30 JANUARY 2002

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New email worm surfaces in Asia and hits Malta

A new computer virus is on the loose and began infecting Maltese computers on Monday evening.

The computer worm attempts to trick computer users into clicking on a virus-infected Web link masquerading as party photos. Emerged in Asia on Monday morning and as testimony to the speed of today’s communications technology, had already hit the offices of The Malta Financial and Business Times on Monday evening.

The so-called ‘My Party’ worm, which is not considered destructive, spreads by infiltrating popular email software Microsoft Windows Address Book and Outlook Express Database.
The worm emails itself to every person in an infected users' email log making it look as if the worm comes from a colleague or friend, experts said.

Anti-virus specialist Trend Micro gave it a medium risk rating. While security firms said that compared with past email worms, such as Nimda and Sircam, the number of reported ‘My Party’ infections thus far is moderate.

The virus arrives as an email with the subject line "new photos from my party!" It contains an innocuous looking file attachment called www.myparty.yahoo.com. A message in the body of the email reads: "Hello! My party... It was absolutely amazing! I have attached my web page with new photos! If you can please make color prints of my photos. Thanks!"

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus, said because it carries what appears to be an authentic link from the popular Web portal Yahoo and appears to come from a colleague or friend, the worm has the potential to spread quickly.

Sophos has devised a patch at for the worm and can be downloaded from : http:/www.sophos.com/virusinfo/analyzes/w32mypartya.html.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt