New Philippines virus a low risk

New Philippines virus a low risk

Summary: Bug is spreading, but not in U.S., government agency says. Bearing a resemblance to the 'Love' bug, the virus was first detected on Friday and has been infecting some computer users this Labor Day weekend.

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The U.S. National Infrastructure Protection Center has issued a warning about a new computer computer virus originating from the Philippines which bears a resemblance to the now-infamous 'Love' bug. The virus was first detected on Friday, and has been infecting some computer users this Labor Day weekend. But anti-virus experts told MSNBC that there have not been any reports of widespread infections.

The bug is named after Disney character Donald Duck and arrives with a subject line 'erap estrada' -- the nickname of Philippine president Joseph Estrada.

According to the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the bug is actually a Trojan horse that arrives as an e-mail attachment. Once the attachment is opened, a file called 'DonaldD.trojan' is executed and -- like the 'Love' bug -- can collect user names and passwords from the victim.

"Currently, the Trojan horse is proliferating mainly in the Philippines and is considered a low threat to the United States by the anti-virus industry," NIPC said in a press release. Commercial anti-virus software that is updated will detect the Trojan, the agency said.

"I have seen no reports of it anywhere," said Mary Landesman, spokesperson for anti-virus firm Command Software Systems Inc.

Still, Landesman said computer users should exercise caution when returning to work after the Labor Day weekend.

The 'Love' bug or 'ILOVEYOU' virus was released to the world in May and traced to the Philippines. It infected millions of computers worldwide, and allegedly caused billions of dollars in damages.

Topics: Philippines, Malware, Security

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