Virus fighters catch NakedWife worm in the act

"Compared to the Anna Kournikova and I Love You viruses this worm did not get anywhere at all," said André Post, senior researcher at Symantec's Antivirus Research Center (SARC). "If I have to make an educated guess, I would say a few thousand computers were infected."

First reports on the worm came in at around 10:00am EST Tuesday. By the end of the workday on the US East Coast the spread of the virus had stopped, said Post.

"Quick acting on our side doesn't guarantee anything if users don't react. Wide spreading was also prevented by the increased virus awareness amongst customers," said Post, adding that wide media coverage also contributed.

SARC received "about 40" reports from customers with infected systems, most of which were in the US, a few in Canada and a few in Europe. McAfee, a division of Network Associates, reports lower numbers with 15 customers hit in North America and three in Europe. Asia, it seems, wasn't hit at all.

"Asian businesses had already closed for the day when the worm surfaced. When they opened on Wednesday the worm had been dealt with," said Post.

Both McAfee and SARC said NakedWife most likely was created in South America.

"We suspect the worm originated in Brazil. Virus writers typically add their nickname to the viruses they write and we keep a close eye on the writers," said Post, noting that most new viruses come out of South America. "Viruses are hot there."

Although NakedWife didn't make it far, McAfee still rates the worm "high risk."

"We gave it that rating because of the destructive payload," said Marius van Oers, virus research engineer at McAfee in Amsterdam. "I expect the rating to go down to medium in the course of Wednesday."

The Trojan worm is spread via e-mail using the address book of Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client. It arrives in an e-mail with the subject "FW: Naked Wife." Once the attachment -- NakedWife -- is executed, the worm starts sending itself to every e-mail address in the infected user's address book and deletes dozens of important Windows system files, forcing the user to re-install Windows, Van Oers said.

Most anti-virus software vendors have updated virus definition files available that can discover and eliminate NakedWife.

Join the newsletter!

Or
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.

Joris Evers

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

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.

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?