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Morpheus application is ‘safe’

But watch out for those downloads

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Morpheus, the music and file-sharing application, is free of malicious code - although individual downloaded files carried by the service may be contaminated.

According to recent Usenet reports some people were infected with Nimda worm variants after using MusicCity Morpheus.

According to Morpheus, individual downloaded files, rather than the software application itself (which would present a far greater risk), are responsible for any problems.

"It is not possible for the virus to be in a program that is downloaded from Morpheus," said a spokeswoman for StreamCast Networks, which provides the technology behind MusicCity Morpheus. "However It is a possibility that a user could have downloaded a file using Morpheus and that user created file could have a virus."

A FAQ on the service explains that certain file types may contain viruses or so-called Trojan horses.

"Although music, video, and picture files are generally safe... you should be cautious of executable files (.EXE) and Microsoft Word and Excel documents (.DOC and .XLS). These files are specified with a icon in the search results on Morpheus.com. back to the top."

Morpheus advises users to protect themselves by been cautious – especially when downloading file types known to be unsafe – and by using up to date antivirus software.

Eric Chien, chief researcher at Symantec's antivirus research lab, endorses this advice: "Remember that Morpheus, while used for music sharing, is a peer-to-peer file sharing program, so you can share anything - including viruses."

Reports of a virus outbreak on Morpheus sparked fears of a variant of last month's news that file sharing software from Grokster and the Limewire Gnutella Client was infected with the DlDer Trojan. ®

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