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The Long Goodbye

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The latest version of the NetSky worm is to be the last, according to a message buried in the worm's code. Anti-virus firms are taking the pledge with a pinch of salt.

Netsky-K (AKA Netsky-J) is little different from the 10 earlier versions we've seen over the last month. Once again, the worm contains insults against the authors of the Bagle worm - continuing the flame war among malware authors that has raged in cyberspace since last week - along with code designed to remove Bagle from infected PCs.

But this time we have a message from the unknown authors of the worm promising to the end of the NetSky onslaught.

The message reads: "We want to destroy malware writers business, including MyDoom and Bagle... This is the last version of our antivirus. The source code is available soon."

AV firms are waiting to see if NetSky's authors live up to their word.

Alex Shipp, of email filtering outfit MessageLabs, said it doesn't really matter if AV researchers believe the pledge or not, because virus fighters have to plan for the worse.

Either selling access to hijacked computers to spammers or a clash of egos between rival malware authors is behind the spat between rival VX gangs, he thinks. ®

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