The Melissa virus is back. Melissa is a macro virus; your computer can become infected with Melissa by opening a document carrying the virus, and one of the things that the virus does is to e-mail out infected documents to everyone in your address books. The new version of Melissa is more dangerous; if you catch the virus, it will damage your computer in addition to propagating itself.

Remember when the last Melissa arrived with a subject line saying Important Message from <name of sender> and body text saying “Here is that document you asked for … don’t show anyone else ;-),”? Well, the new version of Melissa has the subject line pictures, and body text saying “what’s up?” If you receive such a message, please DELETE THE MESSAGE and notify the CCS Help Desk at (651) 962-6230 if it was sent by someone at St. Thomas. (If it’s after hours, just leave a message.)

Please note that it’s safe to open the e-mail message itself. However, if you open the attached Word file, you will become infected with the Melissa virus, and if you have Outlook installed, the virus will use Outlook to spread to others.

For more information on protecting yourself from macro viruses, please see the information on the CCS web site at http://department.stthomas.edu/ccs/www-virus/macro-protection.htm.