Worm Lurks in Nude New Year E-Mail

That New Year’s greeting with a group of naked men and women spelling outHappy New Year with their bodies could lead to more than just trouble with asignificant other. Security firm Sophos has discovered a worm hiding in thephoto attachment and named it Wurmark-D.

“The virus spreads using a couple of different e-mail subject lines withan attached ZIP file. If the user runs the program inside the ZIP theyget infected,” Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, toldTechNewsWorld.

Worm Acts While Viewer’s Distracted

As a recipient is viewing the image, the virus installs itself on thecomputer.

The virus tries to shut down any antivirus software it finds. Italso harvests e-mail addresses from the computer and forwards itself to thecontacts using its own e-mail engine.

The worm is also called W32/Wurmark-D or W32/Mugly.gen@MM.

The good news, Cluley said, is that Wurmark-D is not making much of a mark.”It’s certainly not spreading rapidly — we’ve only had a handful ofreports. The fact that it has such a visual payload probably meansthat it is less likely to spread than some of the other viruses thatare out there,” he said.

Just Another Worm

The worm is nothing unusual as malware goes.

“It’s just one of many e-mail-aware viruses that travel via a maliciousattachment,” Cluley said.

He then reiterated a caution all computer usersshould heed. “It’s really important that people learn to resistlaunching unsolicited e-mail attachments.”

So far, 2005 has not brought a major malware attack, but that does not meanthat computer users should let down their guard.

“So far it [malware activity] seems pretty normal. There have beenno new major outbreaks yet this year, but old viruses from 2004 are stillspreading successfully and causing a nuisance, and new viruses are beingreleased all the time,” he said.

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