Datatilsynet, the Norwegian Data Inspectorate,
apologised to subscribers of its email newsletter on computer
security earlier this week after accidentally distributing the
According to the government agency, FunLove infected its
external email server and sent itself out to 1700 subscribers of
the agency's computer security newsletter on Monday 20 January.
Ove Skaara, a spokesman for the agency, told a Norwegian
newspaper: "It is extremely embarrassing that we pushed a virus on
people who had put themselves on a news list that provides
information on data security."
Datatilsynet has confirmed that the email server was shut down
by its ISP nearly an hour after it was infected, but "unfortunately
the virus had already sent itself to everyone."
"FunLove is not a new virus - it has been doing the rounds since
1999," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos
Anti-Virus. "Unfortunate incidents like this remind all
organisations of the need to keep their anti-virus protection on
all of their computers up to date. It is reassuring to hear that
the unfortunate victim on this occasion is making steps to prevent
the likelihood of similar incidents happening in the future."
It is not the first time that the FunLove virus has been
accidentally distributed. In 2001, Warner Brothers accidentally shipped a
Powerpuff Girls DVD containing a file infected with the virus.
Other FunLove victims have included Dell and Microsoft.
Once a network is infected, FunLove can automatically spread
between all connected PCs. It also allows all users unrestricted