MTX virus gaining speed in unusual ways

The increased worries stem from a particularly harmful feature in which the virus blocks users from anti-virus Websites, stopping them from downloading virus protection updates and from issuing warnings.

Michael Callahan, director of product marketing at McAfee, a division of Network Associates, said MTX first appeared in late August, originating in Germany. At the time of its discovery, McAfee's AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team) labeled the virus a low threat, but McAfee upgraded it to the medium level after about 32 users reported an MTX attack.

"We made it a medium threat about two to three weeks ago as we see the number of samples increasing," Callahan said. "Mostly we see corporate users being hit."

The virus proves troublesome by changing its subject header and attachment file names and by blocking users from anti-virus vendors' Web sites. MTX spreads through a user's Microsoft Outlook applications with varying attachment names, such as Bill_Gates_piece.jpg.pif, I_am_Sorry.doc.pif, Internet_Security_Forum.doc.pif and New_Playboy_Screen_Saver.scr. When a user clicks on one of these attached files, the virus begins spreading its evil ways.

Besides coming up with catchy attachment names, the author of MTX made sure that many of the best-known anti-virus vendors' Web sites became inaccessible to users once they launched the devious files. McAfee.com, Symantec, and Sophos all had parts of their sites blocked from users along with a number of other vendors. For Network Associates' McAfee division, however, users could still access the AVERT labs website and McAfee's corporate virus protection site.

McAfee will continue to monitor the virus but does not see it as a major threat just yet.

"If people don't have up-to-date DAT protection as it starts to spread, it could spread a little bit faster," Callahan said. "But people are paying more attention to keeping DAT files up to date these days."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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

Ashlee Vance

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

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.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?