Computer users warned about virus

COMPUTER users were today warned about a new virus which enables hackers to steal credit card numbers and online banking details.The BugBear virus, which arrives as an email, enables hackers to scan computers and access banking details and passwords which have been entered since the virus was received.

COMPUTER users were today warned about a new virus which enables hackers to steal credit card numbers and online banking details.

The BugBear virus, which arrives as an email, enables hackers to scan computers and access banking details and passwords which have been entered since the virus was received.

It was first seen on Sunday, but since then has spread rapidly to more than 100 countries.

One of the first problems encountered by computer users is that BugBear attacks and disables anti-virus software – causing major problems for users.


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A major problem is that it comes by e-mail with an apparently plausible subject line.

A Suffolk woman, who runs e-mail discussions about 19th century literature, found her computer infected after she opened an e-mail entitled "Literary lists calendar."

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She was furious about the virus: "It took a great deal of time and effort to clear this off the computer, at one stage I began to wonder if we would have to get a new PC," she said.

The virus is difficult to spot as the email has more than 50 different catchlines, such as Market Update Report, Announcement, Scam Alert and Membership Confirmation.

One way of identifying it is looking at the size of the file attachment, which is usually 50,688 bytes, but some copies have been different sizes.

BugBear is thought to originate from Malaysia, where the first copy was sent from, and it is thought to be the third virus the hacker has written.

Internet and telephone bank Intelligent Finance said so far none of its customers had been affected by BugBear.

It added that customers could download free anti-virus software, which has been updated to deal with the virus, from its website.

Egg said it was currently reviewing the situation but its security measures meant it was unlikely the virus would have caused a problem.

A spokesman added that it offers customers a fraud guarantee, so if they did lose money through the virus they would be reimbursed.

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