Sophos technical support is reporting a significant number of
calls from customers affected by the W32/Magistr-A virus.
The virus can send itself via email using a randomly generated
subject line, body text and attached filename.
"This virus, unlike for instance the Kournikova worm, does not
use a standard attached filename or subject line which means it is
more difficult to tell the average man in the street what to look
out for," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for
Sophos Anti-Virus. "So our message is simple - be wary of all
unsolicited attachments. If you don't need it or aren't expecting
it, don't launch or open it."
The Magistr virus, unlike many other email-aware viruses, uses
its own SMTP client and so does not rely on Microsoft Outlook to
spread itself via email.
"Based on reports so far it looks like Magistr may be a strong
contender for being the virus most commonly reported to us by the
end of the month," added Graham Cluley. "Because of the fast way
this virus can spread users should ensure they have have updated
their installation of Sophos Anti-Virus to protect against it and -
as always - practise safe computing."
Sophos issued an IDE update to protect against W32/Magistr-A on
14 March 2001. Sophos recommends users subscribe to its free
regarding new viruses found in the wild.