News In Brief

AN ALARMING SITUATION

Illinois Gov. Jim Ryan's gift to his state's delegates in Philadelphia turned into the ticking time bomb of the Republican National Convention. Although Ryan had notified the Adam's Mark Hotel, where the delegates are staying, that he was sending a shipment of clocks, one employee called the police when he heard them doing what clocks do. The hotel guests - in a city braced for convention-related trouble - were ordered evacuated. Ryan apologized.

HEY, I GOT MY MONEY BACK

It was either a pang of conscience or self-interest: James Brummett doesn't care. He's just grateful that an unknown person redeposited $250 in his bank account. Brummett accidentally left his ATM card in a Seattle-area bank cash machine. Later, reviewing his account, he found someone else had used the card to withdraw that sum - then promptly returned it. Now, it's possible the mystery user repented. Or, more likely, noticed the bank's surveillance camera.

Stages, Love Bug viruses still stymie computers

Sophos Inc., a developer of antivirus software, receives regular reports from computer users on what gives them problems. From those, it compiles a monthly list of the worst viruses. The top viruses for July, ranked by the percentage of reports on each, along with condensed descriptions Sophos provides on its Web site (www.us.sophos.com):

1. VBS/Stages-A: Sends an e-mail with these subject lines: "Fw:," "Life Stages," "Funny," "Jokes" and "text." 7.9%

2. VBS/Kakworm: Exploits security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook. 5.7%

3. VBS/LoveLet-G: Wreaked havoc in May. 5.0%

(tie) WM97/Marker-O: Creates chance of a file summary box appearing with the author name set to Ethan Frome. 5.0%

5. WM97/FF-F: Prevents Windows 95/98 from booting up correctly. 4.3%

(tie) WM97/Panther-B: Uses the variable name "HappyPanther," among others. 4.3%

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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