FBI issues Sober notice over Windows worm

Sober-K also poses as Paris Hilton clips

Virus writers are attempting to scare surfers into opening malicious code with a message posing as an FBI notice that they have visited an "illegal website". Recipients are invited to open a "questionnaire", which is really the latest Windows worm Sober-K. To add authenticity infected emails come from a faked @fbi.gov address.

The tactic, which recycles a trick first used over a year ago, prompted the FBI to issue a notice this week warning users to be wary of the ruse. "These e-mails did not come from the FBI. Recipients of this or similar solicitations should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner," it said.

The FBI said it is investigating the source of the Sober-K worm. As well as posing as "FBI investigation notices", Sober-K (which sends messages in either German or English) also poses as "x-rated movie clips" featuring Paris Hilton, the Fluffy Blonde Idiot. Sober-K has spread rapidly since its appearance earlier this week. Most anti-virus vendors rate is as a medium-risk nuisance.

Emails infected by the Ahker-C worm, another new Windows virus, also use promises of "hardcore footage" of the ubiquitous Ms. Hilton as bait. The Ahker-C worm sends itself using the subject line "Paris Hilton...download it!" and an attached file called "ParisXXX.zip". The worm attempts to disable anti-virus and firewall software running on the computer. Ahker-C is generally rated as a low-risk nuisance.

The batch of Paris Hilton-themed worms arrived this week after it emerged that hackers had broken into the society heiress's mobile phone address book, and published the private telephone numbers for celebrities such as Anna Kournikova, Lindsay Lohan and Vin Diesel. ®

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