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World Cup worm gives Windows users the willies

'ere we go (again)

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A new version of the increasingly tedious Sober email worm series is ensnaring victims by posing as an email from the next year's World Cup organising committee. Like previous variants, Sober-P spreads as an infected ZIP attachment to messages written in either German or English.

Infected emails pose as ticket confirmation messages from organisers of the football World Cup, due to be held in Germany next year. The worm composes messages with subject lines such as "WM-Ticket-Auslosung" and "Your Password" with attachments such as Fifa_Info-Text.zip containing a .pif payload file. Sober-P only infects Windows machines.

The first appearance of the worm on Monday coincided with the start the second phase of ticket sales for Germany 2006. No further tickets for countries who sold out their first phase allocations are been released at this point (13 nations including Germany and England) but that hasn't stopped attempts by virus writers to exploit global interest in the tournament.

Most anti-virus vendors rate Sober-P as medium-risk. Home users are at greatest risk which means, yet again, that it's time to update anti-virus tools and to resist the temptation to open suspicious-looking emails. Sober-P is the fourteenth incarnation of a worm first seen in October 2003.

In other football related news, tickets for Tuesday's Champions' League semi-final between Liverpool and Chelsea are on sale on eBay from between £205 and £950. The resale of UK football tickets contravenes eBay rules but touts are chancing their arm anyway in the hopes of making a killing on tickets with a face value of somewhere between £30 to £50. ®

Related links

FIFA issues warning over virus

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Sober worm shakes Windows security
Sober worm speaks with forked tongue
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FBI issues Sober notice over Windows worm
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