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Computer virus hits Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 02:18 01 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

COMPUTER users in Suffolk and across the rest of the country are battling to contain a new high-risk virus, which has frustrated business and home users.

COMPUTER users in Suffolk and across the rest of the country are battling to contain a new high-risk virus, which has frustrated business and home users.

The virus, named Badtrans, was first discovered on November 4 and is an internet worm, which attempts to send itself using Microsoft Outlook messages.

The worm has been intercepted in 50 countries but is most active by far in the UK, Germany and the United States.

Users may find emails in their inboxes, which have file attachments called

"card.dif", "hamster.ZIP.scr", "New_Napster_Site.DOC.sr", "README.TXT.pif","Sorry_about_yesterday.DOC.pif" or "YOU_are_FAT!.TXT.pif".

These messages can come from regular contacts in the address book as well as from people who have not previously sent messages before.

If an infected message is sent to an already infected machine it is immediately answered by a worm and sent back. This means the worm can initiate the traffic between computers with an endless number of infected messages.

The worm may also fail to mark "answered" messages and as a result the worm answers all unread messages in an endless loop and can send multiple messages growing to several thousand in number.

This could lead to an email server crash as it is possible that it would not be capable to process all the messages.

Apart from finding messages in your inbox with unusual attachments, another easy way to spot that something is not quite right with your computer is to look at any unusual activity in the inbox.

If there are several emails which have been returned with messages saying that they could not be delivered, the chances are that the worm has tried to send them on to other computer users, but encountered a virus protection program which had sent them back.

Anybody who comes across any email with an attachment they are not sure about should exercise caution as the worm can easily spread.

There are a number of ways this can be fixed, with the easiest way to get a patch to remove the worm.

WEBLINKS:

For more information on the Badtrans virus:

www.vil.nai.com/vil/virusSummary.asp?virus_k=99069

www.f-secure.com/v-descs/badtrans.shtml

www.antivirus.about.com/library/weekly/aa050101a.htm

www.mcafee.com/anti-virus/viruses/badtrans


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