Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus and spam analysis centers, have warned users to
beware a new email virus which poses as breaking news stories about
the supposed arrest of the author of the MyDoom worm, the capture
of Osama bin Laden, or sick conspiracy theories about the death of
the late Pope John Paul II.
The W32/Kedebe-F worm spreads
itself via email using a wide variety of different subject lines
and message bodies. Users who fall for its various tricks and
launch the attached file risk disabling their security software,
and passing the infection onto other computer users.
The worm can send a variety of messages, including the
someone sent me this document which is stolen
from a secret government body and deals about John Paul's death. It
says he was killed by two 'doctors' who were hired by some
government bodies. The text attached contains all the story behind
his death and who these doctors are.
On other occasions the text of the message can claim that
Michael Jackson has died, Osama bin Laden has been captured by US
soldiers, or the author of the MyDoom worm has been arrested by
Clicking on the attached file launches the worm, which disables
security software installed on the computer and spreads the virus
onto other internet users via email and peer-to-peer file-sharing
"Hackers are constantly trying to dupe computer users into
running malicious code with the promise of breaking news stories,"
Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Using the
late Pope's name is a sick trick designed to fool the unwary.
Everyone should exercise extreme caution, run up-to-date anti-virus
software, and ensure they never run unsolicited email
Sophos reported in April that
spammers were exploiting interest in the late Pope for a "make
money fast" scheme.
"Internet criminals have no respect for taste and decency. All
they're interested in is making money, and other computer users'
lives a misery," continued Cluley. "We wouldn't be surprised to see
other public figures having their names abused by virus writers and
spammers in the future."
Reassuringly, the W32/Kedebe-F worm is not reported to be
spreading widely. However Sophos continues to recommend computer
users practise safe
computing as well as running up-to-date anti-virus software.