Virus writer says 'I love you' again

Virus writers are using the old trick of flattery to lure people into opening dangerous email attachments

Five years after the world fell victim to the ILOVEYOU email virus, a malware writer is trying the same trick on unsuspecting users.

Antivirus experts unearthed a mass-mailing worm on Tuesday, dubbed Assiral, that mimics the Love Bug virus which became famous for luring people into opening an email entitled "ILOVEYOU". The original Love Bug wrought havoc among networks around the world, but experts don't think Assiral will be as destructive.

"The Assiral worm uses an old trick to seduce users into believing they may have received a romantic love letter," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It's almost five years since the infamous Love Bug worm fooled millions of Windows users around the world using a similar tactic -- and it seems unlikely that Assiral will have anything like as much impact."

Assiral emails are sent with the subject line "LOV YA!" and contain text asking the reader to open the attachment. A typical example can be seen below:

    "Subject: Re: LOV YA!
    Body: Kindly read and reply to my LOVE LETTER in the attachments :-)"

The attachment also includes this message:

    "Attachment: LOVE_LETTER.TXT.exe
    Greetz from LARISSA.B!
    I will survive,
    In this moment in time.
    You computer will crash,
    So, you will be mine.
    I never crash,
    I never fail.
    So, in this moment in time,
    I will surive...
        - LARISSA AUTHOR - 5-15-05"

If the attached file is launched, the worm opens a Web page hosted at Geocities and attempts to send itself to contacts in the users Outlook address book.

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