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internet worm - warning.....



Spammers' Scavenging E-Mail Virus Surfaces on Net
23 minutes ago  Add Technology - Internet Report to My Yahoo!

LONDON (Reuters) - A new computer virus capable of harvesting millions of
e-mail addresses from infected PCs was rapidly spreading across the 
Monday, security experts said.

The infection, known as "Bagle" or "Beagle," appears to be the handiwork of
spammers keen to collect a batch of e-mail addresses they can then re-sell
to other spam e-mail marketers or keep for their own use.

"Bagle" also contains code that could turn an infected computer into a
veritable "spamming" machine.

Security experts said it is patterned after the recent "Sobig" and "Mimail"
outbreaks, which also turned scores of computers into zombie machines that
spammers can control remotely to send torrents of get-rich-quick and sex 
messages to other computer users.

"It seems perfectly possible that Bagle is yet another worm written by
spammers. When they have enough infected computers, they could 
install invisible e-mail proxy servers on each machine and start spamming
through them," said Mikko Hypponen, research manager at Finnish anti-virus
firm F-Secure.

A host of virus-detection firms had placed their most severe ratings on the
e-mail, noting it was spreading quickly from Asia through Europe and now to
the United States.

The e-mail infection, or worm, contains a familiar subject line of "Hi" and
an executable file attachment identified by ".exe." The body of the e-mail
contains random characters.

The virus is triggered once a computer user clicks on the attachment,
setting in motion an aggressive e-mail harvesting program that scans all
documents on the infected computer and throughout the network it is 

Computer analysts said most corporate e-mail filters should be able to 
the infected e-mail, but that home users were particularly vulnerable.