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

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.

Joris Evers

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?