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BugBear – nasty email virus

Trojan-dropping, keystroke-logging, mass-mailing

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Bugbear is the latest mass-mailing virus to target Windows users. And it's a baddie, able to compromise passwords on victims' machines.

BugBear can propagate using the MIME MS01-020 vulnerability and is particularly difficult to spot. This is because it normally arrives in email with variable subject, text and attachment names (though the attachment is normally 50688 bytes long).

Bugbear's payload includes a Trojan which allows it to log keystrokes - so it could potentially compromise otherwise secure transactions and passwords. Bugbear is able to open backdoor ports enabling cracker access to infected PCs.

Cunningly, the virus will attempt to disable any anti-virus software and firewalls that might be in place. Bugbear has its own emailing abilities, and can distribute emails from the recipient's account, mass- mailing potentially confidential information.

Managed services firm MesssageLabs which scans users' email for viruses, has blocked more than 32,000 copies of BugBear since its first appearance over the weekend.

Mark Sunner, CTO at MessageLabs, said: "Bugbear is a particularly vicious email virus with a considerable payload."

"We have seen few new viruses in 2002 although levels of virus activity have never been higher. Bugbear proves that new viruses can still take email users and AV vendors by surprise and, as ever, is testament to the fact that new viruses cannot be stopped effectively with AV software," he added. ®

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