January 19, 2001, 2:42 PM — Antivirus software provider McAfee said it has spotted an Outlook e-mail-borne computer virus nicknamed Navidad that can disrupt computer use. The virus carries an .exe file attachment that blocks use of file registries and computer functions when the victim opens it.
Navidad, a computer worm believed to have originated in Brazil, appears first as an in-box message with what looks like an "Eye" icon. When the victim runs a mouse over it, the "Eye" icon will bring up a dialog box that says in Spanish "Never press this button." If the victim does, the result is a response that says, "Unfortunately, you have given into temptation." Then, the victim's computer is largely disabled as the .exe payload runs blocking use of .exe files.
Michael Callahan, McAfee product manager, said the Navidad virus was actually discovered last Friday, but McAfee is speaking up more vigorously about this computer worm because it sees a growing number of corporations being hit by it over the last few days.
"You have to clean up each computer registry after Navidad," said Callahan, who said McAfee has an antivirus fix for the problem. The Navidad computer worm also has the habit of mailing itself back to the sender as an automated response.