Sex and the City worms promise illicit thrills

Mildly irritating

Fans of Sex and the City were today warned to look out for emails claiming to contain a screensaver showing adult out-takes from the raunchy hit TV show.

Instead of delivering illicit thrills, the emails carry one of two variants of a new email worm, called Torvil-A and Torvil-B).

The infectious email typically travels with a variety of subject lines and message bodies such as: 'Real outtakes from Sex in the City!! Adult content!!! Use with parental advisory =)'.

If the attached file is launched, the worm will try to secrete copies of itself on public Internet newsgroups. The worm will also forward itself every time an infected computer sends an email.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said this spreading mechanism (something of a departure for virus writers) makes infectious emails look more plausible.

So it's just as well that neither variant of the worm is particularly harmful, or rapidly spreading.

Sophos has received a "handful of reports" of the two Torvil worms variants, making each more of a curiosity than a serious nuisance.

As usual, these worms are Windows-only menaces - Linux, Mac, OS/2 and Unix users are immune.

"Carrie Bradshaw's [Sarah Jessica Parker's] Apple Mac can't be infected by this particular worm, but PC users should ensure they follow safe computing guidelines and practise safe hex, treating all unsolicited emails with caution," comments Sophos' Cluley.

The stars of Sex and the City are the latest in a long line of celebrities who have been used as bait by virus writers to catch unwary computer users. Other female stars exploited by virus writers include Britney Spears, Anna Kournikova, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Minogue etc. etc. ®

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