The Melissa worm, also known as "Mailissa", "Simpsons", "Kwyjibo", or "Kwejeebo", is a mass-mailing macro virus, hence leading some to classify it as a computer worm. First found on March 26, 1999, Melissa shut down Internet mail systems that got clogged with infected e-mails propagating from the worm. Melissa was not originally designed for harm, but it overflowed servers and caused unplanned problems.
Melissa can spread on word processors Microsoft Word 97 and Word 2000. It can mass-mail itself from e-mail client Microsoft Outlook 97 or Outlook 98. The worm does not work on any other versions of Word, including Word 95, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Word 2004 (Mac), and Microsoft Office Word 2007, nor can it mass-mail itself via any other e-mail client, even Outlook Express or Windows Mail (Outlook Express version in Windows Vista).
Melissa was first distributed in the Usenet discussion group alt.sex. The virus was inside a file called "List.DOC", which contained passwords that allow access into 80 pornographic websites. The worm's original form was sent via e-mail to many people.
The subject: "Important Message From [UserName]" (UserName is variable)
Message body: "Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)"
The message also has an attached document - the virus attaches to the document that is being edited now . As a side effect of this way of spreading, the user's documents (including confidential ones) can be sent out on the Internet.
Removal of this infection can permanently damage your system if any mistakes are made in the process. Thus, manual removal is recommended for experienced users only, such as IT specialists or highly qualified system administrators. For other users, we recommend malware and spyware removal applications.