A self-e-mailing worm is threatening to impose a Sober holiday on individuals and companies alike.

The worm created havoc in October by getting into systems and e-mailing itself to every e-mail address it could find. Then a second variant, Sober.B, popped up at the end of last week, attempting to intrigue people with subject lines referencing George W. Bush.

The B variant was given a low-risk status as it is relatively easy to stop and remove, and it seemed to have been stopped in its tracks. However, the weekend saw the German writers release the same worm but with different subject lines.

Gaining Speed

Just prior to Christmas, it seems that people don't want to open a file about George Bush's militancy. But "Sorry, that's your mail", "Hi, it's me", "Thankyou very very much", "you are an idiot" and "I hate you" seem to have captured the post-party alcohol-addled workers across the globe who are stuck at work when they'd rather be at home eating mince pies.

As such, the attachments are getting opened, the worm is spreading. Most antivirus vendors have given Sober.C a Medium risk simply because of its acceleration. However, those major antivirus vendors also have updated virus definitions that detect and block the pest.

There is a risk that within the next day, the virus could go haywire--especially if staff eyeing the calendar are not updating their antivirus files. Rather fortunately, little work is being done at the moment and companies will benefit from employees not being at work over the holiday break so it is not going to disrupt anyone all that much.

Except of course the IT staff who may yet receive the dreaded phone call on Christmas or Boxing Day inviting them to spend the whole day cleaning up the network rather than watching movies and drinking too much wine. Bah humbug.

PC World

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