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Sober Up – Paris Hilton Email Worm on the Rise, Says Sophos

  • 23 February, 2005 09:43

<p>Experts at SophosLabs(TM), Sophos's global network of virus and spam analysis centres, have warned users that the W32/Sober-K worm is spreading widely. The worm, which can masquerade as x-rated videos of the society heiress Paris Hilton, is currently the third most commonly encountered virus, amounting to more than 10 per cent of all viruses reported to Sophos's global network of monitoring stations in the last 24 hours.</p>
<p>The W32/Sober-K worm bulk mails itself using a variety of different subject lines including ‘Paris Hilton, pure!’ and ‘Paris Hilton SexVideos’. It can send itself in either German or English language, depending on whether it believes the recipient's email address to be owned by a German or English speaker.</p>
<p>"This latest variant of the Sober worm may catch out the unwary as they open their email inbox," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Although much-publicised virus outbreaks in the past should have made users more nervous of double-clicking on unsolicited email attachments, some still find it hard to resist. All users should be reminded to follow safe computing guidelines and PCs should be kept automatically updated with the latest anti-virus protection."</p>
<p>The Sober-K worm has been the third most commonly sighted email virus in the last 24 hours, accounting for over 10.2 per cent of all reports. The W32/Zafi-D virus which emerged in December is presently the most prevalent virus with 27.6 per cent of all reports in the last 24 hours, with the Harry Potter-inspired Netsky-P worm in second position at 22.4 per cent.</p>
<p>Sophos recommends companies protect their email with a consolidated solution to thwart the virus and spam threats as well as secure their desktop and servers with automatically updated anti-virus protection.</p>
<p>Sophos offers the following advice:</p>
<p>Update your anti-virus software regularly so you can identify new worms and viruses effectively and accurately. Ideally you should be using automatic updates to ensure you are always defended by the very latest virus protection.</p>
<p>Emails which sound too strange to be true, or sound too good to be true, probably aren't true. You don't need to be cynical or paranoid to exercise caution!</p>
<p>If you have peer-to-peer file sharing programs installed on your company's network, consider removing them. It is almost impossible to make a business case for unregulated file sharing across the internet, on account of the associated dangers.</p>
<p>Doing nothing about viruses and worms is not an option. Once infected by a worm like Sober-K, your computer will try to send the worm to as many other potential victims as it can. Even if you don't care about your computer, be considerate of the effect that your carelessness might have on other internet users.</p>
Sophos's press contact at Gotley Nix Evans is:
Michael Henderson (
+61 2 9957 5555 (tel)
+61 413 054 738 (mobile)
+61 2 9957 5575 (fax)</p>

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