May 1, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Scientists say they have the first direct evidence that viruses can mutate and become deadly because of nutritional deficiencies in the hosts they infect.In their experiments, researchers found that a human virus normally harmless to mice mutated and became a heart-damaging agent in mice suffering from a nutritional deficiency. Once changed, they said, the virus also was able to infect and damage the hearts of nutritionally well-balanced mice.This is the first time that a nutritional deficiency in a host has been shown to alter viruses to make them permanently more virulent, the scientists said in a report published in the May 1 issue of the journal Nature Medicine.
March 9, 1992
A few years ago I made a fool of myself by writing all kinds of purple prose about a Columbus Day virus that was supposed to pop up and destroy the hard disks of thousands of computers around the world.As it turned out, something like 17 cases of Columbus Day virus mayhem were actually confirmed, which was undoubtedly less than the number of PC's trashed that day by klutzes who stumbled into their desks and knocked their computers onto the floor.For that reason, I resolved not to join the hysteria over the so-called Michelangelo virus, which was triggered on Friday, the great artist's birthday.
August 27, 2001
Is there no sure inoculation for all these computer viruses? Seems not. But the Web can tell you a lot about them, why they exist, and what to do (and not do) about them. CERT On any given day, this site can set you quivering with fear over the latest viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other malicious computer attacks. CERT means "computer emergency response team," we think. We couldn't find it spelled out on the site. www.cert.org/ VIRUS FAQS Don't know the Morris worm from the ILOVEYOU virus?
February 27, 1991
Computer viruses have not been in the headlines lately, but that does not mean they have gone away. They tend to pop up around days such as Halloween or Friday the 13th or Easter, because many of them are timed to lie dormant until a certain date.Viruses, little snippets of rogue code hidden in legitimate application programs that spread by reproducing themselves, are actually very rare.The average home or small business personal computer user has about as much chance of getting infected with a virus as of getting hit by lightning.
May 8, 1995
The NBC promotional campaign for "Robin Cook's Virus" calls the made-for-TV movie, which is based on Cook's best seller, "Outbreak," timely and cutting edge.The film, an apocalyptic vision about a deadly virus falling into the wrong hands and spreading like wildfire around the world, wants to be a high-tech, new age version of the killer bees story: They're coming, better get ready!But in reality "Virus," airing at 9 tonight on WBAL (Channel 11), is more like low-tech and middle-aged.It's one of those films that for two hours exploits collective fears about such unknowns as flesh-eating viruses.
March 2, 1992
The name Michelangelo usually conjures up images of great and majestic works of art. These days the name is more likely to conjure up images of destroyed data and ravaged computers.Computer owners and computer users around the world are on the lookout for an insidious virus, named for the famed artist, that is set to wreak havoc on March 6, Michelangelo's birthday."We are trying to save as many machines and as much data as possible," says Patricia M. Hoffman of Santa Clara, Calif., an authority on detecting and neutralizing computer viruses.