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Meet Sysbug: The latest Stupidly Transmitted Disease

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Windows users were warned today to be on their guard for a new Trojan that poses as a racy attachment to a saucy email.

The Sysbug-A Trojan is disguised as an attachment containing naked pictures of a young couple. It's actually malicious code that, if run, allows hackers to gain control of vulnerable computers.

AV firms believe virus writers are distributing the Trojan using spamming software.

As usual, Sysbug-A infects only Windows machines.

Infectious emails commonly arrive with the subject line 'Re[2] Mary', an attachment private.zip which contains a viral payload called 'wendynaked.jpg.exe', and the following text:

Hello my dear Mary,

I have been thinking about you all night. I would like to apologize for the other night when we made beautiful love and did not use condoms. I know this was a mistake and I beg you to forgive me.

I miss you more than anything, please call me Mary, I need you. Do you remember when we were having wild sex in my house? I remember it all like it was only yesterday. You said that the pictures would not come out good, but you were very wrong, they are great. I didn't want to show you the pictures at first, but now I think it's time for you to see them. Please look in the attachment and you will see what I mean.

I love you with all my heart, James.

According to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, the Trojan horse has been spammed out en masse in an attempt to hit as many people as possible.

It's commonplace from spam to pose as misdirected email. Cluley said virus writers are using the same ploy in an attempt to trick Net users into running malicious code. Sysbug-A is spreading over the Net but its prevalence is a fraction of more common pathogens such as Swen-A or the various Mimail variants currently doing the rounds.

Nonetheless that's no reason for complacency. Windows users are urged to update AV signature files to recognise the Trojan and to practice safe computing, which partly involves thinking twice before opening an unsolicited attachment. ®

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