World Cup virus aims to foul football fans

Sophos Press Release

Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection, today advised computer users of the threat posed by a new virus which tries to exploit workers desperate to find out the latest scores from the World Cup in S Korea/Japan.

The VBS/Chick-F virus spreads via email and internet relay chat posing as a web utility to see up-to-the-minute results from the football championship.

"Whoever wrote this virus is aiming to exploit football fans around the world, hungry for news about their team's progress," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "System administrators should ensure that staff who forget to feign illness and actually turn up at work don't incur the penalties a virus infection can bring."

The new virus typically arrives in an email with the subject "RE: Korea Japan Results". If the recipient runs the attached file and follows its instructions to enable ActiveX the worm will attempt to spread via Internet Relay Chat and forward itself to everyone in the user's address book.

Sophos has received no reports of the virus in the wild to date, but notes that it comes just days after it warned companies of the dangers of lax security during the World Cup competition. Sophos advises users to keep their anti-virus protection up-to-date and to be suspicious of all unsolicited email attachments.

In 1998, in the run-up to the World cup competition in France, another football-inspired virus asked infected victims to gamble on who the winner might be, and if the user did not choose the right team triggered a warhead which was capable of wiping all the data off the hard drive.

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K., and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SOPH.” More information is available at