An estimated 10% of businesses in the UK have been affected in some way by the file innocuously named ‘LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs’.
Leader of the House of Commons, Margaret Beckett,confirmed that the virus had hit Westminster’s email servers. ‘Sadly, this affectionate greeting contains a virus which has immobilised the House’s internal communication system,’ she said.
Among other organisations affected were BT, the Cabinet Office, the Daily Express newspaper and the Big Five accountancy firm KPMG, who were forced to shut down their email system for the day to protect themselves from attack.
A KPMG computer systems employee told AccountancyAge.com he expected to be working late into the night to ensure the system was clean and that email servers were ready in time for tomorrow. Employees were earlier told not to open Microsoft Outlook, the email application thought to be most susceptible.
Other firms including Grant Thornton and PwC said their systems had been unaffected by the virus.
Computer viruses are programs designed to damage and destroy important data on your PC. But, today’s viruses often use email to move to as many desktops as quickly as possible.
Already tagged ‘The Love Bug’, today’s threat arrives via an email with the subject line ‘I LOVE YOU’. Attached to that email is a file which triggers the same mail to be sent to all the names in the recipients address book.
It is now believed that the malicious file originated in the Philippines and spread West rapidly as people in different time zones began logging on to their networks. The bug poses a real threat to the US where systems departments have braced themselves for a difficult day.
Last year the deadly Melissa virus caused an estimated $80m worth of damage in the US alone.
AccountancyAge.com’s technical team suggests that if you do receive the email you should not open it and delete it immediately.
If businesses do not take cyber security seriously in their business planning regulators may do it for them, the ICAEW has warned
The Financial Reporting Council has issued guidance regarding the annual reporting of 1,200 large and smaller listed companies. The letter highlighted the key issues and improvements that can be made in the 2016 reporting season
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast
Company bosses are considering relocating operations or headquarters away from the UK following the country's decision to leave the European Union