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Message subject : ILOVEYOU worm and the NewLove worm

This message was posted by kit on May 28, 2000 :

All the versions of the ILOVEYOU worm and the NewLove worm use the same programming language called Windows Scripting Host (WSH). It is designed to let you automate tasks on your computer but has not been very widely used. WSH is an optional part of Windows 95 and 98 that can be removed from you computer. Once it's removed then the "Love" viruses can't do their dirty work—but then neither can any other systems that use the WSH.

So, is removing the WSH a good idea? Good question, and there's no straight answer since it depends on your situation. Let's look at the pros and cons.

Removing the WSH will stop the ILOVEYOU strain of viruses in their tracks. No damage to your computer files or sending itself to others via e-mail.

The WSH is a bit like a loaded gun sitting on your computer waiting for an evil-doer to come along.

There's no immediate effect when you remove the WSH, things seem to work as normal.

Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer don't need the WSH in their normal operations.

Removing the WSH is simple to do, here are the details.


You may harm the way your software works if it can't find the WSH when it needs it. There's no simple way to find out if programs need the WSH—but mostly they don't.

If a program needs the WSH, it may display a simple message saying that it can't work and why. But unfortunately the error message may not be clear and you could waste a lot of time tracking down a problem that may nor may not be WSH related.

There are plenty of other viruses out there that don't need WSH. You could be lulled into a false sense of security thinking that you're immune to virus attack—not so.

For companies with large numbers of computers removing the WSH may be a viable option. Since the network administrators know which programs run on the in-house machines they can work out if the WSH is needed, if not it can be removed.

Outside these narrow confines it is a difficult call. Windows is such an integrated monster that removing one core part can have strange and unexpected consequences—if you are not confident in configuring your computer then it is potentially a confusing choice to make. If you do decide to remove the WSH, be watchful of any unexpected consequences like a program that doesn't work properly.

There are other ways to protect yourself from the ILOVEYOU worm than the extreme option of removing the WSH. Having an up-to-date anti-virus program running and being careful of any incoming e-mail attachments will give you broader virus protection and won't have unexpected effects on your computer.

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