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The first virus to use PHP scripting language to infect computers has been identified by anti-virus security firm Central Command.

PHP.NewWorld is spread to a system when executing an infected script. However the virus is not able to spread out from an infected system, which means its effects are far less damaging than might otherwise be the case.

"Although PHP.NewWorld is currently not a major threat, it marks a new step toward new virus generation," said Steven Sundermeier, product manager at Central Command, who nonetheless expects that copycat viruses will be created.

The PHP programming language has become a standard in dynamic Website development because of its cross-platform compatibility and user-friendly features. A majority of Websites that incorporate user interaction and personalization rely on PHP, which is an alternative to Microsoft's Active Server Page (ASP) technology, making it an appealing target for virus writers.

Central Command's antivirus product, AVX Professional, has been updated to detect and remove PHP.NewWorld and other security vendors can be expected to follow suit. ®

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