Melissa Virus

What Does Melissa Virus Mean?

The Melissa virus is a macro virus that was spread through email attachments in 1999. It was originally contained within a Microsoft Word file that, once opened, emailed the virus to 50 addresses within the victim’s address book. Although the original Melissa had no malicious payload, variants soon appeared that could delete or destroy Microsoft Excel documents.


The Melissa virus may also be known as Mailissa, Simpsons, Kwyjibo or Kwejeebo.

Techopedia Explains Melissa Virus

The original Melissa increased the overall burden on email servers every time it infected a new user and eventually resulted in server overload, turning Melissa into a denial of service (DOS) attack. Most of the damages associated with Melissa were the result of lost productivity while email servers were down.

Several sources reported that the designer of the virus, David Smith, named Melissa after a Miami stripper he admired.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…