You've got kinky, salacious, virus-bearing mail, you sick puke!

The most recent Internet-borne computer disease appeals to the weakness in our flesh.

Published March 7, 2001 11:00PM (EST)

On Tuesday, the "FW: Naked Wife" computer virus spread its lurid disease to at least 30 organizations and one federal agency, according to the Associated Press. Among other nastiness, one expert says the virus -- which is no doubt still causing much feverish mouse clicking across the land -- "essentially destroys your Windows operating system" if you click on its evil attachment.

Susan Orbach, spokeswoman for Trend Micro, a computer security firm, characterized the salaciously named digital disease as "social engineering to take advantage of our baser instincts." And that, my friends, is a business plan you can take to the bank. Yes, "Naked Wife" really breaks this whole virus thing wide open, and makes earlier viruses, like "ILOVEYOU" and "Anna Kournikova" seem downright innocent, almost altruistic.

Consider where this thing can go now: Just try to control your hand as -- Strangelove-like -- it lunges at the mouse as new and diabolical virus-bearing messages pop up in your in box. As with so many previous technological revolutions, exactly how to cash in on this one remains somewhat unclear, but with attachment names that trade on the weakness in our flesh, the fire in our loins and a host of weirdnesses none of us will admit we harbor, it's only a matter of time before untold wealth will follow this latest craze.

Here are a few suggestions for subject heads that some may find irresistible, and of course we'd love to hear yours.

FW: ShavedWombatinLingerie
FW: hotrhinosex
FW: Nuns&SteamingSpatulas
FW: DubyainDiapersinJuarezin1977
FW: I'mHavingYourBaby
FW: FurryAnnaNicoleSmith
FW: NunsVacuuming
FW: FurryRichardSimmons
FW: You'reHavingMyBaby
FW: NakedLabradorRetriever
FW: LactatingMeatLoaf
FW: JamesGandolfiniInaThong
FW: TedKoppelGigglingUncontrollably
FW: NakedWifeWithNakedSchnauzer
FW: NakedWifeWithClothed Schnauzer
FW: NunsVacuumingShavedWombatsinLingerie

And so on. Be honest now -- when news of these operating system eating viruses hits the streets, it's comforting to sit back smugly and say, "I'd never be so stupid as to click on such a thing." But look me in the eye: Isn't there at least one of the above you'd simply have to take a closer look at?

That's what I thought.

By Douglas Cruickshank

Douglas Cruickshank is a senior writer for Salon. For more articles by Cruickshank, visit his archive.

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