the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( fbi ), arrested David L Smith, a New Jersey resident, responsible for developing the e -mail computer virus Melissa. Smith was held after the state police and the fbi conducted a joint investigation and traced him through his America Online account.
Melissa has caused worldwide chaos in the computer world. It targets the users of Microsoft Word 97 and Word 2000. When the recipient of the mail containing the virus opens the message, it replicates itself sending messages to the first 50 people in the recipient's address list. It appears to be a very important message and once opened, creates havoc. It can corrupt the mail files, disable the e -mail system or swamp an e -mail server.
However, what is more dangerous now are the variants of Melissa and its copies. The variants are difficult to detect for an ordinary user as they are without any distinctive identification signs. The new Melissa mutant is called w97m_melissa.a.