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Sober virus now infects one in 22 emails

May 05 2005
by Dan Ilett,3800003100,39130136,00.htm

One in every 22 emails circulating on the internet contains the latest
version of the Sober worm, according to statistics from a UK antivirus company.

Sophos claimed that the mass-mailing worm, which has been reported in 40
countries after first appearing on Monday, now accounts for 79 per cent of
all viruses the company is seeing.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said: "It's still
very widespread. It appears to turn off Symantec's antivirus protection and
the Windows XP firewall. It seems to do that to set up future attacks." He
went on to say that the worm is likely to be preparing computers to
distribute spam.

"That's probably why it has become widespread so quickly," he said. "[Virus
writers] used spam technology to send it out. Now it's just perpetuating."

Sober.P - which security companies have variously tagged as Sober.N,
Sober.O or Sober.S - travels as an attachment in emails written in English
and German. One of the most widely reported email contains an alluring
message stating that the recipient has won free tickets to the 2006 World
Cup in Germany, but many other types have also been spotted. Once opened,
the virus sends itself to email addresses harvested on the infected machine.


Also in this issue:

- Biggest security holes revealed
   Media players and anti-virus programs have been named in a list of the
most pressing     security problems.
- Robots to help out blind shoppers
   Computer scientists in the US have developed a robot that could help
blind people to shop   or find their way around large buildings.
- Soccer fans beware: Virus a click away
   It's the oldest trick in the virus writer's handbook. Promise free stuff
and they will     click.
- Inmates use intermediaries to escape into Internet
   Keith Maydak's jail cells are roomier than most. Must be all that
- Sober virus now infects one in 22 emails
   One in every 22 emails circulating on the internet contains the latest
version of the     Sober worm, according to statistics from a UK antivirus
- Yahoo Video Search now publicly available
   Yahoo has announced its own video search. With sources including CBS
News, MTV and all the   other sorts of random stuff that the internet
always seems to have, searches do produce   some interesting results. For
instance, I was able to find a video of Sarah Michelle   Gellar topless, as
well as a video of two dogs fighting in a park, and that classic video   of
the monkey drinking its own pee. Isn't the internet wonderful?
- Personal Technology / Walter S. Mossberg: A guide to using RSS
   If you read a dozen or more online news sites every day, managing them
all can be   difficult. In the most popular Web browser, Microsoft's
Internet Explorer, you have to   laboriously open them one at a time. You
can open each in a separate window, but the   windows pile up in the task
bar at the bottom of the screen, making a visual mess that is   hard to
- Review: Cheaper Laptops Full of Features
   NEW YORK - When you're buying something as pricey as a new laptop, it
takes courage to   stray from the comfort of established names like Dell,
IBM and Sony. And it's the sort of   courage that can easily lead to
"penny-wise, pound-foolish" regrets after the purchase.
- Army to Get Energy-Converting Sheeting
   The Army is bringing to the battlefield flexible plastic sheeting that
converts light into   energy  technology that could someday find its way
into the casing of laptops or even   clothing to power portable devices.
- Gore to Get Lifetime Award for Internet
   Al Gore may have been lampooned for taking credit in the Internet's
development, but   organizers of the Webby Awards for online achievements
don't find it funny at all.
- Palestinian, Jordan cell firms team up vs. Israel
   Palestinian mobile phone operator Jawwal said it signed a partnership
agreement with top   Jordanian counterpart Fastlink on Wednesday to provide
customers with improved services   and competitive prices.
- Apple Posts 20 Patches For Panther OS
   Apple on Tuesday released a mega security update to Panther, Mac OS X
10.3.9, that plugged   a whopping 20 holes, including several that could be
exploited remotely.
- Augmenting the Animal Kingdom
   Natural evolution has produced the eye, butterfly wings and other
wonders that would put   any inventor to shame. But who's to say evolution
couldn't be improved with the help of a   little technology?
- Ofcom may have to police internet content
   Media regulators across Europe could be forced to police internet
content for taste and   decency in the same way as television programmes,
according to proposals under     consideration in Brussels.

Member: Association for International Business

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