Bagle worm unleashed

A new mass mailing worm which is already being billed as 2004's version of SoBig has started spreading across the Internet.

The virus, known as Bagle.A, was first detected on Tuesday morning AEST. Antivirus firms have rated the virus a medium threat.

The virus comes to people's mailbox with the subject line saying 'Hi' and body text saying 'Test'. This is followed by the attachment which uses the .exe file extension along with randomly generated characters.

The virus avoids detection by cleverly associating the exe with a calculator icon. When executed, Bagle.A copies itself to the %System% directory as bbeagle.exe.

Users have been urged to exercise caution. "There is no rhyme or reason to open the e-mail. It is just pure curiosity," said Daniel Zatz, Computer Associates security consultant.

According to Zatz, Bagle.A spreads via e-mail using its own SMTP engine. It generates a list of addresses to send itself to by searching for .wab, .txt, .htm, and .html files on a user’s computer.

An interesting feature is that the worm avoids high profile e-mail addresses such as those ending with, and @microsoft. Zatz said he presumed this was to avoid quick detection.

Bagle.A has a drop dead date of 28 January, which means the worm will not execute after 28 January.

Zatz said this feature was similar to last year's SoBig worm. "We are concerned we may see another SoBig," he said. "Every time the [SoBig] drop dead date came out a new variant was released."

This concern is largely attributed to a feature of the worm. It has been unsuccessfully written so that, when executed, it attempts opens port 6777 to give hackers unauthorised access to a PC. Although this backdoor function does not work, the fear is that a future version may get it right, Zatz said.

Fixes for the virus are available for download from leading AV sites.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Howard Dahdah

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?