Sober virus in the wild but slow-moving

An e-mail-borne virus that apparently originated in Germany is in the wild but has not yet spread widely or affected many users, an antivirus researcher said Monday.

The worm-type virus, called W32/Sober@MM, or Sober, is being spread as an attachment to a variety of e-mail messages written in either English or German, said Craig Schmugar, a virus research engineer at McAfee Security, a division of Network Associates Inc., in Santa Clara, California. Some of those e-mail messages identify the attachment as an update to Kaspersky Labs Ltd. or Symantec Corp. Norton AntiVirus software, he said.

McAfee classified the virus as "low-profiled" in the late afternoon Monday, Pacific Time. Fewer than 20 corporate customers had been affected and most copies of the virus received by McAfee had been sent by the virus itself directly to a McAfee e-mail address for reporting of viruses, Schmugar said. They had not been sent in by customers who had been hit by it. The spread had so far been fairly restricted to Germany, he said.

The worm is designed to propagate itself by e-mailing itself to addresses extracted from the victim's machine. It does this using its own SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) engine and uses a variety of subject lines, messages and attachment names in the messages, according to McAfee. To foil users who try to remove it by hand, the worm creates two copies of itself, Schmugar said.

To prevent infection, users should use standard safe computing practices such as not opening e-mail attachments they aren't expecting even if they are from a familiar sender, he said.

Judging from its spread so far, and because in some cases it presents the recipient with a foreign-language message body, it may not have a large impact, he said.

"It's not an unlikely guess that this might be gone in a couple of days and never really reach a high prevalence rate," Schmugar said.

McAfee and most antivirus companies should be updating their antivirus signatures soon to detect and remove the worm, he said. Later Monday or on Tuesday, McAfee will have updated its standalone Stinger software tool, he said. More information about the worm is available at http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_100778.htm.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?