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25 Jun 2003

"Punk" worm pays tribute to The Offspring: Pretty sly from a virus guy, says Sophos

OffspringSophos has received several reports of the new punk-themed W32/Magold-D worm, first seen on Monday 23rd June. Users infected by Magold-D are complaining that the slogan 'PUNK'S NOT DEAD =:-)' is appearing on their screens. The worm - which spreads by email, internet relay chat, network shares and peer-to-peer file sharing platforms - also automatically opens up the website of The Offspring, the US's premier skater punks, whose chart successes include 'Pretty fly for a white guy'.

In order to encourage users to run the infected attachment, the virus writer falsely claims that it includes video footage of a female contestant on a popular Hungarian reality TV show taking a shower.

"This tribute to The Offspring is a far cry from pinning posters to your bedroom wall or playing air guitar in front of your mirror," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. "But rather than using the sexual allure of these rockers to entice users into double-clicking on the infected attachment, the virus writer has opted for the age-old trick of promising female nudity."

"The good news is Magold-D is easy to spot as its subject line is pure gobbledygook to those who don't speak Hungarian. To prevent infection, businesses are reminded to block executable files at the email gateway and to keep their anti-virus protection up-to-date," continued Cluley.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.