A new generation of an old computer virus has
reared its ugly head across the Internet, this time with some very effective
tricks up its sleeve.
According to several computer security
companies, the Sober.W worm – a computer malady
that’s been around in one form or another for about two years – is showing up
again in e-mail inboxes, posing as a letter from the FBI or CIA.
The message claims that the recipient has
been visiting illegal Web sites, and asks he or she to open an attached filed,
which contains the virus.
Although the worm is no more advanced,
technologically speaking, than its predecessors, its clever distribution method
has caused a spike in the virus’ rate in infection, according to a statement
released by antivirus firm Symantec.
“The rate of its spread is quite high,” Sam
Curry, vice president of Computer Associates’ eTrust
security group, told trade publication Information
Week. “(The number of infections is) still relatively low, but
The FBI also released a statement
acknowledging the virus, and denying any involvement or connection with the
“This particular e-mail
claims the FBI has been monitoring your Internet use … and demands you
answer questions – all you have to do is open an attachment,” the FBI said in a
statement on its Web site. “The FBI does not conduct business this way.”