strain of the PrettyPark virus is creating havoc on the Internet this
week. If a user's desktop computer becomes infected with it, the result
is that it connects the user's computer to chat rooms, and sends private
system information out for public viewing.
have been some reports of desktops being connected to more than one chat
server at a time. If the infected desktop cannot find a chat server to
connect to, it tries to connect to another one. In some cases, up to 90,000
hosts have been reported trying to connect to a chat room server at one
time. The virus is spread through e-mail and makes modifications to the
registry of a user's Windows desktop without their knowledge. The registry
on a Windows machine is akin to the kernel on a Unix machine. These areas
of a computer are the heart of the operating system, and should not be
changed or updated by novice users.
It is thought that this virus originated in May of last year from France.
virus has the capability to dramatically increasing traffic on a company's
network infrastructure. For sites that pay bandwidth usage charges to
their Internet Service Provider, this virus has the potential to significantly
increase usage charges if enough desktops are affected. Some of the chat
servers the virus was programmed to connect to include servers on the
following corporate networks: AOL, Verio, ANet, CIFNet, and Stealth Communications.
With numerous reports of PrettyPark running rampant, now would be a good
time for users to make sure their Anti-Virus scanner is up to date. All
reputable Anti-Virus scanners have a feature that keeps them up-to-date
with the latest virus inoculations. If your desktop starts displaying
a 3D pipe screensaver, and this is not a screensaver you had previously
setup or enabled, there is a good chance that PrettyPark has infected
alternative to running anti-virus scans on the desktop, is to run them
on the messaging server. This way, viruses are discovered and inoculated
more expeditiously and the cleanliness of the systems, networks, and cyberspace
is not left up to user's discretion. The gist of this approach is that
it is more work for network administrators, and less work for the users,
however, the benefits to all adjacent LANs and WANs is far more substantial.