Virus experts at Sophos have discovered a mass-mailing worm which offers an unusual Happy New Year message in the form of a photograph of naked bodies.
The W32/Wurmark-D worm (Wurmark-D) travels as an attachment via email. The emails pretend to be a seasonal greeting, and say that an amusing file is attached. When the attached virus is launched the worm displays a graphic image of nude men and women contorting to form the words "HAPPY NEW YEAR", however the malicious worm is secretly installing itself behind the scenes, and forwarding itself to other computer users.
The image displayed by the Wurmark-D worm.
"Once activated this worm will harvest your computer hunting for other email addresses to send itself to, and try and turn off anti-virus software," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Anyone who forgets to exercise caution before running this unsolicited email attachment could be in for a rude awakening."
Emails sent by the Wurmark-D worm have the following characteristics:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
All the best in new year from our family here is a litle attachment to make you smile in new year email me back haha...
MARY CHRISTMAS from our family
All the best in new year and christams from our family i was lauging like mad when i saw it! :D
Attached to the email is a ZIP file containing a file with one of the following names: Sexy_new_year.scr, HOT_NEW_YEAR.scr, Marry_christmas.scr, with_love.scr, From_my_hart.scr, new_year.scr, and Hot_new_year.scr
"People coming into work after a long holiday, and possibly facing a few thousand emails in their inbox, should be careful not to fall for the confidence tricks often used by computer viruses," continued Cluley.
Although there have only been a small number of reports of the Wurmark-D worm, Sophos recommends computer users ensure their anti-virus software is up-to-date, and that companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend them from the threats of both spam and viruses.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.