IBM & Symantec Team Up To Battle Melissa

In a move that could boost its online downloads and sales, virus protection software company Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) announced on Thursday that it is teaming up with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to help businesses fight the Melissa macro virus.

Detection and repair for the virus is already available to companies using Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus program, which can be downloaded on and used for free during a 30-day trial period. Symantec, not surprisingly, has already seen a spike in business because of Melissa.

“Norton AntiVirus has already helped millions of customers since Melissa was discovered by detecting and removing the virus and repairing infected files,” said John Bruce, vice president of alliances at Symantec. “Corporate customers also need to be able to deploy their solution effectively, thoroughly and quickly.”

Now, IBM has formed a response team to help companies that have been affected by Melissa get back to business as usual.

‘A Particularly Malicious Virus’

Symantec, which discovered the virus last Friday, calls Melissa “one of the fastest spreading and most insidious viruses ever detected.” When the virus strikes, it infects files on a computer and e-mails them to people found in the user’s address book. The virus has crippled computer systems, and there is also the concern that the virus can distribute privileged or confidential information. The FBI issued a warning about Melissa and is still investigating the situation.

“Melissa has the potential to be a particularly malicious virus,” said Michael L. Puldy, global solutions executive at IBM global services. “We have been working with customers to minimize the impact of the virus on their infrastructures. In addition to the disruption the virus could inflict on an organization, it is important for companies to be confident that the virus has been fully eradicated from their network and that there is zero likelihood of them passing it on to customers.”

Puldy says IBM technicians will work either remotely or on-site with customers. If required, the team will recommend Norton AntiVirus software.

IBM’s response team can be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]

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