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Tech Talk

Virus creators at it again
Scripps Howard News Service


November 23, 2005

When was the last time you received an email form the FBI or the CIA?

The blood-sucking, vermin virus creators are at it again, this time spreading a new scourge via email that warns unsuspecting victims they've been observed visiting illegal Web sites.

The new virus, more commonly known as worm-sober-AG is launched once you click on an attachment that supposedly contains a questionnaire about the sites.

According to the folks at Trend Micro, "At least two of the English versions of WORM-SOBER.AG spoof the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Central Intelligence Agency, alerting the user that the agency has found evidence of the user visiting 'more than 30 illegal Websites,' and asks them to complete the attached 'questionnaire'. Launching the attachment activates the Worm. The email promises more details of the case in the attached file.

"Another version promises a free download of 'video clips, pictures and more' of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, stars of 'The Simple Life' reality television series in the United States. Attachments are disguised as zipped files.

"WORM-SOBER.AG can download and run executable files from certain Web sites that it points to. However, this worm does not seem to have any backdoor capabilities."

Fortunately my SPAM blocker and anti-virus software were able to cut down this vermin in its tracks, but it - again - emphasizes the need to constantly update the protection for your PC.

I've noticed more and more PC users aren't renewing their subscriptions to anti-virus providers to keep their computers protection up to date. Unfortunately, the rapidly expanding threats delivered by email or even attached to certain Web sites make it a necessity.

Even free services such as the basic protection offered by ZoneLabs (, the creators of Zone Alarm, can help you avoid the heartbreak of having to reformat your hard drive after a virus attack.

In the past I have also recommended Symantec's Norton Internet Security Suite ($69.99) or System Works ($99.95) and Internet protection software from Panda ($14.95 to 24.95 per month).

Whatever you choose to do: Install it, update it and above all, sleep peacefully at night knowing you're fully protected.


(Contact Mike Berman at jocgeek(at) or through his Web site at
(E-mail Mike Berman at mberman(at) or visit

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Ketchikan, Alaska