En garde says Sophos: protecting the innocent

November 05, 2003 Sophos Press Release

Sophos, a world-leader in anti-virus and anti-spam protection for businesses, is advising users to be on their guard for a range of new variants of the Mimail virus, which can mount denial of service (DoS) attacks against a number of servers on the internet.

The Mimail-C and Mimail-F variants attack servers associated with on-line gaming, whilst the Mimail-E and Mimail-H variants attack servers involved in the fight against spam.

"Protection against viruses is important enough for your own network," said Paul Ducklin, Head of Technology, Asia Pacific at Sophos in Sydney. "But when infection can lead to collateral damage against other innocent parties, the precautions you take become important for the internet as a whole."

Sophos also advises that the recently-discovered Sober-A virus, which sends out emails in English or German according to your internet domain, remains the most commonly reported virus over the past 24 hours. Mimail (in its several variant forms) comes in second place.

Fortunately, the Torvil virus, which claims to offer "real outtakes" from the popular TV show Sex & the City, has yet to make itself known in Australia and New Zealand.

"Emails making raunchy promises have been successful in helping to spread viruses in the past," says Ducklin, who notes that a range of female stars such as Anna Kournikova, Avril Lavigne and Kylie Minogue have been exploited by virus writers in the past. "Let's hope that the Torvil virus has failed to take hold at least in part because of increased vigilance by users," he added.