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08 Feb 2001

Herbie rides again - but Sophos says Italian lingo will limit this Love Bug's journey

The virus sends emails in Italian.

Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection, has warned users to be wary of unexpected emails from their friends speaking Italian. A new variant of the infamous Love Bug virus, VBS/LoveLet-CD (also known as Cartolina), has been reported in the wild, but Sophos expects that it will not spread far due to its use of Italian phrases.

"Cartolina is another reminder that users should be cautious of all e-mail attachments, even when they know who the sender is," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Think before you click - ask yourself 'why is Ken from Walsall writing to me in Italian?'. Despite the Italians' amorous reputation, this is one Latin love letter users should avoid."

The VBS/LoveLet-CD virus is a variation of the Love Bug which struck last May. It spreads by copying itself to everyone in the infected user's address book. The virus arrives with the subject line "c'e una cartolina per te", Italian for "here is a postcard for you". However, as it does not use English language, Sophos predicts it is extremely unlikely to have a similar impact to the original Love Bug outbreak of May 2000.

Sophos customers who have kept their anti-virus software up-to-date are automatically protected against VBS/LoveLet-CD. Users of other anti-virus products are recommended to update their software.

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