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The world had never seen a computer virus spread so rapidly. Melissa,
a MS Word-based macro that replicates itself through e-mail, emerged
from nowhere to overwhelm commercial, government and military
computer systems. The FBI launched the largest Internet
man-hunt ever. The suspect David L. Smith was caught.

MelissaVirus.com appreciates the cooperation of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation
, CNET's News.com, San Jose Mercury News and
other leading resources in developing this site.

Read the Melissa Virus FAQ

Join our Melissa Virus Discussion Forum

Monday, January 05, 2009

Suspect David Smith

Timeline courtesy of ZDNN

David L. Smith, 30, of Aberdeen, N.J., has been arrested and charged with originating the e-mail virus known as Melissa. ABCNEWS' technology correspondent Gina Smith reports on the arrest. Real Video Report

Perform a quick, pre-set search for 'melissa virus':

Illustration courtesy of CNET

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation Virus Alert
    The Awareness of National Security Issues and Response (ANSIR) Program is designed for the FBI to work closely with businesses, both large and small, and alert employees to unclassified national security threats and warnings.

  • 'Melissa' Suspect Meant No Harm
    • Hacker To Plead Innocent, Lawyer Says.
    • Suspect Faces 40 Years In Prison
    • Officials Say Virus Originated In Man's Apartment
    The man charged with creating the e-mail virus called "Melissa" never intended to do anything wrong, his lawyer said Saturday. The virus infected thousands of computers and overloaded communications systems worldwide.
  • 'Papa' Virus Joins 'Melissa' - While FBI agents investigate who is behind the "Melissa" computer virus, a similar bug has been discovered. CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports.
  • How To Fight 'Melissa'
  • Computer Virus Is Spreading
    The "Melissa" virus, a computer expert estimated Monday, has infected more than 100,000 computers and hundreds of companies.
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    San Jose Mercury News / Mercury Center

  • Experts say suspect left a long trail
    Investigators believe that David L. Smith, who was arrested Friday in connection with the Melissa computer virus, is responsible for numerous viruses spread to computer systems during the past few years.
  • Racing the clock to catch `Melissa'
    Eva Chiang wasn't looking for trouble when she awoke last Friday morning. But trouble quickly found her -- and her staff of virus doctors.
  • Hackers aim for NATO's computers; no harm done yet
    BRUSSELS, Belgium -- NATO officials said Wednesday that Yugoslav computer hackers are inundating its Web site with viruses and firing off thousands of e-mails each day, overloading the site.
  • Melissa Arrest
    Melissa arrest: A New Jersey man has been arrested and charged with originating the e-mail virus known as Melissa, the state attorney general's office announced today. (This story just broke; it's likely we'll have more details as the day goes on)
  • Melissa virus traced to Florida ISP
    ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Melissa computer virus that crashed thousands of e-mail systems and snarled corporate and government communications has been traced to a Florida Internet service provider, a company spokesman said Wednesday.
  • Antivirus software companies reap benefits of Melissa bug
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Antivirus software companies will reap big benefits from the insidious Melissa computer bug that is roaming across the virtual world, mutating as it goes, analysts said Tuesday.
  • Melissa Tracked To User Name 'Sky Roket'
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The search for the creator of the widespread Melissa computer virus turned up a suspect in the form of online user name ``Sky Roket'' Tuesday. But as investigators delved into the mysterious world of computer hackers and virus writers, ``Sky Roket'' turned out to be a virtual criminal, and not a real one. The name had been stolen from an America Online Inc. user.
  • Stalking the perpetrator:
    Following the telltale digital fingerprints of the author of the rapidly spreading Melissa virus, a lone software detective has assembled a dossier suggesting that the virus writer has struck before and that the programmer's activities are already well known to computer security experts.
  • Cybersleuth Links Teen to Virus
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- As a boy growing up in the '60s, Richard Smith loved reading books about FBI agents tracking down criminals by matching typed letters with typewriters. Now as a software company president, he may have accomplished the cyberspace equivalent. Smith has found clues linking a teen-age boy with the creation of ``Melissa,'' the fastest spreading computer virus in history.
  • Net tries to shake nagging virus
    Some companies' systems hit again

CNET's News.com
  • Visit the CNET Melissa Virus Help page
  • Melissa suspect to plead not guilty
    David L. Smith, the man accused of creating and disseminating the Melissa virus, will plead not guilty, and he has changed lawyers.
  • The week in review: Melissa virus spreads
    A self-replicating virus that exploits email software to send a list of porn sites rapidly spread across the Internet, forcing some companies to shut down their email servers while spawning a host of copycats.
  • Melissa suspect arrested in New Jersey
  • AOL served with court order for Melissa info
  • Viruses play the name game
    It's antivirus software manufacturers taking cues from the virus itself who name the buggers, according to antivirus personnel from various firms.
  • Melissa's mischief hits all sides
    Although antivirus software can neutralize the virus, the original virus and a flurry of copycats are shaking up not only the antivirus community but also the virus writers themselves.
  • Melissa virus "originator" bewildered
    The owner of an America Online account that apparently was used to inject the Melissa virus into the wild says he had nothing to do with it and he is planning to close his account.
  • Melissa virus spreads in Internet time
    The Melissa virus that appeared Friday caught antivirus companies flat-footed and spread in "Internet time," according to antivirus software company Symantec.
  • Melissa virus launch identified
    A poster called "Sky Roket" launched the Melissa virus into the wilds via the newsgroup alt.sex early Friday morning, antivirus company Network Associates said today. In addition, a copycat of Melissa called "Papa" was first posted in the alt.bondage newsgroup, said Sal Viveros, group marketing manager at Network Associates.
  • Email virus spreading rapidly
    A new virus is actively spreading itself across the Internet, taking advantage of users' email address books to replicate "extremely quickly," according to one expert. The virus, W97M_Melissa, uses a combination of Microsoft Word macros and Microsoft Outlook to send a list of 80 pornographic Web sites. It works with either Word 97 or Word 2000, according to antivirus companies TrendMicro, Symantec, and Network Associates.
  • Feds issue warning as email virus spreads
    A tricky new computer virus spreading across the Internet continued to paralyze corporate email systems across the globe this morning as experts grappled with how to stop it. Network managers moved quickly over the weekend to control the virus, called W97M Melissa, which takes advantage of users' email address books to replicate extremely quickly.

CERT Advisory CA-99-04-Melissa-Macro-Virus
At the CERT Coordination Center, we study Internet security vulnerabilities, provide incident response services to sites that have been the victims of attack, publish a variety of security alerts, research security and survivability in wide-area-networked computing, and develop information to help you improve security at your site.