Kama Sutra worm programmed to overwrite data files on Feb. 3

Antivirus vendors warn that the Nyxem worm is spreading fast, and will erase files on infected machines on Feb. 3.

Antivirus vendors are still warning of a rapidly-spreading worm that is carrying a potentially destructive set of instructions. The Nyxem worm -- also nicknamed the Kama Sutra worm -- is programmed to overwrite all of the files on computers it infects on Feb. 3, said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure.

F-Secure researchers found the worm truncates files to 20 bytes and causes an error message when one is opened, he said.

"We are expecting to see problems in two weeks' time," Hypponen said.

The worm appears to be programmed to overwrite all files on the third day of every month, Hypponen said. So far, there's no indication where Nyxem originated.

While most antivirus vendors have issued updates for their software, Nyxem is spreading quickly, and its creators have posted a counter on a Web site that records new infections. According to F-Secure's security blog, the counter was showing around 510,000 infections as of Sunday night.

Nyxem infections may be rising because it is taking advantage of computers that have already had their antivirus software disabled by some other virus such as Bagle, Hypponen said.

The worm, which is spread through e-mail, uses a dated technique to entice users by promising pornography, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, at Sophos. Nyxem lacks the sophistication of recent Trojan horse-style viruses that are more targeted and less prevalent in order to evade detection, Cluley said.

Nonetheless, users appear to still be clicking, and the worm was accounting for about 35 percent of virus traffic as of Monday morning, he said.

"It's a bit of a throwback to an old trick," Cluley said.

The worm harvests e-mail addresses and then sends itself out again. The e-mail subject line may contain text that says "Miss Lebanon 2006" or "School girl fantasies gone bad," according to Sophos.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?