Bug Analysis: Why PCs Are Easy Targets

Pop quiz: what do the names Laroux, Ethan, Marker, Melissa, Chernobyl, Class, Footer, Form, Happy99 and Explore.zip have in common? O.K., pencils down. Score one point if you said they're all horrible little computer viruses. Score two if you guessed they were the Top 10 digital infections of 1999. And award a dozen bonus points if you worked out the most important and terrifying connection: like the Love Bug, every last one e-mailed its way into our PCs using Microsoft software as a carrier.

Laroux arrives as an unassuming Microsoft Excel file known as a macro. Ethan, Marker, Class and Footer...

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