Friday, June 11, 1999

Ontrack announces success in recovering data loss as a result of worm virus

Ontrack Data International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONDI), the world leader in data recovery services, announced today that it has successfully recovered customer data lost as a result of the Worm.ExploreZip virus using in-lab and Remote Data Recovery™ methods. In the process, Ontrack experts have discovered aspects of the virus that make it nearly impossible to correct with standard utility programs and cautions users against trying them. Any activity or installation of new utilities on the infected system can overwrite potentially recoverable data.
The worm virus travels by sending e-mail messages to users and uses Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, and Microsoft Exchange to mail itself out by replying to unread messages in a user's Inbox. According to, Stuart Hanley, Ontrack Vice President of Worldwide Operations, “The complexities of this virus and the way in which it travels make it more malicious than the recent CIH and Melissa viruses.” News reports document significant damage from the virus at major corporations such as Boeing, AT&T, General Electric.
As of 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Ontrack had received thousands of reports via phone and its Web site of significant data losses. The company's data recovery experts have been working overnight and through the morning to identify solutions to the problem and are experiencing successful recoveries using its RDR and in-lab services. According to Hanley, Ontrack experts also have reported almost no success using off-shelf, undelete and other utility programs, typically available for do-it-yourself recoveries. “The virus doesn't technically delete files, but instead shrinks them to zero byte file size, rendering most undelete utilities useless,” he said.
Ontrack offers the following advice for users regarding the worm virus:
  1. Back-up important files to off-line media.
  2. Immediately delete unrecognizable e-mail attachments without opening them.
  3. In the event of a suspected data loss, do not run a recovery utility program.
  4. Enlist the services of a qualified data recovery professional.
Information about the worm virus will be updated regularly on the Ontrack Web site, www.ontrack.com.
Ontrack, the world leader in data recovery, specializes in services and software that help computer users access and recover their valuable data. Using hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques, Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from all operating systems and types of storage devices. Ontrack can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.ontrack.com or by calling 800/872-2599 (612/937-5161). In addition to its Minneapolis headquarters, Ontrack operates data recovery centers in Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington D.C., New York, Tokyo, London, Paris and Stuttgart.
ONTRACK and REMOTE DATA RECOVERY are trademarks or registered trademarks of ONTRACK Data International, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.