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21 Nov 2003

Fake PayPal emails continue to cause worm worries, Sophos warns of computer virus crime

Sophos reports that the latest versions of the Mimail worm (W32/Mimail-I and W32/Mimail-J) are continuing to spread widely, putting the credit card details of computer users at risk.

A bogus PayPal screen displayed by the W32/Mimail-I worm

The worms pose as emails from the popular online payment website Paypal, asking users to confirm their credit card information. The latest Mimail-J variant even goes so far as to request a user's social security number and their mother's maiden name. There are now a total of ten different versions of the Mimail worm reported to have infected users across the internet.

"Greed is driving criminals to exploit the internet to con as many people out of their credit card details as possible," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "All computer users should treat any unexpected request for banking information with caution, or they may end up out of pocket. Anti-virus software can protect you, but you must be as 'street-smart' on the internet as you would be in the shopping mall."

Sophos recommends that businesses filter email with a product such as Sophos PureMessage or Sophos MailMonitor to protect against virus attacks and unwanted content. Furthermore, companies should update your anti-virus software regularly and frequently so they can identify the latest threats accurately. Using a service like Sophos Enterprise Manager which can automate updates takes the stress and uncertainty out of the process.

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.