The virus that stole Christmas

The virus that stole Christmas

Christmas cheer is apparently enough to make your computer sick, following a new worm hole virus hitting companies across the US.

The Navidad.exe virus spreads via e-mail and when executed places an eye icon on the system tray. When the cursor is passed over the icon, the virus flashes up warnings in Spanish, telling the user they are being watched. A button appears with the warning "Nunca presionar este boton" which translates as "never press this button".

When the user gives in to temptation and presses the button, they are wished Merry Christmas and told their computer is lost.

The exact message given is "Feliz Navidad, lamentablemente cayo en la tentacion y perdio su computadora," which translates as, "Merry Christmas, unfortunately you have given in to temptation and lost your computer."

Once activated, the virus also creates an entry created in the system registry which will prevent the running of all executable applications not already running on the machine.

The worm then proceeds to send infected replies to all the messages in the user's In box.

According to Dean Stockwell, regional director of Network security and management software vendor Network Associates, there had been no confirmed reports of the virus' appearance in Australia.

"We have had several calls to the help desk, but most of these are just concerned people that have heard about the virus and want to know what to do to protect themselves," Stockwell said.

Stockwell believes the language barrier will provide only limited protection in Australia, as curiosity gets the better of many anglophile users.

"You would be surprised what people will open," he said.

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