Scarlet Pruitt, IDG News Service
LONDON--Internet users alarmed over news of Michael Jackson's death or
dark conspiracies behind the demise of Pope John Paul II should
perhaps just be worried that they received another new e-mail worm.
Researchers at security firm Sophos today warned of the spread of the
Kedebe-F e-mail worm, which carries a variety of subject headers and
messages touting breaking news. However, users who click on the
attached file could have their security software and firewall
disabled, according to Sophos.
Possible messages include "someone sent me this document which is
stolen from a secret government body ... about John Paul's death."
Other messages try to entice recipients into opening the attached file
by claiming Michael Jackson has died,(lurid picures attached!) Osama
bin Laden has been captured by U.S. soldiers, (more pictures of him
being led away by police!) or the MyDoom e-mail worm author has been
arrested by Microsoft,(still more lurid pictures!) Sophos said.
Using supposed "breaking news" to persuade users to open a message and
click on an attachment is a long-favored method among virus writers,
according to Graham Cluley, Sophos's senior technology consultant.
"This is a fairly common trick. It doesn't take Albert Einstein to
think this one up," Cluley said.
Although the worm is currently slow-spreading, Cluley flagged it as an
example of the kinds of social-engineered threats that users should
watch out for.
The worm spreads via e-mail or peer-to-peer file sharing networks. It
appears to be targeted at both news hounds and geeks, with mentions of
the MyDoom worm, Cluley said. Also, it spreads on P-to-P networks by
copying itself to the directory for sharing information on the server,
purporting to be source code for the Sasser worm.
Users are advised to update their antivirus software to fight the threat.
Copyright 2005 PC World Communications, Inc.
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