Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have reminded
computer users of the threat posed by unsolicited email following a
large scale worm outbreak over the new year holiday period.
email worm, first seen on 30 December, hit email systems hard in
the last two days of 2006 posing as an electronic greeting
celebrating the new year.
With subject lines such as "Happy New Year!", "Fun Filled New
Year!" and "Happy 2007!" the worm spread via email with a malicious
executable attachment (called names such as postcard.exe and
A typical email sent by the Dref-V
"The hackers responsible for this attack were clearly hoping
that users would be too distracted by new year celebrations to
remember computer security common sense," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "Everyone should be suspicious of
unsolicited email attachments, and ensure that their PC defenses -
including their anti-virus protection - are in place and
Sophos Anti-Virus users have been protected against W32/Dref-V
since 03:04:20 GMT on 30 December 2006.
Sophos experts note that this is not the first occasion on which
hackers have exploited new year festivities to try and spread their
malware. Two years ago another worm, Wumark-D, distributed
itself in an unusual Happy New Year message in the form of a
photograph of naked bodies.
Sophos recommends that all computer users should ensure that
they are running an automatically updated anti-virus product, security patches and firewall