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Tracking a new virus that arrives via e-mail
Scripps Howard News Service


January 31, 2006

Computer-security investigators are tracking a new virus that arrives via e-mail and is timed to destroy data Friday - and the third day of each month thereafter.

"It's a throwback to the early days. We don't often see worms these days that are just out to trash user's data," said Vincent Weafer, senior director of Symantec's security response division.

Weafer said the virus was first discovered Jan. 16.

"It's been seen more in Europe than in the United States, but it's a worldwide event," Weafer said.

It is unusual because the latest generations of worms and viruses that computer hackers have been using do not want to be noticed, don't cause damage, and only seek to operate stealthily to steal information.

Weafer said this is a worm that can do moderate damage, but doesn't rank at the top of malevolent computer viruses.

The virus is triggered to do its task on every third day of the month. It destroys data on the computer by overwriting certain files and also attempts to disable virus-scanning programs. The virus replicates itself by harvesting information from e-mail lists on infected computers and sending messages that include copies of itself.

The unwanted program is known as the Kama Sutra after the sex-related come-hither invitation used in one of the e-mails to persuade curious computer users to open the message and release the worm. It has several other names, including Blackworm.


Contact Lance Gay at GayL(at)
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

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