Allegedly named after a topless dancer in Florida, the computer
virus dubbed Melissa wreaked havoc in cyberspace last week.
It caused the temporary closure of systems at Microsoft and Intel, and
interfered with NATO communications during attacks on Belgrade.
Politicians were publicly embarrassed as lists of pornographic web sites
were sent to constituents and donors, and lost productivity caused
millions of pounds worth of damage.
Melissa’s achievement in gaining worldwide notoriety in a matter of days
could be viewed as a resounding accomplishment. But were there any
Computer hackers and virus-creators may have celebrated the latest
victory of security infringement and a ’free cyberspace’. But the FBI,
aided by programming wizards eventually got its man.
However, the real benefactors were anti-virus software producers who,
following the Easter antics, can probably expect a further boost to
their pounds 1 billion industry profits seen last year.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: