period?
24 Dec 99 (Christmas Eve)
25 Dec 99 (Christmas)
31 Dec 99 (New Year Eve)
1 Jan 2000 (Beginning of New Year)
3 Jan 2000 (Mon)
4 Jan 2000 (Tues)
5 Jan 2000 (Wed)
18 Jan 2000 (Tues)
24 Jan 2000 (Mon)
26 Jan 2000 (Wed)