'Kama Sutra' worm set to strike

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Friday, February 3, 2006

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Computer security experts warn that a malicious computer worm, dubbed "Kama Sutra," is set to wreak havoc this Friday, February 3rd on Microsoft Windows computers worldwide. Kama Sutra is designed to destroy files that end in .doc, .zip and .pdf.

The Kama Sutra worm has been spreading through cyberspace since January 16, packaged in emails with subject headings such as: "give me a kiss" and "crazy illegal sex."

When users click an email attachment, their PCs become infected with destructive, self-replicating software. The worm affects Microsoft Windows operating systems and is programmed to go to work on the third of every month, overwriting or corrupting Microsoft files and others such as Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

"This one can damage your office files, your Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and your PowerPoint presentations," Tino Klironomos, a computer retailer, said. "(The files will be) all gone, history."

Computer security company LURHQ reports that there may be hundreds of thousands of machines already infected with the worm, which also goes by the monikers "BlackWorm," "CME-24," "Blackmal," "Mywife.E" and "Nyxem."

To prevent the worm, Windows users should arm themselves with anti-virus software. People can also protect their PC with up-to-date anti-virus gear and firewall protection. Free anti-virus tools are available from many anti-virus organisations. These tools can detect and remove the Kama Sutra worm from an infected machine.

Experts say: "Make sure your virus definitions are up to date. Besides being careful about opening email messages and attachments, users should back up their most valuable computer files on an external device such as a CD, zip drive or DVD."

Steve Bass at PC World says: "Stop worrying. If you update your virus program signatures regularly, and do a weekly AV scan, I don't think you have much to worry about..."

Other advice is not to open any messages with the subject headers "crazy, illegal sex", "give me a kiss" and "hot movie."

The worm will not affect machines running on non-Windows operating systems such as Mac OS X or GNU/Linux.

Effects

Many security systems reported a very small amount of vandalism, even though the threats were very high.

Sources

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