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SirCam due to wipe Windows PCs next Tuesday

But payload looks buggy

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SirCam, the bandwidth-munching privacy invading mass mailing virus, is due to attempt to wipe infected users' Windows PCs next Tuesday.

That's the bad news. The good news is that indications are the malicious payload the virus contains isn't particularly effective, probably because of shoddy programming on the virus writer's part.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said that the virus is programmed so that there's a one in 50 chance that on any day the virus would fill up an infected user's hard disc with rubbish. There's been very few reports of this ever happening, suggesting the virus is "buggy" or sensitive to user's set-ups, he told us.

Because of this the one in 20 "possibility", at least according to how the virus is programmed, that SirCam might wipe a victim's PC on October 16 is probably not going to be realised.

That said it still makes sense for people to get themselves disinfected, especially since the virus is still common three months after it appeared on the Internet in mid-July.

MessageLabs, a managed services firm that scans its users email for viruses, has blocked 2,967 copies of SirCam in the last 24 hours and a 414,000 copies of the virus in all.

As previously reported, SirCam normally arrives in an email with a random subject, body text and attachment name. Infected attachments contain a double extension, which gives users a clue that an email might contain a virus.

The subject line of an email is the name of a file found on the sending PC. The attachment will carry the name of this document file, with a second extension such as COM, EXE, PIF, LNK. The worm contains its own SMTP routine, which is used to send email messages to email addresses found in the Windows address book and the temporary internet folder.

A document file is included in the executable that the worm mails, which means there is a possibility of confidential or embarrassing material being mailed out. If the document is large - so is the infected attachment, and that means some copies of SirCam can weigh in at 10MB and above. ®

External Links

Write up on Sircam by Sophos

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