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27 Feb 2004

Janet Jackson's Superbowl wardrobe malfunction inspires new virus, Sophos comments

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, in happier pre-'wardrobe malfunction' times

Anti-virus researchers at Sophos have discovered a new worm, Synpapse (W32/Synpapse-A), which masquerades as seedy snaps and movies of female celebrities. The worm uses a number of filenames, including 'Janet Jackson Superbowl XXX', in order to dupe computer users into opening the malicious code. The worm spreads via instant messaging and by popular file sharing platforms such as KaZaA.

"I'm afraid that computer users clicking on this file are much more likely to see a computer, rather than wardrobe, malfunction," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos. "One of the cyber-underground's favourite tricks is to disguise their viruses as tantalising photos of celebs in the news - Janet Jackson is the latest star to join this dubious hall of fame, which already boasts the likes of Britney, Kylie and J-Lo."

Other celebrity names used by the worm include Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and Pamela Anderson

At time of writing, Sophos has seen no reports of this worm spreading in the wild, but nevertheless reminds users to stay vigilant against virus attack.

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