The number of worms and viruses that spread via email has constantly been on the rise and the latest, Badtrans is already affecting many home and small business users.
The first version of the worm was discovered in April, 2001, and was capable of sending emails with infected files as attachments. The worm installed spying Trojans (program or part of program code that performs destructive actions) capable of stealing information from the infected systems.
Badtrans.B is a revised version of the worm that behaves in a manner similar to the original. According to this Zdnet report, the worm arrives with a subject line that has already been sent by someone else, prompting users to open it without checking. The message itself is empty.
The worm arrives with an attachment that has two appended extensions. For example, you could get a document file with the virus that will read abc.doc.scr. The first extension will be one of the following -- ..doc, mp3 and .zip -- while the second one could be a .pif or .scr.
Symantec has a page on the virus and has upgraded the threat level of this worm from 3 to 4 on account of more reports coming in.
Other anti-virus sites like Fsecure and McAfee give you all the background information you need, so don't be caught unawares.
Microsoft has also released a patch and has advised users of Internet Explorer to download it immediately.
Virus attacks are increasingly common and to keep track of security threats you can use applications like the F-Secure Radar, Avert Wireless and McAfee's Virus Alert.
While prevention is preferable, if you have already been affected, a detailed explanation on how to remove this worm is available here.
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Badtrans bites hard
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