The Klez worm is a serious threat to anyone using e-mail. It deletes your programs and e-mails itself to people in your address book.
Although definitions differ, a worm is generally considered a standalone program that spreads via a network. It may require that you open the program for it to work, or it may be able to spread itself without user intervention. A virus, on the other hand, attaches itself to a program and runs when the program is started. Both worms and viruses can replicate themselves, and they generally cause intentional damage to the software on your computer.
The Klez worm arrives as an e-mail attachment. It can only propagate if you open the attachment. Here is a typical example of this worm as it was received with our favorite e-mail program, Eudora. We've replaced the actual e-mail addresses in the header with "xx" to avoid embarrassing innocent people:
The actual threat is the attachment, which was named picacu.exe. However, the subject, the message text, and the name of the attachment all vary. Even the size of the attachment varies, although it always seems to be between 80 and 100K.
Here's another message that arrived with the Klez worm attached. It claims to be a program to stop the worm, and advises you to ignore any virus warnings!
To protect yourself, be sure you have the latest security updates for your e-mail program. This is especially true of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, because they are the most frequent target of virus attacks. Older versions could open attachments automatically, which can be disastrous.
The fact that you have this dangerous file on your computer is not a problem so long as you don't open it. You may want to install antivirus software, or other software that checks attachments, like ZoneAlarm, to be sure that you don't open the file by accident.
If you use Eudora, get Version 5.1. It can warn you if you try to open an attachment outside of Eudora. We learned about this new feature after accidentally opening a worm we received while using an earlier version.
RTG Scripts is a new product from RTG. RTG Scripts was designed to automate tasks involving RTG Bills and RTG Timer. Scripts are small programs. They can start other programs, choose menu items, enter text, and do other tasks that people normally do.
RTG Scripts comes with a variety of useful scripts. For example, one script looks for problems in the RTG Bills database. It warns you of missing timekeeper initials or abbreviations, clients or matters with no name, rate tables with a zero rate for some timekeepers, and more. The results are presented as a report that you view in your Web browser. Click here to view a sample of this report.
A more complex script checks each matter to see if it is overdue for 30, 60, 90, or 120 days. The number of days is a variable that you set before you run the script. It creates a report (in a text file) for each billing timekeeper with a list of their overdue matters. Optionally, it can send each billing timekeeper an e-mail message containing the report. Click here for a sample.
RTG Scripts uses the Microsoft Windows Script Host, a feature of Windows itself, to execute scripts. The script language is Microsoft's VBScript. Anyone with a knowledge of VBScript can write new scripts. However, we expect that most people will use RTG Scripts to run the scripts that RTG provides.
Features of RTG Scripts
Report Script Wizard
Selecting a date works a little differently in the Wizard. Instead of an actual date, such as January 1, 2002, you would specify "the start of this year." Here's what the date selection window looks like after you click the This Year button:
By specifying YearStart instead of the actual date, the script will always supply January 1 of the correct year when you actually use the script to create the report.
Since the script can create a report without user input, the Windows Task Scheduler can run the report for you. You can create reports at night and review them in the morning.
An Add-On Product For RTG Bills
We feel that RTG Scripts is a significant enhancement to the power of RTG Bills, RTG Timer, and RTG Reports. We realize, however, that not everyone who uses RTG Bills will need its capabilities, so RTG Scripts will be sold separately.
RTG Scripts will be released soon. If you have purchased RTG Bills and we have a valid e-mail address for you, we'll let you know when it is available. The price will be $75.