For the most part, a virus outbreak depends on two things. On one side there is motivation. The malicious hacker constructs the malware, cooking it up for fame, money, or some other unknown purpose. On the other side there is narcissism. Ego. Curiosity. People who can’t help but ignore the huge, red, flashing flags, people who can’t help but think someone is interested in them, or something interesting is waiting for them behind a virtual door. So they open e-mails from strangers, Nigerian princes, secret admirers.
The latest worm in this predatory war, however, typically comes from a person you know. Like the Anna Kournikova and ILoveYou worms, it infects your contact list and sends out the email in your name. Labeled the Here You Have virus, security experts warned that the virus spreading fast across the globe will become a major virus outbreak if left uncontained.
The worm appears as an e-mail message with the subject heading, “Here You Have.” Inside the e-mail will have what is ostensibly a link to a PDF. Clicking on the link will take the victim to a web page hosted on the members.multimania.co.uk domain where it will attempt to download a (.scr) file. If the user takes the final step of agreeing to download and install the file, they are infected by the worm, which then redistributes the e-mail to his or her contacts.
This led to a bogging down of many corporate e-mail systems as victims endlessly and absently spammed their cohorts, overwhelming servers. ABC News reported that some significant firms including NASA, AIG, Disney, Comcast, and Procter & Gamble had been infected by the Here You Have Virus, the virus spreading fast through these major channels.
The body of the e-mail generally says something to the affect of “Here is the document I told you about,” coaxing friends to open and spread the worm. At the time of infection, the worm swam undetected through many antivirus programs, copying itself to the computers’ local drives and drives that shared over the network, Microsoft said in its analysis of the infection. The intent of the malware is unclear.
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George Steel – Covers Internet security issues, malicious threats, computer virus threats from all around the world, and general technology breaking news for Antivirus Help Center.